Women and Guns is proud to announce the revival of the Scarlet Pistols Shooting Group! Beginning July 3, 2017, and every Monday there after, any woman who previously attended any of our shooting classes is welcome and encouraged to attend. Our goal is to encourage women to practice the skills they learned in class while enjoying an afternoon of fun with other women.
We will meet at the New Lakewood Shooting Range, 2:00pm is our target start time, but late arrivals are fine, (we realize traffic can be a factor). The range is open until 9:00pm. The range fee for ladies is $12.50 per lane, $10 for an additional shooter sharing the same lane. Friends and family are welcome to attend, but must be 18 years or older, and have some basic firearms safety training to join our group.
Women and Guns will provide tips to improve your shooting techniques. Bring your own guns and ammunition, or plan to rent a gun at the range and purchase ammunition and targets. If it is your first time to the range, there will be a short safety video and the usual paperwork to complete before you start shooting. Depending on the turn out, we may even have a “just for fun” shooting competition!
If you missed the Facebook post or are not on our email list, there is still time to RSVP and attend our first Women and Guns Student Reunion at the new Lakewood Shooting Range! Show up at 6:30 for registration and safety briefing. Shoot from 7-8pm, just $12.50. for ladies. Free instruction and targets. Bring your own guns and ammo, rent one at range, or borrow one of ours. Friends and family welcome! Questions? Send me an email or message me on Women and Guns Facebook page. See you at the range!
Would you like to attend a class, but can’t seem to find the right class, at the right location, at the right time? Women and Guns now offers an option to host a class at your location. Tuition can be as low as $35 person, depending on number of students attending class. Host attends for free! (Minimum tuition applies.)
For more information and registration, please visit our website here: Women and Guns
Thank you, Lori, for sharing your personal experiences. People everywhere should read your post. Although your experiences center around race, I can’t help but relate to some of your feelings simply because I am a woman. A white woman. Being dismissed for race or gender by another human being is simply unacceptable. It holds us back as a society. At our training school, we teach women the skills to be safe and how to utilize guns if needed, and are often looked upon by our male counterparts and gun owners as being inferior or unqualified. It is exhausting at times.
Yesterday I was tagged in a post by an old high school friend, asking me and a few others a very public, direct question about white privilege and racism. I feel compelled not only to publish his query but also my response to it, as it may be a helpful discourse for more than just a handful of folks on Facebook.
Here’s his post:
“To all of my Black or mixed race FB friends, I must profess a blissful ignorance of this “White Privilege” of which I’m apparently guilty of possessing. By not being able to fully put myself in the shoes of someone from a background/race/religion/gender/ nationality/body type that differs from my own makes me part of the problem, according to what I’m now hearing. Despite my treating everyone with respect and humor my entire life (as far as I know), I’m somehow complicit in the misfortune…
The creation of many different websites, blogs, and Facebook pages dedicated to encouraging female shooters and support of the 2nd amendment is a great testimony to the increased involvement of women in a gun society that has always been dominated by men. This is a big step for women, and I am very pleased to see things changing in this way. That being said, this fact also raises some serious concerns in my mind. These concerns are not unique to women, but also apply to the gun owning community in general. But today my focus is on the female gun owners or those considering the purchase of a gun.
Since the inception of my Women and Guns blog, (and subsequenttraining school), I have always placed great emphasis on personal safety and planning. Without proper training and preparation, the gun can be a dangerous tool to employ in any emergency. Simply put, “The gun does not keep you safe.” This statement is repeated at the beginning of every class I teach. This is often met with a look of confusion on the faces of many of my students. After all, they paid their registration fee and showed up for class to “learn how to shoot”, with thoughts of possessing a gun as being the much needed solution to all of their personal and home safety needs. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When dealing with any threat, whether it be created by mother nature, or initiated by a human with criminal intent to harm you , proper preparation in advance of the event has been proven to be the most effective way to survive and minimize damage. Preparation is the most effective tool. As instructors, these skills should be the first and most important skills taught to current and future gun owners – before encouraging women to buy, shoot and carry guns. (Gun retailers will surely hate me for making this statement.) Oh well. I could write an entire article on the manner in which gun store employees conduct themselves. Maybe another time.
The First 4 Hoursof every class I teach is spent on awareness, observation skills, avoiding violence, and developing and implementing home, automobile and personal safety plans with the goal of preventing violent criminal confrontations.I refer to this as their MAP. (I would prefer more hours be spent on this subject).
As instructors, these skills should be the first and most important skills taught to current and future gun owners – before encouraging women to buy, shoot and carry guns.
