Women and Guns: An Exercise in Learning to Shoot Well
Women and Guns: An Exercise in Learning to Shoot Well
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 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.
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.