If you have recently spent time loitering the aisles of your local gun store (I’m guilty of this, Cro Arms in Oley has willingly stole more of my money than I’m proud to admit). I’m sure you’ve noticed that the men inside in the store are often outnumbered by the women. It should come as no surprise to hear this! According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, new gun owners are more likely to be female, as women accounted for nearly half of all gun purchases over the last two years. As a result, many of these new firearm owners are seeking the proper training and education to prepare themselves for a violent confrontation.
This training season, we have had more female students than male, and we are thrilled! In the firearms community, this is something that is long overdue. All too often there is a negative stigma around firearm training companies and their bootcamp-like classes, oozing with screaming, embarrassment & masculinity. While we try our best to appeal to those looking for such things in a class, we have also learned to adapt our curriculum to create a more welcoming environment for all. Dave and I are both fond of some low-brow humor and having a good laugh at a student’s expense, but it is all about balance.
Earlier in the Summer, we had a husband and wife sign up for our Introduction to Defensive Handgun class. Upon arrival, the wife was visibly overwhelmed and, therefore, hesitant. Despite her husband’s persistence and encouragement, she looked at her husband and said, “I’m going to F$#@%ing kill you.” After she enjoyed some complimentary coffee and a donut, she soon relaxed and was feeling much more optimistic about the day to come. Eight hours later, she had cuts on her fingers and blood on her elbows all while grinning ear-to-ear. She thanked us over and over for holding on to her coattail and guiding her through the day. She even referred Proper Defense to a handful of her friends! We are looking forward to training with her again soon.
The God’s honest truth? We would much rather teach women than men and not just because they’re easier on the eyes. Men tend to have big egos (shocking, I know!) We develop age-old habits from decades on the range and don’t like being told what to do; it’s just in our nature. Women, on the other hand, are attentive, curious, and receptive to criticism. Did I mention they’re also more pleasant to look at?