Most, if not every student that has made the decision to take a gun class has done so because they no longer feel safe. Some have already been victimized, other’s are hoping to avoid becoming a victim. Some simply state they feel it is time. They may have husbands with a safe full of guns at home, none of which they have ever touched. It is not unusual to meet students that are realtors, live alone, or have husbands that are currently deployed. More and more seniors, (often widows), are coming to class. Their safety and the safety of their loved ones’s is the number one reason they have decided to buy or learn to shoot a gun. I am grateful they have made the decision to take a Basic Handgun Class. I am also aware their first class should not be their last class. Sadly, this will be the case for many women. Not only in my classes, but in other classes across the country. The reasons are many: financial, not enough time, not a priority, and others. We can’t force people to seek out additional training.
With rights come responsibilities. Including instructor responsibilities – you are responsibly for the consequences of the advice you give. A gun is a great equalizer in the hands of a trained woman. It can also be a tool to do great harm to innocents, (including the gun owner), should it not be handled and stored correctly. Common sense is not a given. No one is born knowing how to safely handle, operate, store and employ a gun in every situation. (Guys, that includes you.) Anti-gun supporters will use every negligent incident to further their cause.
This is why it is so important to teach these women the skills of Mindset, Awareness and Preparation. I refer to this skill set as theirMAP. With a good MAP, you will know where to go and how to get there. Should things ever get to the point of needing the gun, maybe, just maybe, a basic knowledge of gun operation learned in a basic gun class will be enough. I would much rather see a women be able to avoid a violent criminal encounter by employing their MAP skills, than having to use deadly force to stop her attacker. Wouldn’t you?
To learn more about personal safety, self defense and firearms training classes, go to our website at www.womenssafedefense.com
Anything that encourages women to get involved in shooting, even pink camo, is a good thing. Why not? Safety is most important, not color.
Hunting in Pink: New York Adds Another Color for Safety (and to Attract More Women)
By CHRISTOPHER MELEAUG. 12, 2016
Pink is the new orange for young hunters in New York, who can now wear the color for safety under an updated law that advocates said was meant to attract more women and girls to a sport dominated by men.
The law previously required junior hunters — 14- or 15-year-olds — and their adult mentors to wear a shirt, jacket or cap with at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned fluorescent orange visible in all directions. The change allows them to wear solid or patterned fluorescent pink instead of the traditional blaze orange.
The new law, which went into effect on July 21, was part of a broader movement to get women involved in hunting, said Bill Gibson, legislative vice president for the New York State Council.
Similar legislation enacted this year in Wisconsin was criticized as sexist and playing to gender stereotypes. Sarah Ingle, president of that state’s Women’s Hunting and Sporting Association, told National Geographic that the change felt “demeaning” to women.
There was little sign of that concern in New York. The bill was sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie, a Republican from Oswegatchie. A memo with the legislation said that by offering young hunters a color choice, “more women may be encouraged to join in this time-honored tradition.”
Lin Menninger, 63, of Canastota, N.Y., an avid hunter, endorsed the introduction of pink, saying that it would make hunting “a little more inviting” for girls.
“I think the pink is awesome; even the young girls like that,” said Ms. Menninger, who has hunted in South Africa and wrestled baby elk in Wisconsin to put radio collars on them for research.
“This whole thing with the pink is a no-brainer to me,” he added.
Nationally, women made up 11 percent of the 13.7 million people who hunted, according to federal government data from 2011. In New York, more than 51,000 of the 570,000 licensed hunters are women, according to the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The number of female hunters has increased over the past decade to 9 percent, from 7 percent, of all licensed hunters, the department said.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, a Democrat from Forestburgh, a sponsor of the legislation, said in a statement that the updated law was important to ensuring safety and “attracting the next generation into the great outdoors.”
Retailers have been out in front of the trend by offering more pink-colored gear, including firearms and clothing, Mr. Gibson, of the New York State Conservation Council, said.
Katie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for the outdoors-gear retailer Bass Pro Shops, said hunting was increasingly being seen as a family activity. For instance, single mothers want to learn so they can take their sons, she said.
“Some women appreciate having pink options, though many women have told us they don’t necessarily care to wear pink and are more concerned with fit and performance in the field,” she added.
Dr. Majid Sarmadi, a professor of textile science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reported that blaze orange offered a good contrast in the woods in the spring and summer, but that pink was better in the autumn because of the orange found in fall leaves.
Mr. Ladd said pink was technically as good as orange for hunting because deer are believed to be colorblind.
Ms. Menninger, the hunter, said some women find participating in a male-dominated sport intimidating.
“Actually, I think a lot of guys give off an air that they don’t want women around,” she said. “You do have these men who do not like these women shooting these guns, shooting these pistols.”
Ms. Menninger said, however, that she had seen the number of female hunters increase by “quite a bit” in her region over the past five years as more programs sought to introduce them to hunting, shooting, fishing and other outdoor activities.
