Posts Tagged ‘women’


Carrie Lightfoot on Training: There Are Real Differences Between Men and Women

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Concealed Carry Magazine

Concealed Carry Magazine (USCCA.com)

This article was authored by Carrie Lightfoot (The Well Armed Woman) and is reprinted courtesy of Concealed Carry Magazine with permission of the United States Concealed Carry Association. All other rights reserved. For more information contact www.uscca.com.

IT’S COMPLICATED. It’s complex. It’s convoluted. Perhaps it’s even potentially treacherous territory. Throughout history, men have risked everything to try to unravel its mysteries. Yet, we are going to try to unravel the beautiful and intricate tapestry that is woman.

We all know that women are different. Yes, there are the obvious physical differences such as the lumps and bumps not found on the male body, weaker upper body strength and wider hips, but there are additional and profound differences that make the task of meeting the needs of women shooters a challenge for the firearms industry. To make it even more complicated, there are many sub-groups of women — each, of course, very different from the others.

It’s complex, I know. But that’s part of the glorious mystery, right? Men have been trying to figure out the female gender since the dawn of time and likely will continue to do so until the end of it. So, how does this apply to guns, gear and firearms training? And what can the industry do to meet the needs of this complex group of gun owners?

To fully address the needs of this multifaceted market group, it will be helpful to look at it like an onion, a piece of cake or maybe even a parfait. Women have layers! (And, yes, Shrek is my favorite movie.)

Women depend on discussion and conversation with others to process new information and to work through learning and decision-making processes. It’s important that we connect new information to a personal — and perhaps even emotional — need. This assists us in fully understanding why something is important and allows us to effectively apply what is learned.

“JUST AS NO TWO WOMEN ARE ALIKE, NEITHER ARE THEIR PREFERENCES. ”

We see this lived out at The Well Armed Woman (TWAW) Shooting Chapter meetings across the country. As women come together to learn and grow as their own self-protectors, they fellowship with one another as they process new self-defense techniques, try new firearms, explore concealed carry holsters and train in new shooting skills. They do so as a community: talking, asking questions and sharing the experience throughout the process. In this environment, this need is met, and I believe it is one of the reasons our TWAW program is so successful.

Women prefer to receive information in a linear, step-by-step format with the purpose clearly defined: a path, if you will, that they can confidently follow toward success. They enjoy “to-do” lists and like to see tasks laid out before them — visually and literally. This is important, as women are often perfectionists. Not only do they want to do things well, they want those things done in a particular way — the right way!

When it comes to training in the use and carrying of a firearm, this is a critical need to meet. Without it, the sense of being overwhelmed, confused and intimidated can hinder her success and even stop her as she crosses the threshold of the range.

For a large majority of women, the journey on the road to self-protection with a gun is one frought with a high level of caution and perhaps fear. It is truly foreign territory to them, so we must work to pave the road with clear and attainable skill steps that they can see, touch and demonstrate as they progress through the learning process. This is serious business to them, as they want to fully grasp and master the skills and equipment necessary for them to safely shoot and carry.

Being such highly intuitive and emotional beings, women can be highly sensitive to criticism and comparison. I believe that women are bombarded by society with messaging from multiple directions: advertising, the entertainment industry and, sadly, even people close to them who tell them what they are supposed to be, supposed to look like and supposed to act like. This constant barrage can inflict a lack of self-confidence.

I know this isn’t true for all women, but I think this assault on confidence is a scourge that binds some of us to an endless internal struggle for self-esteem. We can be tempted to compare ourselves to what and who we see and to be honest, we don’t need any additional critique or comparisons from instructors or marketing campaigns. Likely, we will be turned off and seek positive reinforcement elsewhere. Encouragement, not criticism, is the pathway to empowering women.

Do you see why it is so important for the firearms industry to understand women in order to effectively speak to them and successfully meet their needs? If we genuinely want to provide for and market to women, the industry and shooting community must acknowledge and understand these complexities and strive to meet the needs of this unique group by designing products for them, knowing how to market to them and training them effectively.

Now, I realize this is a tall order, especially for an industry that has primarily been meeting the needs of men since its inception. But it’s a different world now, and some of the traditional methods of reaching this demographic don’t speak effectively to women. Although men are still the larger “target demo” and the industry naturally centers much of its efforts and resources on that market, let’s look at how the industry can best work to reach the millions of “complicated” female gun owners.

WOMEN LIKE VARIETY

Just as no two women are alike, neither are their preferences. There is no “best gun” for a woman, nor is there one concealed carry option that works best for all women. So offer a variety of products, options and colors for women to choose from. Variety offers women the opportunity to evaluate a number of options to find the perfect fit.

WOMEN RELATE TO INFORMATION

Women don’t just read or watch information; they relate to it. So it is important to provide information in an assortment of platforms and approaches. These might include written articles, testimonies, stories, videos, podcasts and discussions. Provide them with information they can relate to that includes real people with real-life experiences and stories.

Women are storytellers. They relate to faces and stories to find ways to understand how something fits into their own individual lives. This kind of connection encourages women to tap into “why I need this” and “why it is important to me.”

»Did You Know?

Women are directly responsible or have significant influence in more than 50 percent of a household’s buying decisions.

