Should Women Learn To Handle Guns?

Posted on February 16th, 2012 by Maggie Castrey

I met Kathy Johnson when I enrolled in a two-day Tactical Handgun course at the APT firearms academy she and her husband operate here in the Ozarks. In addition to being a co-owner, Kathy is a personal safety specialist who is proficient in gun-fighting and an instructor in women’s safety.The course was worthwhile but exhausting for me because I felt very tense with the responsibility of having and using a gun. I feel strongly the importance of personal safety but it was hard to handle the noise of weapons training. I felt a very positive connection with Kathy, who also offers classes for women in concealed weapons and handling guns.
I will go back, and next time I will take a course just for women. I expect I will find it less intimidating than being around bunch of macho guys! I asked Kathy to write something for WomenSpeak about personal safety for women. Here is her article.

Personal Protection for Women Helps Them Stay Safe

As women we constantly hear how we can empower ourselves, we are smart and capable of doing anything we set our minds to but when it comes to the subject of protecting oneself with a firearm most women tend to shy away from it. Because of fear or lack of knowledge or believing the media’s propaganda that guns are bad, it is easier to think it best to avoid or even outlaw such “evil devices.” Therefore, less effective ways are chosen for self protection. Yes, martial arts training, pepper spray and tasers help, but in the land of self defense the pistol is king. A woman well trained in awareness and a handgun is a formidable creature.
The key to security is awareness first. Controlling one’s environment to the best extent is next, including tactics such as: where and how you park your car, choosing your seating in a restaurant and mental preparation for an assault. To be truly empowered a woman must be able to live her life without fear of physical attack. Although security can never be guaranteed, training in personal security and firearms can really enhance her ability to survive an encounter.
Since children, we have been taught that if you are on fire you must stop, drop and roll. If a building is on fire you must exit the building and we know to wear seat belts while riding in a car and a helmet when riding a bike. But if we find ourselves being assaulted, we are taught to call 911 or kick the attacker in the crotch, which rarely works. My husband, a S.W.A.T. Commander for a Sheriff’s Department, always says, “The police are only minutes away when seconds count.”
In closing, knowledge is power. The knowledge and training in the safe and effective use of a firearm has saved countless lives. We need to get away from the mentality that guns are bad and viewing someone who is security conscious as paranoid. Learning more about firearms for protection and getting the proper training is a very good option.
Remember, the right to keep and bear arms is our second amendment but our first freedom. That is something we must embrace.

by Kathy Johnson, Personal Safety Specialist


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