Gus Van Etten, president of the Saugerties Fish and Game Club, about 45 miles south of Albany, which has about 400 members, the majority men, said, “The more young women you can draw in, the better.”
Would Mr. Van Etten, a competitive shooter who hunts occasionally, consider wearing pink while hunting? He paused and laughed.
“I think I could stick with my traditional color,” he said.
Know what drives me crazy? When certain gun people get all cranky and attitudinal about new(er) shooters using the wrong word to describe some piece, part, or technique. If you’ve visited enough gun stores, you might have been the victim of this type of snobbery:
Joe or Jane Customer: “Hi! I need to buy a clip for my Glock!”
Cranky and attitudinal gun store clerk: “Sorry, we don’t have any Glock clips.”
Of course, the cranky and attitudinal gun store clerk knows the gun part the customer wants—a device that holds ammo in a Glock pistol—but because it wasn’t properly referred to as a magazine, he’s too snobbish to overlook the incorrect use of gun terminology.
The same thing happens with ammunition. Some people talk about buying or shooting “bullets,” while others use bigger words like “cartridge.”
The short explanation is that a bullet is just one part of a cartridge, so they’re not technically the same.
Personally, I don’t care if you call the stuff you load into your gun bullets or cartridges—I’m just happy you’re out shooting!—but in the interest of education and accuracy, it seems like a good idea to explore the whole topic and get really clear on what’s what.
And while we’re clarifying these terms, we can go a bit deeper and discuss exactly how a cartridge works and its exact relationship to a bullet.
All three are .44 Magnum cartridges, but each has a different bullet type.
Anatomy of a CartridgeA cartridge is the proper term for a single round of ammunition. A modern cartridge includes four components: primer, case, powder, and bullet.
PRIMER: The primer is where all the action starts. It’s the small round metal object located in the center of the base of the cartridge. Just like the caps for a toy cap gun, a primer is filled with a chemical compound that explodes when it’s smashed. So when the firing pin—a rod that’s driven forward when you pull the trigger—impacts and dents the base of the primer, the compound inside of the primer explodes. This (relatively) small conflagration creates a flame that is directed through a small hole and into the main body of the cartridge case, igniting the powder. (More on that in a bit.)
CASE: The case is the container that holds the powder. Think of the case as a container of sorts for all the other things that make up a cartridge. The primer fits into a small pocket at the base of the case; the powder resides inside of it; and the bullet is seated at the opposite open end of the cartridge case.
The case is the part that is flung out of your semi-automatic gun (or dropped or extracted from your revolver or bolt-action rifle) after you fire.
These are all .30 caliber bullets, yet each has a different weight and shape for different purposes.
Cases are made of brass, steel, or aluminum, though some companies are successfully making cases out of polymer, more commonly known as plastic.
POWDER: If you shake a cartridge, you’ll feel and hear something akin to sand rustling around inside. That’s the powder. Called “propellant” by gun geeks, it’s a specially formulated compound that burns really, really fast—faster than rocket fuel, or even marshmallows over a hot fire. In fact, it burns so fast that many people assume it explodes. We don’t need to get into the technicalities here, just know that this rapidly burning powder doesn’t technically explode. Rather, the fast burn creates hot, expanding gas that develops a lot of pressure really quickly inside of the cartridge.
All that gas has to go somewhere, so it follows the path of least resistance and pushes the bullet out of the case and down the barrel. As the powder burns, and pressure builds, the bullet moves ever faster down the barrel until it escapes the confines of your gun. The pressurized gases that escape the barrel just behind the bullet are what make a gun go BANG!
While we’re on the topic of burning powder, I’d like to note that we’re talking about really high levels of pressure. To put things in perspective, if you ride a spiffy racing bike, you know the tires are really hard because they’re pumped chock-full of air—somewhere between 80 and 130 pounds per square inch of air pressure. While that seems like a lot, it’s nothing compared to even a low-powered ammunition cartridge. The .45 ACP load operates at pretty low pressure compared to other handgun cartridges, and even those generate between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds of pressure per square inch! Rifle cartridges like the .223 Remington used in AR-type guns hover around 55,000 pounds per square inch. By my math, I figure that’s about 611 racing bike tires crammed into that tiny little rifle cartridge.
A disassembled cartridge. Left to right: Primer, cartridge case, powder (propellant), and bullet (projectile).
BULLET: At this point, the bullet part is pretty self-explanatory. It’s the only part of the cartridge that travels forward when you fire the gun. Also called the projectile, the bullet is what does the work downrange.
Bullets are made from different materials and come in various shapes and sizes. Most handgun bullets have a copper exterior (called the jacket) that surrounds a lead core. However, some bullets are made entirely from lead, while others might be made entirely from copper. The reason for these differences might be cost, or the desire for a specific effect when the bullet hits something.
