After three years in Douglas County, I am used to mornings starting at 4 a.m. My most expensive footwear is a pair of Danner boots. I know how to package fresh elk and deer (cough), I have changed my voting party (cough, cough), and I understand that you don’t plan anything with your husband in the months of September through November because it’s hunting season.
Recently, however, I may have just put the icing on my country-fried cake. I am now certified by the National Rifle Association and Roseburg Rod and Gun Club as a knowledgeable and responsible firearm handler. I’m also eligible for my concealed carry permit.
Girlfriends, don’t fret. I haven’t completely changed. I will still carry my beloved Kate Spade purse — I’ll just be packing some heat with it.
It was more than a year ago my husband brought me home a brochure. He was thrilled there was a handgun class just for women.
Thrilled until I looked at him and broke out in laughter at the brochure photo. It was trying to look like an Angelina Jolie movie poster, with a woman’s bright red fingernails gripping a pistol and pointing it at the reader.
But I gave it a lot of thought. I concluded that even though I wasn’t completely comfortable with firearms, and I wasn’t raised with them, they are a part of my husband’s life. They are therefore part of our life and our home.
I went from “Yeah, right!” to man’s favorite phrase: “Yes, Honey, you were right.”
I enrolled in the basics of personal protection in the home as well as an introduction to firearms and safety for women. Like a high-schooler, I got a girlfriend to take it with me at the Roseburg Rod & Gun Club.
Expecting to just grow a little chest hair, learn a thing or two, and blow off some steam, I graduated from the class with an entirely new attitude toward firearms. I also got an education on laws and safety and useful tools and tactics on self-defense. Along with that came confidence not only in operating and carrying a firearm, but if need be, using it to protect myself and my family.
I left profoundly affected by the knowledge that Americans have been given the right to bear arms. But with that right comes a huge responsibility to exercise it with safety and discretion.
It is not the firearm that is dangerous; it is the person handling it.
Furthermore, safety, protection and self-defense are not issues that should be taken lightly or brushed off with an it-can’t-happen-to-me attitude. As women and mothers, we need to educate and train ourselves. We need to be prepared for all situations.
Take advantage of the people such as the helpful instructors at The Roseburg Rod & Gun Club who give their time, personal experiences and years of knowledge so you can be educated and know your options.
Visit www.rrgclub.org for a calendar of classes offered, including the course designed for women.
The Facts on Firearms and Females
- The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that gun stores in 2009 logged a 73 percent increase in female customers, with more than 80 percent of them purchasing guns for self-defense.
- According to the National Sporting Goods Association, more women went shooting (4.9 million) than skiing and snowboarding combined (4.8 million) in 2010.
- In 2011, the National Rifle Association taught more than 10,000 women how to shoot.