Second Amendment Sisters: A choice for personal safety
Second Amendment Sisters: A choice for personal safety
By: Savannah Ludwig
When you consider the fierce competition between news organizations to grab the headlines with the most shocking content available, it’s no wonder most Americans think violent crimes are on the rise. Facts be told, they are not.
According to numerous sources, violent crimes in America are actually decreasing—and have been for a number of years. Reassuring, right!?!? Well, not really, because the reality is that at any given time, anyone can fall victim to random violence. As we’ve seen throughout the country, the most seemingly peaceful community can be ripped apart in an instant when the unthinkable happens; a lone gunman with no warning opens fire in some random place, forever changing the lives of those involved.
It is the fear of such a scenario that has sparked a national debate about how best to protect you and your family should such an unthinkable crime occur. And, what we feel is the driving force behind the rise in gun ownership by women.
In the past, we [FACE] have written personal safety articles with sensible tips and techniques on personal safety such as staying vigilant; shopping in groups, parking in well lit areas and keeping your cell phone handy should you need to call 911.
For this article, we wanted to take the conversation to the next level by addressing gun ownership as a means for personal safety. We’re not going to get into a Second Amendment debate, but as Americans we are blessed to have the freedom to make those personal choices for ourselves. For those who are anti-gun no matter what, we respect your choice. However, for those who are considering a firearm purchase or want to learn more about the subject of gun ownership, keep reading, there’s a lot to learn before you can make an informed decision on the subject.
NOW, the fact that you’re still reading should tell you something about yourself. Perhaps you already own a firearm, but you don’t know how to use it. Maybe you’ve thought about purchasing one for self defense but never knew where to start or perhaps you’ve found yourself in a personal or business situation where you are vulnerable to attack, such as when you make the daily deposits for your business. Or, if there’s been recent changes in your personal life and you find yourself dating or going out with new acquaintances.
The scenarios and reasons for gun ownership are different for everyone, which is why most experts recommend starting your journey by asking yourself a series questions. Such as:
- Why do I want to have a gun in my possession?
- Is gun ownership practical for my lifestyle?
- How would I protect myself if there was an intruder in my house?
- Would I really use a gun for self defense if I had to?
As women, these are really tough questions to ponder, because it means facing our vulnerabilities. For our own peace of mind we tend to assure ourselves that; "people are good" or "my neighborhood is safe" or "I’m always aware of my surroundings and can prevent something from happening." Of course we know that none of these things are completely true and it’s just unrealistic to think that law enforcement or a Good Samaritan can jump in to protect us in time, should something happen.
Natalie Foster, creator of Girls Guide to Guns summarizes the mentality of the emerging female shooter. She states, “Shooting gives us a sense of equality, a sense of safety, a sense of being in control of ourselves. That sense of control is empowering and is something we should seek in other aspects of our life.”
So you’ve asked yourself the tough questions and you’re still interested in moving forward?
The next step should be a little self education. Do some online research, just to familiarize yourself with a few terms, but don’t believe everything you read—the internet is filled with misinformation.
Here are a few trusted websites:
LA State Police (Hand Gun - Concealed): www.lsp.org/handguns.html
LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries (Hunting Education): www.wlf.louisiana.gov
NRA (National Rifle Assoc): www.women.nra.org
After you know a few basics like the difference between a handgun (pistol) and a long gun (rifle or shotgun), most experts agree your first stop should be to a local gun store with a trained staff. They can debunk the myths of gun ownership; give advice on available training and education in your area along with recommending specific firearms for your specific need and skill level.
This may seem a little intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. Think about it. If you’re too intimidated to walk into a gun store (and we don’t mean some big box store), do you really think you’ll have the courage to pull the trigger in a moment of crisis?
Taking our own advice, we [FACE] visited 3 local gun stores to ask their experts for advice on first time gun ownership, industry trends and what they thought women should know about the subject.
Our first stop was to Lafayette Shooters and Wilderness on Ambassador Caffery Parkway, where we spoke with Dan Jackson and Lauren Duhon. They stated that they have seen a spike in gun sales over the last six years or so. According to Dan, “when it hits close to home” [referring to recent incidents in Lafayette], that’s when we see an increase in sales. Lauren showed us some of the latest in fashionable purses and accessories for the concealed carry female. The purses are as stylish and include a special feature—a hidden compartment designed for safe keeping of a handgun that is also easy to access should you need your weapon quickly.
Our next visit was to Dave’s Gun Shop on Kaliste Saloom Road, where we met with store owner Jeremiah Deare [a retired Army Veteran], who we asked about the first steps a person should take in finding the right handgun for personal protection. Jeremiah stated that he and his staff make it a point to “fit a gun to a need”. When a female client walks into his store for the first time, they discuss whether the gun will be for self-defense, hunting, or sport shooting and they take it from there. Jeremiah mentions that often times the decision between the purchase of a revolver or semi-automatic weapon hinges on the strength of the user. Older women and those that are of smaller stature, tend to prefer the revolver because without the proper amount of strength and coordination, the slide on the semi auto is a bit difficult to maneuver.
Our last stop was to Distant Thunder USA. A women owned gun store on S. Morgan St. in Broussard, LA., where we met Angela Deere. Angela along with her business partner Mark Greneaux are both retired military. Angela likes to refer to Distant Thunder as a “boutique gun shop.” They are a smaller store that deals with a somewhat specialized clientele. Angela states that most women are apprehensive when they first walk into Distant Thunder USA, so before they even begin to talk purchase, they put a gun in the prospective buyer’s hand and let them get a feel for different types of pistols. Once it is deemed that the client is comfortable with the basic operations and styles, they begin to figure out what weapon is best for the buyer.
All three stores were very knowledgeable and offered great insight into what women should know and do when they become a gun owner.
Six things to consider before buying a gun.
Evaluate the Intended Use
Set a Budget
Should I purchase New or Used?
What Size and Caliber?
How does it Feel? Heavy, balanced???
Will I need a Concealed Carry Permit?
Gun ownership is one of the greatest responsibilities a woman can have. Gun ownership should not be a political decision but a personal one. You do have the right to own a firearm. Bear in mind, this article is not telling anyone to go out and get a gun, but should that be your choice, you should be well trained, outfitted properly and know all the laws as it pertains to your particular situation.
Article Sponsored By:
Lafayette Shooters 337-981-1193 www.lafayetteshooters.com
Dave's Gun Shop 337-232-6791 www.davesgunshoplafayette.com
Distant Thunder 337-366-1245 www.distantthunderusa.com
DOJ – Dept. of Justice - Office On Violence Against Women
ATF: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Louisiana State Police
NRA: National Rifle Association