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Outdoors Outpost
The Good, The Bad, and the Pretty
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 • Posted October 10, 2013

By far the fastest-growing segment of gun owners in America today is women. During the past year I’ve seen numerous articles about how women are buying guns left, right, and center, in unprecedented numbers. I have not, personally, read any of these articles, but I have read a lot of articles containing pretty much the same words, as far as I can tell just by skimming.

The gist of these articles is that if you happen to decide to attack a woman today, you are far more likely to get your backside shot off than you were a year ago during the same activity. Because these women are not just buying guns, they’re packing them around with them. Because a gun at home is just as much use to a woman being attacked at the mall as a tanker full of fuel on the ground is to a pilot half a mile above earth. Basically: none.

There is a very good reason why women are arming themselves lately – news stories about gun crime, since last December, have been in the forefront of the media’s agenda. No bad deed goes unreported these days, and the more attacks we hear about, the greater our realization that the same thing might happen to us. But that, as Paul Harvey might say, is not the whole story.

Women are traditionally viewed as being less able to defend themselves than men, which may or may not be true, depending on the woman. And the man. And since women are targeted as easy marks, a lot of women are realizing it would be a good idea to be able to defend themselves against large, unreasonable people, especially if there are multiple large, unreasonable people who need to be dealt with. And the only way that’s possible, for anyone, regardless of gender, is with a gun or a flamethrower. And flamethrowers are difficult to conceal under summer clothing.

But that still isn’t the whole story. Obtaining a concealed handgun license has been possible for quite some time, yet there are more people applying for licenses now than ever before, especially women. Most of those articles I haven’t read offered reasons for this, and the general consensus is that people have, by and large, whatever that means, come to the conclusion that the police are unable to protect them from crime. So they’re arming themselves, because they realize that, if they’re attacked, no one with a badge or a cape or a box of fairy dust is going to pop out of the bushes and save them. Assuming there are even any bushes nearby.

Now, this is not a new situation, this problem about the police being unable to protect citizens from harm. Matter of fact, it’s always been that way. Police have never been able to keep you from being attacked, and there’s a very good reason for that – cops can’t be everywhere at once. They have to be in one place at a time, just like the rest of us. So no matter how well-trained, dedicated, or zealous your local police happen to be, they can’t follow you around 24/7. What would the neighbors say?

And a cop on the phone, by the way, is worth as much as that tanker of fuel on the ground. You could try handing the phone to your attacker, and having the cop ask him nicely to desist, but I wouldn’t depend on that working very well.

The change, lately, in attitude toward carrying concealed guns, especially among women, is largely due to a false impression, created by the media, that crime is on the rise. This is not true, except in places where guns have been banned, but you won’t hear that on CNN. Gun crime is actually dropping off, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe out there. There are fewer rattlesnakes around my house than there used to be, but I still watch for them all the time.

Bob Rich and his instructors (which would make a good name for a rock band) realize more women are buying guns than ever before, and many of them are pretty much unfamiliar with firearms. And since these women often would prefer to continue to be married, they usually choose to find someone besides their husbands to teach them to shoot. That’s where Bob comes in.

Bob started Delta Red a couple of years ago to offer top-notch firearms training with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. And since a lot of women want to carry and use guns these days, Bob has started offering some women only classes. You know, classes in which the students don’t think they already know everything about guns. That’s all I got to say about that.

Since my wife has decided she doesn’t necessarily want to divorce me just yet, she has declined my offer to teach her how to shoot in favor of Bob’s next Ladies Only Basic Handgun Class, which will be held at the Delta Red facility, five miles east of San Saba, on October 12. She also instructed me to mention that, should any ladies in our area wish to attend the class, they would be welcome to ride over there with her. And if there’s room she might let me go, too.

Not that I need any instruction. Being a guy, I already know everything about guns. And flamethrowers. Except how to get one to fit in an ankle holster . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who actually read some of the articles, but won’t admit it. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or jeep@verizon.net

To sign up for any of Bob’s excellent firearms classes, go to www.deltared.com or call 512.264.1951

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