A firearm now is better than a scream that may or may not result in assistance minutes later. Are you willing to be Kitty Genovese? Maybe have a song written about itty bitty nice pacifist you? Suffering from Genovese Syndrome? Stockholm Syndrome?
An unprecedented number of women are taking their protection into their own hands by getting a gun. Gun stores are seeing more women customers than anyone can remember. Many women are also getting permits to carry a concealed weapon.
Local 12 Reporter Liz Bonis shows us why many women are in a hurry to arm themselves.
When Jenny Jeffery recently made the decision to get a license to conceal and carry a weapon she says it wasn’t because she feels threatened right now, but rather:
Jenny Jeffery, Gun Owner: “What I saw, where society was going as a whole, and the need to step up and be proactive in my safety and that of my family.”
Apparently, Jeffery is not alone. Homer Cole has owned Shooters Supply for nearly a decade. Cole says, when it comes to sales of guns to girls…
Homer Cole, Shooters Supply & Sporting Goods: “I guess, when we first started, if we sold one in ten to fifteen, it was pretty good. Now, it’s not unusual to have one in three, one in four to ladies purchasing handguns.”
In fact, when Homer and a business partner recently built this new range beneath Shooters in Independence, a prime consideration was the rise in those who are female choosing to be armed.
“We kind of thought of that when we designed it to have it more open, well lit, friendly atmosphere, so if a lady came in, she would be comfortable in doing that.”
Cole’s team also has cameras to monitor the range and make it even more female-friendly. Tim Harney is a retired police officer and a conceal carry instructor. He says, when it comes to demographics, Cole and many other Tri-State gun shops and agencies catering to women are right on target. Some have had so many women sign up for the conceal-carry course this year, they’ve had to add sessions.
Tim Harney, Conceal-Carry Course Instructor: “We’ve seen a five percent increase in women this year alone.”
Others have had so many inquires from women who want to get a license to conceal and carry a weapon they are offering the course free to females. So, what’s driving all this? Well, some say it’s a concern about the gun laws that could change, but others say it’s simply that when the economy goes down, crime goes up, and many are concerned about personal safety.
“They are worried about being robbed, or walking in parking lots and to and from work.”
Jeffery’s concern started when her husband left for a tour of duty in Iraq.
“While he was gone, and most people in the area knew he was gone, there was a genuine concern about being alone in the house.”
Even though Jeffery’s husband is now back, she’s still serious about shooting. And that, Harney says, is the secret to a woman’s success. When it comes to the argument against girls using guns, which is mainly the risk of being overpowered by a stronger opponent, so the gun will be used on her…
“I don’t think that’s true. I think a woman. with proper training and practice, with a weapon, she’s every bit formidable as a man.”
Practice creates what Harney calls muscle memory, something critical for anyone to appropriately respond in a stressful situation.
“There’s a lot of women that can outshoot men, it has nothing to do with gender.”
Gun safety instructors tell us some of their women students are in their 70’s.
You must be 21 to take the conceal-carry course.