Different bullets in the same caliber family might also be shaped very differently, depending on how you want them to behave. Rifle bullets for long-range shooting will be long and skinny, making them more aerodynamic and less affected by the wind. Self-defense or hunting bullets might be constructed in such a way as to expand when they strike their target. Match or competition bullets might get extra special attention during manufacturing to ensure that they are perfectly shaped, and each one is identical to the others. That ensures that each shot will hit exactly where it’s supposed to, assuming the shooter executes the shot the same way each time.
Primers are located in the base of the cartridge case and serve to turn the impact energy of the firing pin into chemical energy via ignition of the propellant.
In some ways, the difference between the cartridge and the bullet is like the difference between a Saturn V rocket and the command module. With the Saturn V, there’s a whole lot of stuff below the capsule that serves no other purpose other than to get those folks in the capsule to wherever they’re going. In that respect, cartridges are like rockets: they’re a collection of components that, together, achieve the goal of launching a bullet or projectile downrange.
So head to the range and enjoy an afternoon of shooting cartridges!
One of the most frequent questions that I get as a CWP instructor and former police officer is what to do if stopped by a police officer while legally carrying a concealed handgun. The answer depends on the local and state laws where you live, but I think that most situations merely call for a little common sense.
You have to understand that when a police officer approaches a vehicle, they have no idea what they are going to encounter. It may be a 16 year old girl crying because it is the first time she has been stopped, or it may be someone who just robbed a bank who has made up his mind that he is not going to jail. Every traffic stop has the potential to be deadly, and every officer has been through hours of training reminding them of just how serious of a situation it can be.
So what does this mean if you get stopped while carrying? The first thing is that you have to do to make the situation easy and clear for the officer. Pull off the side of the road far enough, if possible, to give the officer enough room to approach your vehicle without having to worry about oncoming traffic. Roll your window down, place both hands on the steering wheel and leave them there until told to do otherwise. The first thing the officer is going to want to see is your hands, because that is where any threat is going to come from. If it is dark outside, take the added step of turning on your vehicle’s interior light; it is just one more thing that shows you’re looking out for his safety. I will tell you from experience that approaching a dark car with blackened windows is not fun. It’s common courtesy as a CWP holder to remove as many perceived threats as possible from the situation.
This is not the time to start digging in your glove box or center console for your insurance card or wayward registration. To an approaching officer, that looks surprisingly like someone reaching for a gun. This is especially true in states that allow one to carry a pistol there legally without a carry permit.
This is also not the time to jump out of your vehicle and walk back towards the officer. Although your tag number, vehicle description and location should already have been called in before the blue lights come on, there may be radio communications occupying his or her attention. Seeing a driver exit their vehicle and start walking back raises all kinds of warning alarms as the officer thinks back to their training on how many deadly encounters started that way.
Once the officer approaches and begins speaking with you, make sure that he/she knows what you’re going to do. Tell them where your hands are going and why. The officer should be giving very specific directions to control your actions, so do exactly as told. If there is a reason why you can’t follow instructions, you should calmly explain why. For instance, in South Carolina it is perfectly legal to carry a loaded handgun in the glove box whether or not you have a concealed carry permit. If you’re doing that, you don’t want to reach over and open the glove box only to have a gun appear unexpectedly. It is better to say, “Officer, I have a handgun in the glovebox; how do you want me to get my registration that is stored there?” This is not the time to say, as has happened to me, “I’ve got a gun!” That driver found out that I too was carrying that fine day, and they weren’t too happy to be shown what my handgun looked like.
If asked for your identification, let the officer know where it is and what you have to do to retrieve it. This is the perfect time to explain that you’re a CWP holder, that you are armed, and where your handgun currently is. Many states have made it mandatory to provide your CWP permit with your license during a traffic stop. Just make sure that when you mention CWP, firearms, or anything else that could be perceived as a threat, that your hands are clearly visible, your voice is calm, and you don’t do anything without letting the officer know before hand.
Always keep in mind that a diminishing number of police officers are experienced and/or active shooters. They carry a handgun only because it is required for their job. Also, it is sad to say that many officers have no idea what the CWP laws are in their own state. I mention this in case things don’t go as you plan. This is not the time to argue. The officer controls the traffic stop from start to finish. Let him/her do that. Any issues can be dealt with through a supervisor after the fact.
If you follow the above guidelines, you’ll find that the majority of officers will show appreciation for it. They will recognize the efforts that you took, and it may even influence how they handle the initial reason for the stop. I can tell you that it influenced how I handled them. A CWP holder identifying themselves always relieved my apprehensions on a stop, for I knew up front that they had already passed a background check, had been through training, and presented little threat during a stop. Rather than raising tensions, it eased them.
One last word. If you carry, make sure that you know the laws in your jurisdiction, and make sure that, unless directed otherwise, your handgun stays out of view during a traffic stop.