I incorporate a variety of mediums on The Well Armed Woman website to be a useful and comprehensive resource for all women shooters exactly for this reason. You will find articles, videos, testimonies, survival stories, a weekly podcast, a women’s gun forum and even gun reviews written by regular, everyday women who share their likes, dislikes and personal experiences with guns. It’s all in the effort to satisfy the hunger for information and resources female shooters need and want.

WOMEN PREFER PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE ADJUSTED

The ability to adjust and custom-fit products to their unique shapes, lifestyles and needs is important to women. It is extremely important to be able to tweak, tighten, loosen or adjust for the perfect fit. Firearms with multiple backstraps and grip panels that can be interchanged to find the perfect fit are a great example of this. Holsters with ride height and cant adjustments help each woman find what works with her body to effectively carry concealed.

WOMEN LIKE TO PERSONALIZE

This preference to personalize gear is highly misunderstood in the firearms industry. It isn’t silly, nor does it reflect a casual attitude toward firearms or safety. Style is an important part of a woman’s world. Whether it is her home, her body, her clothing or her office, she wants to make everything around her appealing and uniquely hers.

Keep in mind that for many women, the owning and carrying of a firearm is a foreign experience, and it can be the act of personalization that helps them accept new pieces of equipment into their personal worlds. The use of colored firearms coatings, colored grips or even rhinestone-studded holsters are all examples of ways women personalize their concealed carry guns and gear.

WOMEN WANT RESPECT

Just the simple act of acknowledging a woman’s uniqueness communicates great respect. Understanding her need for information and her different style of communicating — and then providing the information she needs in a respectful manner — allows her to make her own best decisions.

Women don’t need to be told what to do; they just need to know what they need to know. Communicate respect by offering her the information she needs and then allowing her to make her own decisions.

WOMEN ARE CAPABLE PROTECTORS And lastly, for a woman, the carrying of a firearm to protect herself and her family isn’t about being sexy; it’s about being a capable self-protector. Women need information, training and gear that help them accomplish this, and it must be marketed and delivered as such.

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Guns Save Lives: What Women Alone at Night Fear Most

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Danger at night

Danger at night

An Ohio woman was beaten and robbed last Saturday while walking back to her Akron home, according to a report in Cleveland.com. The 37-year-old female victim suffered minor injuries when she was attacked by a man and two women at about 4 a.m. One of the robbers asked her for a dollar — but the victim…
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‘Hip Hugger’ Concealed Carry Option for Women [Video]

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Jill Kila

Jill from Last Line of Defense

So, if you don’t wear a belt and choose not to carry off-body (like in a purse), then you may feel your options are limited when it comes to concealed carry. Not true. There are many ways you can carry a gun both comfortably and inconspicuously. Jill from Last Line of Defense looks at one such way in this video.
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Women’s Daily Carry: Some Good Gun Options to Consider [Video]

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Beretta Nano 9mm

Beretta Nano 9mm

Because guns are continuously being updated and new ones are hitting the market, it’s always good to go over some of the most popular carry guns from time to time. The lists change and none of them are exhaustive by any stretch.
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Great American Mom and Daughter Know, and Show, How to Shoot! [Video]

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Cat and Whitney (AWwBA TV screen grab)

Cat and Whitney (AWwBA TV screen grab)

One of the highlights of the NRA Meetings this year was meeting and hanging out with Cat and Whitney of Applied Firearms Defense Skills, located in Michigan. They have a load of firearms knowledge and the personalities to make learning fun.
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A Gun: Stronger Than a PFA (Protection from Abuse) Order [Video]

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

Jenn Jacques, Bearing Arms Against Domestic Violence

Jenn Jacques, Bearing Arms Against Domestic Violence

If you’re a woman who has ever been in a volatile relationship, you’ve probably feared for your safety on one or more occasions. If an ex or a stalker ever tries to invade your domain, whether it’s your home, car, workplace or somewhere else, are you ready?
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Fashion World Finally Catches on to the Pistol-Packing Woman

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

No Ordinary Range Bag

No Ordinary Range Bag (OffhandGear.com)

Dawn Dolpp isn’t a slave to fashion, preferring function over form. Which is why she used to secure her handgun in her purse with a Velcro strip as recently as 10 years ago. Today, Mrs. Dolpp and other gun-toting women like her don’t have to resort to homemade craft projects to provide themselves with holsters and…
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Hunting’s Future Rests with Recruiting from New Audiences

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Cerisse from Oregon

Cerisse from Oregon

Matt Dunfee recognized that the young woman he was mentoring in a learn-to-hunt program wasn’t a typical recruit. She didn’t believe in posing for pictures with slain animals. Pink camouflage clothing was sexist to her. She didn’t care if she shot a buck, and she deplored trophy hunting. But she shared the desire to harvest a…
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Gun Ownership, Concealed-Carry Permits up Among Women and Minorities

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Guns and women

Guns and women

By Fred Lucas / The Daily Signal Antonia Okafor, a Dallas resident, says she believes a gun can be the great equalizer for women to defend themselves-one reason she is now the southwest regional director for a group called Students for Campus Carry. State laws allowing residents to carry concealed weapons have been enacted in all…
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Underlying Message: (Texas) Women Don’t Like Guns and Couldn’t Care Less About Sex [Video]

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Is That a Gun In Your Pocket (Screen grab)

Is That a Gun In Your Pocket (Screen grab)

Okay guys, no sex until you give up your guns! A Texas town’s women demonize firearms and withhold sex from their men. This doesn’t sound like propaganda in the least does it?
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