By Steve Adcock, The Shooting Channel
Women are rapidly becoming as integrated into the world of target shooting and self-defense as men, according to a new report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Recently published numbers indicate that women account for more than 1/3rd of new target shooters, and women are buying guns at drastically increased rates over year’s past.
The numbers also show that nearly half of new target shooters live in urban and suburban areas of the country, which suggests that more and more of newer shooters increasingly prioritize self-defense and preparing themselves to confront the dangers of our world. The surge in firearm sales in the past five years, especially among women, is encouraging. Men are not the only ones prepared to defend their families with deadly force.
NBC reports that more than 1 in 5 women in the United States are packing heat, which is up from a mere 13 percent back in 2005. Clearly, women are arming themselves in significant numbers, certainly in part due to the fear that politicians will succeed in stripping away our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. But more than that, women recognize the need for protection beyond a rape whistle.
Gayle Trotter, Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, told Congress back in January that guns equalize threats from men, arguing “[Women] do not have the same type of physical strength and opportunity to defend themselves in hand-to-hand struggle.” Apparently, women agree with Ms. Trotter’s assessment.
More and more new female shooters believe gun ownership empowers them to take control over their lives and their safety. Gun ownership is a powerful tool that enhances the self-image and confidence of anyone, but especially women. It is about stepping outside one’s comfort zone and refusing to become the next victim. Guns build strong and independent women that criminals need to be afraid of.
If you are ready to buy your first gun, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, try before you buy. Many gun ranges will rent guns that can be used in their range. Since all guns have a different feel, always try shooting the gun before spending hard-earned cash on it. Second, size matters. While many women might gravitate towards smaller guns, remember that the smaller the gun, the more recoil it will have. Try guns of all sizes, not just the smaller ones, to get a more accurate indication of what weapon is right for the intended purpose.
And third, do not get caught up in the caliber debate. As one of my recent articles suggests, an easy-to-shoot 22-caliber gun can be just as effective as a larger 45-caliber. Choose the caliber that is right for you, not the caliber that a 250-pound gun store clerk claims to be the “best”. I never want a gun of any caliber pointed at my head. Most criminals don’t either.
Gun ownership is no longer primarily a man-only game. Women recognize that some threats require deadly force. Do not let yourself become another victim. Women are arming themselves.
Maybe you should too.