Women and Guns: An Exercise in Learning to Shoot Well - ITS Tactical

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Women and Guns: An Exercise in Learning to Shoot Well

By Kelly Black

What’s more attractive than women and guns? Women with guns who shoot with accuracy and precision!

I had the privilege of visiting a local women’s hand gun league in June with my friend Maggi Andersee. Maggi serves as the Cowtown Pistol League Chairperson for Diva WOW, an organization run by women for women to improve their confidence, skills and knowledge level when it comes to outdoor sports.

Maggie was introduced to Diva WOW through her husband’s involvement in a local sporting club and has been a member for about two years. “I love shooting, the sport of it, and I saw a niche. Too many women at the range were intimidated by male teachers,” which is what led Maggi to become a licensed pistol instructor herself.

Diva WOW

Diva WOW has clinics and sporting events throughout the year that promote not only the skill development with pistols but also AR-15 rifles, shotguns, crossbows and many other shooting related activities. By participating in these types of clinics and leagues women are able to regularly practice their shooting skills and hone in what improvements might be needed for accuracy and confidence.

One of the things I liked about meeting the women in the Cowtown Pistol League is that there is a healthy level of competition and encouragement among the group. All of the ladies were friendly and supportive, and there was recognition for the top shooters as well as the ones who had improved the most.

Maggi’s level of experience and training enables her to provide instruction to those who might need help with form and technique. “Ladies are different at the range; sometimes they start out turning their pistol slightly [as they pull the trigger]. Seeing the confidence level increase [as form improves] is rewarding.” This is such an important detail for me since I’m not only looking for more practice and experience, but I also need fine tuning and honest critiquing that will help me to be a better shooter.

Changing your Mindset

I know we have ITS ladies who are already in the groove of shooting with precision. Some of these women are in law enforcement, some are military and some are civilians who’ve immersed themselves in shooting sports and/or self-defense training for any number of reasons. For too many years, before marrying Bryan, I was one of those women who thought guns outside of LE and military were for guys and hunting season. I didn’t give much thought to what I could do to protect myself and my family.

With that being said, I’ve had to work rather diligently over the past several years to get over my reservations when it comes to not only shooting a firearm, but also in regards to carrying. I’ll admit it’s been a slow process for me. Once my mindset became more tactically motivated I began consistently thinking about what I could do in order to be better prepared for self-protection.

For those women who might be trying to adopt a new way of thinking you may be asking how this transition happened for me. I started with just listening and observing, becoming receptive to the subject matter, probably without being noticed. My husband has consistently talked to our son and his friends about firearms, shooting skills and drills since I’ve known him. He makes time to meet up and shoot with friends on a regular basis. That’s a pretty good environment to provide exposure to the subject matter and promote learning.

As I heard bits and pieces of Bryan’s conversations I would sometimes go back and ask questions. I’d also ask to go to the range and then chicken out, but other times I would have the courage to follow through. More recently I’ve been asking lots of questions and initiating opportunities to look at gear and resources for a higher level of tactical learning. My brain has stopped looking at self-protection as just one of things I “should” do and now looking at it as something that has to be done.

Like-Minded Individuals

So now that my head’s in the right place, what’s next? For me it starts with associating with more like-minded women. Since the beginning of this year I’ve been determined to be more active in the learning process instead of being an inanimate sponge. I’ve found that most of my close friends aren’t comfortable talking about guns let alone heading out to the range with me to shoot. Recently I was invited by my friend and neighbor Sandra to visit a local gun range on Ladies Night, but that’s the only time an opportunity like that has presented itself to me outside of talking with Maggi. Granted, Sandra’s in law enforcement so she’s always thinking tactically, but that’s the kind of mindset I need to surround myself with more often.

Ladies, if you’re like me and you’re looking to improve your abilities and confidence, and you want a group of women to support your training, then just reach out. Fortunately we live in a country where this type of training is available to women across the nation. We just have to take the time to find out what is in our area and what will suit our needs best. Diva WOW was founded over 10 years ago in Texas, but has expanded their reach to other states with the training and events they offer. If Diva WOW isn’t convenient for where you live then ask for information on training for women at your local gun range or dealer. There are organizations all over America that can help you become more prepared.

Invest in yourself by investing time and effort into training. Perfection may not be achievable in every scenario, but I damn sure won’t fend off the wolf by standing around grazing with the sheep.

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  • Women are excellent shots; possibly better than men. I wish every sane law-abiding woman carried too. It would make for a much safer world.

    • Kelly Black

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m hoping more women come around to that way of thinking, too!

    • TORG Ind.

      Honestly I think this could be due to men being more stuborn than women. I’ve noticed women ask a million questions before shooting. The majority of men play the I know what I’m doing card. Almost as if men have to play the macho card, which that probably is.

      A few women I’ve been shooting with have been safer than their male counterparts. Keeping the thumb away from the rear of the slide. Finger off the trigger until they are ready to shoot. They keep it pointed down range more often. I’ve been muzzled by more men but thats probably just market penetration. More men shoot.

      Personally I feel than women tend to listen more when your explaining things to them. I’m a serious hater of the videos of women, probably girlfriends shooting their boyfriends largest gun with LITTLE TO NO instruction. At some point in the video she gets knocked over, hit in the head, or injured in some way. Thats absolutely no way to introduce women to the sport.

  • dale

    Women shooters. The greatest female shootist , anne oakley is buried near north star , ohio. She proves the skill women can have.

    • Kelly Black

      Thanks for checking out the article, Dale!

  • Michael

    As an airsoft buddy and retired UDT member said once in a conversation about how he got his wife involved with airsoft (among other things) since, she absolutely hated anything “tactical” (which made me wonder how come she married him in the first place): “I started with a theoretical lesson, taught her the basics of safe firearm handling and the next day, I took her to the range with me where she ashamed several guys from my old team – being her first time and all… The guys asked me where she was hidden… Just keep in mind that women for several reasons including their anatomy, make for better shooters and never think less of them.” That’s what he said and from the two times I’ve instructed a couple of ladies (a few years back when I was an IT student at the university and member of the 10m air rifle club), I concur… Women, if interested, make for awesome shooters… Not to mention how much better one feels when one is surrounded by people -and in this case women- that can take care of things should it becomes necessary… I mean, even if -for whatever reason- they can’t actively do something, their knowledge and training will keep them from making things worse by accidentally jumping into my line of fire at the worse possible moment for example…

    PS: Call it courtesy if you like but albeit ordinary citizens are virtually impossible to get a rifled-barrel firearm licence in Greece (where I live), active (obviously) and former military and LE don’t have such legal issues… Let’s just say they have ways of getting around them…

    • Kelly Black

      I appreciate your feedback on the article and the topic, Michael!

  • Sheep.Dog

    I just emailed this article to my wife and a few women that she works with that all wish to gain the expert marksmanship badge at their workplace. So far they liked the article. Hopefully they will start following your work here.

  • I have not known too many women who actually enjoyed shooting guns. All my experiences have been with girls who didn’t want to go shooting, did anyway and ended up out shooting everyone else. It has happened too many times to me.
    I made a video one time though of my wife trying to shoot a huge Civil War musket. Almost knocked her over:
    Nice post anyway!

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