Wednesday, October 7, 2015

No Pink Pistol Here; A Woman's Experience

The stereotype of shooting being a sport dominated by men is quickly being broken. More and more women across the country are taking firearms courses, becoming competitive shooters, buying firearms, and carrying daily for safety. They are "the next big thing" in shooting sports. We feature a story from one of our readers, Becky, who recently entered the gun community.

After much encouragement from my son, I enrolled in personal firearms training. Initially, I was reluctant and fearful. My thoughts toward guns were that they are dangerous and I was reluctant to handle them. An earlier incident of ‘slide bite’ didn’t help. My apprehension centered on ignorant fears that the gun may accidentally discharge and I was afraid of the recoil. Boy did my perspective change. 

My first lesson was with a .22 semi-automatic pistol. I told my instructor my fears and he demonstrated by dropping a loaded gun onto the shelf at the range and explained in a firm tone “The gun will not go off unless you pull the trigger.” He handed me the gun. I flinched with every shot all through my first lesson. I seriously had second thoughts about going to another lesson and I am sure my instructor had reservations as well. I shot the .22 for the first three lessons, arms out slightly bent at the elbows thinking, This is the gun for me. At my next lesson I was introduced to my instructor’s Glock 17, which holds 17 rounds of 9mm. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with this gun.

After entering the lane for my lesson, there was a target still up from the last shooter.  I had to wad it up and throw it out so no one would think it was me who shot so poorly. Over the weeks, I quickly progressed from basic to advanced techniques. When I first shot using the Center Axis Relock system, the spent shell hit me in the head and it was a little unsettling.  Once I became more comfortable shooting and looking through the sights, I’m actually a darn good shot and I hit the target in the kill zones. I have felt elated after leaving the range and I am proud of myself.

I also shot a revolver, a really big revolver. I was a bit hesitant anticipating the kick but it wasn’t bad to shoot, just a heavy piece of metal. I also shot the AR-15 and boy, did I like it. No kick and impossible to miss your target. After shooting the AR, I said I want a chair and a table that both fully rotate so that if need be, I can sit inside my house and shoot 360 degrees covering all entry points.

After ten lessons, I bought a 9mm and I continue to practice. I am now training for conceal carry and continue with personal defense courses. I could not care less when a spent shell flies in my hair or down my shirt. I know what a smoking gun looks like and have felt the heat.  Mostly, I wish would have done this years ago. It’s a fun challenge to hit the target and being able to handle a gun and hitting the target is a great confidence builder.
Get educated on gun safety. Women need a way to defend themselves as they are more likely to be victims of personal assault crimes (check statics on this one). My lady friends with guns carry when they travel alone. Many keep revolvers by their bedside.  They have also taught their children and grandchildren how to shoot. The main reason I own a gun is for personal safety, piece of mind, and security. Also consider if you travel any distance by vehicle, live alone, and your neighborhood.

Many women are better shooters than men (from my instructor). You will gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. You could do target practice as a stress reliever. Shooting is fun!

You may also like: Vegas Woman Shoots Stalker

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