Opinion

Ladies, let's go gun shopping | Firearms Lawyer

This year, the day after Thanksgiving saw Americans finally getting back to the business Americans love: Shopping!

FBI statistics show that a new record was set during that one Friday for background check requests from gun buyers. There were 129,166 requests to the NICS. That was a third more than the previous all-time record of 97,848 on Black Friday 2008. On Black Friday last year, there were 87,061 requests.

Some of the buyers believe that stockpiling guns is a better way to prepare for hard times than gold. Nevertheless, many of those shopping for guns at several gun stores in the Federal Way area were almost certainly women purchasing guns for their own protection.

Federal Way’s local Armed Defense Training Association has been in contact with an instructor named Jennie at Rivendell Sales and Consulting in Kent. Jennie teaches women how to shoot. She owns and operates a store that markets to women who shoot.

I asked her what ladies need to know when they first decide to buy a gun. The first consideration, she stated, is not to let someone at a gun shop — or a well-meaning significant other — sell you a small gun that “you shoot once, it hurts and you put it away.”

Jennie said a woman needs her own gun that fits. “I have seen too many ladies with a gun that does not fit their hand, one that is too large a caliber for a beginner, or they are told at some gun shop that the itty-bitty gun is just the one for them. The gun that does not fit you right just goes unused and sits on a shelf.”

Jennie encourages her students to consciously make the decision to defend their own life. “If you are killed or severely injured, how will your family function without you?”

Of course, hardly anyone ever actually states that his or her own life is not worth defending. But, despite all the philosophical and political arguments, take the steps to get trained and actually get a gun into your hands. This demonstrates that you are prepared to fight back.

Jennie demystifies the “danger” of guns. She told me, “I have seen many ladies not even sure they want to touch a gun. Her students learn quickly that a gun does not go off by itself. Once a woman realizes that she can effectively and safely operate the efficient little safety device, fear goes away and smiles start to appear.”

However, too many women take a beginner class and think that they are ready to go out on the street and deal with all the legal, physical and emotional things that go with armed self-defense.

“In order to carry for self-defense, you have to make the commitment to train and practice,” Jennie explains. “Training generally teaches you a skill and how to practice that skill; practice needs to continue on a regular basis.” Jennie recommends competition to test skills, keep skills sharp and make training interesting and fun.

“The holster that fits a slim man will usually not work for a curvy lady.” Men behind the gun counter, who have absolutely no idea what a lady needs for shooting gear, are the reason why Jennie became an instructor and opened her gun shop. Apparently, in the world of women’s self-defense, most of the old wives’ tales are perpetuated by men.

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