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"Get a G.R.I.P. Ladies"

Women Pulling the Trigger - Wallstreet Journal - Novemeber 2011

    The secret is out: We ladies have entered the gun world, and we're inviting our friends.  This isn't a brand new concept, we've been taking classes and winning competitions for years; But the media makes it seem as though we've all started standing up to pee.
    Shooting is a fun sport, it's not hard or expensive to try and guns have the added benefit of helping women take responsibility for their own protection.  So why wouldn't we  shoot?  (Because we lack a penis? No, that's why we sit down...)  Actually, its been said that without the distraction of testosterone pumping through us, women are able to be calmer, more accurate shooters.
    What is news, is the fact that the male-dominated gun community is just beginning to take notice.  The marketing machine is probably getting a jump start as you read this, and it is about to begin spewing “feminine gun products” at us left and right.  While I will continue to help you sort through those items, today I focus on the heart of the matter: 
Woman are serious about guns and shooting.

          Early on Saturday morning I sat in on a woman-only, defensive handgun course, "Get a G.R.I.P. Ladies Level I" taught by Archangel Tactical at Sandy Springs Shooting Range.  Nikki Spencer and Mike Rainwater, the G.R.I.P. instructors and owners of Archangel Tactical LLC, understand that shooting is a different experience for women.  During the lesson Nikki acknowledged that sometimes, by correcting a student, she may be contradicting what, long ago, that woman was taught by her grandfather or father.  She meant no disrespect though.  It's not that these men were wrong, but for a woman to properly handle a gun, she has to work with
her physiology and mentality.  Some of the first lessons include a stance and grip, which take into consideration a woman's center of gravity.
A woman-only class, isn’t just taught differently, it’s also a different environment.  The class of ten ladies encompassed all ages, races, nationalities and experience levels.  A few had grown up around guns, a couple brought their own, about half had never touched a gun prior to the class, but all were sponges for the lesson.
As they progressed from the classroom discussion to the firing line, all ten women seemed comfortable handling both revolvers and pistols.  They also seemed impressed with themselves as they compared their paper targets and began to asses which type of weapon they preferred.  Instead of becoming competitive, the ladies taught each other and raised topical questions, often pushing the limits of what the six hour course could cover.
The last part of the hands-on activities included entering the range, moving past the benches, and facing three photo-realistic paper targets in succession.  (Even for a “range-rat”, like myself, this was a major treat.)  The beauty of this part of the lesson was that coupled with accurate shooting, emphasis was placed on how to manage a dangerous situation, prior to pulling the trigger.  I am happy to report: Not one member of the class was a victim of the paper target, each proved her understanding of “center-mass” and by the end of the day, the class was applauding each shooter.  Though Nikki and Mike ended the class on this high note, I got the sense that many of these women had caught the bug...They couldn’t wait to shoot again.
By noon on a Saturday, Sandy Springs Gun Club was filling up, and through the window between the range and the lobby, men watched the class and drooled.  It may have been due to the “candy” in the window, but they were definitely jealous of the experience the ladies were enjoying.
My experience this weekend inspired two more articles that are currently in the works.  Be sure to check back soon.



Anonymous said...

Hi Gabrielle! It was good meeting you at the class on Saturday. What a nice write up! - Alicyn

Anonymous said...

Check out another great blog post by @packingpretty: A NOTE TO SOCIETY ON WOMEN WITH GUNS fb.me/1eQJe4TkI

Anonymous said...

I think marketing (male oriented?) geared toward women carrying their gun in a purse is troublesome since most crooks target the purse (on the run) hence carrying your weapon with them?!

Anonymous said...

A blog written by Mike:

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