I don’t get it. Why is everyone so surprised that more & more women are wanting to carry a concealed hand gun? In 2010 the Texas Department of Public Safety reported that 21.94% of all licenses issued were to women (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/PDF/2010Calendar/ByAge/CY10AgeLicApplIssued.pdf). As far as I am concerned, that number is way to small.
Women are still discriminated against, in the work place, in society, and yes, the gun range. I belong to the local range, Greenwood Gun Club, and am actually the director of women’s activities there. The majority of members (99.99% probably) are men. Now family members can use the range, so the club certainly does not discriminate with who can be on the range, but only recently did the club begin issuing membership cards to women. It isn’t that the male members of the board are not supportive of women, it is just a matter that there has never been enough women in the club to ask for a change of mind set. The guys have it now, and are incredibly supportive of women members.
So back to the CHL and women issue. I think one of the major reasons more women do not carry a concealed weapon is that we do not think in violent terms like men do. Most women I know (including me) have a very hard time thinking of having to use a lethal weapon against another human being. We are so opposed to that fact that we just refuse to participate in the idea of carrying that weapon concealed on us somewhere.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) reports that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape in their college years (http://www.now.org/issues/violence/stats.html). The Violence Policy Center reported on 1998 statistics of violent crimes against women and concluded that although 6.6 women in the U.S. at the time owned a gun, 1,200 women were murdered by handguns in the same year. So the conclusion by this organization is that more women were killed by a gun than those who own a gun, so therefore, owning a gun does not prevent murder (http://www.vpc.org/studies/myth.htm). Honest…I can’t make this stuff up!
So women are at high risk of being attacked, yet influential parties try to tell us that owning a gun is unsafe. Shannon Nass wrote in May of this year that women buying guns for protection is up 83% over previous years (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11107/1139929-358-0.stm). So it appears that the mood is changing. Women are deciding that owning a gun, and knowing how to use it is appropriate. Unfortunately, it is a sign of the times I suppose.
So if we are increasing our ownership of guns, it is important to learn how to use that tool, and to practice with it often. The next step is to be able to carry it concealed, offering even more protection. Find a CHL instructor in Texas, one who is knowledgable about women & firearms. One who won’t demean you, or act condescending. It seems pretty stupid for a man to act that way, since he knows that the women he is talking to does have some ability to knock some sense in him! But, still I have found many instructors who will not treat women with respect. When you find that right teacher, take the class, get your license, and protect yourself and your family as much as you can. We have come a long way with equality, this is one of our last frontiers…let’s get it done, ladies!