Saturday, March 29, 2014

MS: Women, Police, and Firearms Safety

Women are becoming an important part of what is known as American Gun Culture 2.0.   In American Gun Culture 1.0, the gun was primarily the province of men, used for hunting,  home defense, and defense of the community in time of war. 

In American Gun Culture 2.0, women are embracing the empowerment and independence that comes with the gun culture.  Fathers are teaching daughters how to shoot equally with sons.   Many women are finding that the joys of hunting transcend sexual stereotypes.    Target shooting and competition is supplementing and supplanting hunting.   Carrying outside the home is becoming as important as protection inside the home.   The political importance of firearms ownership is recognized and embraced.

Every firearms instructor that I talk to has the same experience  of teaching women to shoot: they do not have the macho baggage of the male ego and guns.   They listen.  They follow instructions.    On average, they make better students and fine shots.   This has been my personal experience as well.

While women are often less combative than men, and show a greater hesitancy in using deadly force, it all changes when you mention children.  A woman may claim that she would never shoot someone.   Ask her if she would shoot someone who threatens the rape and death of her child.   Then she confirms Kipling's poem "The female of the species is more deadly than the male."

As greater numbers of women are becoming gun owners, more police departments are offering training targeting women.  In Mississippi, the Picayune Police Department held its first Firearm Safety Course for women on Monday, 24 March, 2014.  The class was limited to 20 participants.  From the  

Due to the high demand for the class, Capt. Carlisle will be holding five separate classes for 20 people each, in the upcoming weeks, and will be holding another registration upon completion of these classes.
Over a hundred women is a significant number when you consider that Picayune's population is under 11,000.

John Lott says that the people who benefit the most from the spread of concealed carry permits are urban minority women.   While Picayune is not urban, Stephanie Carter notes that in Texas, the fastest growing demographic of concealed handgun permit holders is Black women.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

Actually on the average women don't make better students than men. Women go through a filtration process that men don't go through. It's "expected" for men to know something about firearms so naturally there are more men who don't necessary want to be there and they may be there due to peer pressure, hence the poor students. Women on the other hand have a select few who like doing "guy" things and they make better students. Take the average women and the average guy on the street and take them to a firing range. There probably won't be any difference in how well each will shoot. Another bubble to burst is the nonsense that only men handled guns during the ages. It's true there were never the numbers of women in the military but women were right beside their men in firing back at the bad guys defending home and hearth.

Dean Weingarten said...

You may well be correct about the "filtration" or "selection" process, but instructors see the end result, and report what they observe.

As for men being the "only ones to handle guns", there were always some women who handled guns and were familiar with them, but the percentage is growing.