My Wish – 100,000 Women Strong

By Kellene Bishop

Owning a handgun does not offer women any benefit for self-defense.  KNOWLEDGE, on the other hand, of how to use a firearm for self-defense is the ultimate equalizer.  And to me it’s the ultimate sign of freedom and liberty. 

There are a great many female gun owners in the U.S. at present.  Unfortunately the fact that these same women don’t actually use their firearm for self-defense merely gives fodder for the anti-gun crowd who claim, “See?  Firearms don’t help women prevent rape.”  Now that’s a shame. 

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

If I had my wish come true, it would be that an additional 100,000 women not only possess firearms in the U.S. this year, but also get expertly trained in handling them and carrying them on their person.  While my wish may sound a little far fetched, I firmly believe it’s a worthwhile one.  Imagine the hesitation in a violent criminal’s mind: “Geesh.  (Censored, of course)  Is THIS one of those 100,000 armed women who know how to use it against me?” or “Am I really ready to go up against a skillfully armed woman?”  I believe that the number 100,000 is sufficient to thwart millions of crimes all over the U.S. and make criminals think twice before assuming a woman is a vulnerable target.  I believe that that impact of 100,000 confidently armed women will alter the wrongfully perpetuated societal stigmas that many have about armed citizens.  And I believe that 100,000 armed women will make children more safe, not only against firearm accidents, but against perpetrators who target them.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have my wish granted and see 100,000 women competently quick-draw their weapon, shoot accurately, and reholster it.  It nearly gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!

Photo care of

Photo c/o northshorejournal.org

Can’t you just hear the beautiful symphony made by the sound of the action after the slide is released all over the nation?  Ch-chang!  (I LOVE that sound!)  The patriotic sight and sound of “the rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air” would be akin to the sound of double-taps all over the practice ranges in the U.S.  Can’t you just imagine the new level of confidence as women walk and talk strong and powerful knowing that they no longer will play the role of a helpless victim?  While my wish of 100,000 women is barely a dent in the number of the population of adult women in our nation, I believe that it’s sufficient to suitably rally against the crimes against women and their children and to accomplish what our law enforcement and government officials simply can’t or won’t do.

Independence isn’t just a benign word to be associated with our nation.  It should be a state of being that we women embrace every day.  We can be independent in our own effective protection and security and in doing so, literally impact the protection of women all over the nation.  This is my wish. 

Will you be one of the 100,000?

Will you be one of the 100,000?  

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

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Shooting Practice

Shooting Practice photo c/o Ratha Grimes

Shooting Practice photo c/o Ratha Grimes

Let’s assume you’ve got your gun or guns of choice.  You are committed to going to the range periodically to ensure you have the proper skill and experience to use the firearm in a moment of critical self-defense. Here are a couple of suggestions as to what can you do to  maximize your shooting practice time.

  • Practice drawing you firearm from its place of concealment.  Until you get perfectly comfortable with this, I would practice this without a firearm initially, then with a definitely unloaded firearm, and then with the firearm itself.  If you are going to have to act, you’ll need to keep the element of surprise, so fidgeting with you shirt, purse, or what have you could cost you your life.
  • Practice shooting from low and on your side, as if all you’ve done is clear your holster.  There’s no need to think that you can’t fire your gun until you’ve extended your firearm out in front of you. You may find yourself needing to shoot sooner than that. Accurate shots can be made from this position.  Obviously you don’t have the benefit of your sight apertures, but if you keep your body pointed towards your target, you’ll be surprised what your brain does with the rest.

    Shooting Practice: Shoot from the holster. Photo c/o marines.mil

    Shooting Practice: Shoot from the holster. Photo c/o marines.mil

  • Practice shooting in a double-tap fashion. I specifically recommend this strategy for women. The reason being is since women are more sensitive to the sound of a firearm, they tend to wince—if only mildly so—until they get completely comfortable with a firearm.  This takes awhile.  However, shooting your firearm with the immediate succession of two shots, helps you get used to that.  Additionally, your second shot will tend to be more accurate than the first because you typically will no be wincing and waiting for it.  The key to effective double-tap practice  is that you roll the trigger back twice, one right behind the other, in a rapid succession.  Roll twice, reassess.  Roll twice, re-assess.
  • Practice emptying and entire clip (not what it’s called actually, but what most people refer to when they are discussing the “magazine”) in rapid succession.  Yes, do try to make your shots accurate, but this particular practice is to help you get familiar with the hold, feel, and sound of the firearm.  (Plus, I have to admit, it’s kind of a rush to empty a full clip (ahem, magazine), and any significant male accompanying you may very well feel the same way. 🙂 )
  • Practice shooting with your weak hand.  In order to ensure optimal self-defense ability, you want to make sure that you can shoot your firearm in the event your strong hand is impeded.  Yes, this will feel very awkward, but you’ve got to make sure you can do it so that you’re defendable in any circumstance.  You may also want to try your shooting practice as if you only have one hand available—including loading your firearm, cocking it, and then shooting.

    Shooting Practice: Shoot with your weak hand. Photo c/o photobucket.com

    Shooting Practice: Shoot with your weak hand. Photo c/o photobucket.com

  • Practice shooting withOUT your hearing protection.  I don’t recommend you doing this a lot, of course. But the bottom line is, you won’t have your hearing protection on in a moment of self-defense.  You don’t want to be rattled after your first shot, just because you had never heard an un-muffled shot before.  You need to be able to hear it from your own firearm to prepare you, as well as to prepare you to hear and recognize shots fired from another nearby firearm.
  • Practice shooing in the dark.  Again, is this a likely self-defense shot?  Yes.  In a dark alley, in the parking lot, or even in your bedroom—these places are all likely to be without the light you typically practice with when enjoying your shooting practice.  (Your local professional ranges actually set up scenarios like this for their members.) One of the reasons to practice shooting in the dark is to instill the proper knowledge and confidence necessary in a dark situation for you to defend yourself.  Another reason I recommend this is so that you’re not startled by the muzzle flash “flame” of gases that you’ll see being expelled from your firearm in a dark scenario.  The gases are always there.  It’s just not likely that you see them when you conduct your shooting practice in a well-lit shooting range.

    Shooting Practice: Shoot in the dark. Photo c/o pfranson365.blogspot.com

    Shooting Practice: Shoot in the dark. Photo c/o pfranson365.blogspot.com

One last word of warning—anytime you’re shooting outside of the ordinary, you must be sure to employ the absolute of caution and safety.  With the exception of rolling the trigger in quick successive shots, everything you do prior to and after such shooting practice should be done the maximum amount of safety in mind.

Happy shooting!

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.