Women and Concealed Carry Deadly Weapons (CCDW)
Written by: Steve Challis
It was not too long ago that CCW permits were thought to be the domain of the male and that females did not need to be armed, as they lacked the temperament for handling firearms. A lot has changed in the past 20 or so years. Now the CCW instructor is likely to have a larger number of female students than male. So what brought about this change?
Firstly we can thank the evolution of sexual equality, which probably started in WW2, when large numbers of females were drafted into jobs vacated by the men who were called up to fight.
As the women of this country and Europe were slowly given more and more responsibilities, the perceptions began to change. The armed forces and law enforcement recruited more and more females, and not just as nurses, or admin assistants. We saw the FBI recruiting more front line female agents, and in recent years women climbing into the cockpits of fighter jets to fly combat missions, a scene unthinkable as recently as the Vietnam conflict.
Also the film and TV industry caught on and we began to see gun toting females in cop shows and Hollywood, in roles that equaled and often eclipsed their male actors. It all helped in transforming the female from a stay at home wife confined to the kitchen and raising a family, to a force to be reckoned with. Many a vicious rapist has belatedly realized that they picked on the wrong woman as they lay bleeding on the floor from several gunshot wounds.
As the CCW permit system became widespread, society realized that the right to armed self-defense was not only desirable, but essential for the women of America, mainly because they are twice as likely to be the victim of attack. Husbands saw the sense in ensuring that their wives and daughters knew how to use a gun and were able to do so competently. This of course did not mean that sexism was totally abolished. We have had many female students’ turn up for training with a .22 pistol that their husbands or boyfriends had bought for them, as they felt it was all they could safely handle.
Early this month (May 2015), I was doing a radio show arranged by the chamber of commerce. The station Anchor was speaking to me and a female Chamber board member. The anchor asked me what I considered the ideal firearm for a female for self-defense. I turned to my fellow interviewee and replied, “Perhaps you should ask Tanya here what the best pair of shoes is for a woman?” I think you will have the same answer. She smiled, but I was on safe ground as Tanya was a former CCW student of ours. The anchor got the point, though I did go on to elaborate on the points to consider when choosing a firearm for personal defense.
Of course the physique and fitness of the permit holder has to be taken into account, but that is true for male students as well. We always give females the chance to try out several types of guns. Gun sizes and calibers are of course two different things. Whereas a slightly built female may baulk at the sight of a .357 magnum Colt trooper, they may be less fazed by a .357 Taurus 605 snub-nose. Both of course have equal stopping power over the typical CCW range, 8 to 12 feet, also the latter is concealable. Although this may seem obvious to most instructors, a fair number of students still believe that size matters. In this case I am confident in saying they are wrong.
We also understand that there is a psychological factor more prevalent in woman than men; some call this the mother instinct. Again this is based on fictional stereotyping. In the movies the bad guy is always a bad vicious criminal who deserves to be shot and we all cheer when the heroine takes him down.
However in the real world, the burglar of home invader is more likely to be a young teenager male or female, looking for money to buy drugs or impress their friends. This means that the young mother that is home alone who fires on a burglar that has just broken in, may well find a screaming young 14 year old crying for their mom and screaming they don’t want to die. The shock effect on this young mother may well change her attitude and remorse and realization of what she has done could well get her killed, if she drops her guard and her weapon. It is essential, in my opinion, that we as instructors realize this and prepare our students for it.
In this new century we have seen the destruction of many of the social barriers that restricted women’s rights. To the criminal, I give this warning; our women are no longer defenseless, they are willing and able to meet you with deadly force. And if you ignore this fact, your life may become very short indeed.