We are living in a time that is marked by change. In every aspect and on every level, life is not what it used to be. For women, today’s new reality requires some major changes.One significant change is the woman’s journey from being “the protected” to becoming “the protector”.
For women this new reality leads them on a journey into the the foreign world of guns and into role of self protector. I found myself in this role as a then single woman with my youngest child having flown the nest. I came to the realization that I was vulnerable and I wanted to do something about it. That is when a friend of mine took me shooting. I remember well the fear and excitement I felt as I held that semi-automatic pistol in my hand. After the first shot I knew I had found the solution to my self protection problem and a fun new activity. I began my search for resources and products to help me become equipped, more knowledgable and being prepared to defend myself.
It was then that I took on the intimidating journey of navigating the foreign land, language and equipment of firearms. This new task on its own is imposing. Now add to the mix a predominantly male environment with a testosterone fog as thick as a San Francisco morning, and we are talking intimidation on steroids! I had nowhere to go, or I should say nowhere I was comfortable going. My online searches brought slim results that lacked the depth and respect I craved as a woman. I wasn’t yet prepared to go to the shooting range or gun store and my search for products made for me as a woman revealed they didn’t exist. It was time for things to change.It was out of this frustration that I started The Well Armed Woman. My mission was to provide a comprehensive, intelligent and respectful web resource to educate, equip and empower woman shooters. A powerful community of like minded woman was born and women were beginning to navigate their journey toward self protector a little easier.
What quickly became very clear was that women were also hungry for the experience of shooting a firearm and for the opportunity to try different guns, calibers and ask questions. They were eager to train and grow proficient with their handguns but needed a comfortable, safe and non-intimidating environment.
With this in mind I posted the idea on The Well Armed Woman Facebook page asking if women would be interested in such a program. What has happened since I hit the “Post” button has been nothing short of astonishing. Within 48 hours The Well Armed Woman National Chapter program was born. There are now more than 220 chapters in 49 states with thousands of members. Ranges all over the country are partnering with us, eager to host a chapter and to greet and welcome their local woman shooters.
Each shoot has group time for discussion on topics important to women shooters such as how to clean your handgun and finding the right concealed carry holster for their needs. The women also spend time on the range practicing and honing their shooting skills. We see women of all ages begin with nothing but a fear of guns and watch them transform into confident and competent self protectors. The smiles and glow of their new found confidence is priceless. One elderly woman shared that she lost her husband and he was always her protector but now TWAW is going to give her the confidence she needs to start her new life without him. One participant in Michigan was found at the door in tears . When asked why she was crying and leaving, she shared that she would never be able to learn to shoot, that her hands hurt so much, she just wasn’t strong enough and would never try shooting again. She had come to the shoot with a large .357 that her husband had bought for her. The Chapter Leader tenderly encouraged her to come and try again, this time she was given a .22 caliber handgun. After shooting the rest of the night she proudly showed off the tight grouping that she had made in the center of the target with a huge grin on her face.
This is what The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters are all about and why we are here for you. I invite you to join the fun, meet some great like minded woman and grow as a shooter!
“Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.” ~Faith Whittlesey
TWAW Shooting Chapters is a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization, please consider supporting our efforts to empower women and change lives.
Donations can be mailed to:
TWAW Shooting Chapters, Inc.
7762 E. Gray Rd. Suite 600
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
To donate online - Click herehttp://twawshootingchapters.org/donation
Carrie Lightfoot - Founder
TWAW Shooting Chapters Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization