By Jamie Ramsey
Special to Copper Area News
You may have heard of something called “The Well Armed Woman” and wondered exactly what it was all about. They have been holding local meetings in Kearny for the past several months and have 22 members. There are 94 active chapters across the country. Invitations are open for those that would like to find out more. You can attend a meeting and see if it is something you might like to give a shot. No pun intended. I had the opportunity to attend a recent meeting and find out what this group of ladies is all about. The meeting I attended was very informative.
Founder, Carrie Lightfoot, was at the recent meeting. She formed the group when she decided to acquire a handgun. She could not find information for women so she saw a need and filled it. “It is not fluffy,” Lightfoot said. “It is about empowering women, not about bling. It is about intelligent, well trained, responsible gun owners.”
NRA certified instructors, Marti Stonecipher and Renee Ramsey talked about an array of personal safety issues as well as firearm safety. It is not all about guns, which is what you may infer from the title of the club. At the meeting I attended, there was an emphasis on personal awareness and safety. They showed different scenarios in videos and discussed the ways that you may be able to protect yourself and family in such a situation. There is a strong focus on teaching women what they can do to avoid becoming a victim.
We are so comfortable in our daily lives and our safe community that we don’t give much thought to the fact that crime happens everywhere. One of the important safety issues discussed at the meeting was how people always give their name when they go in a restaurant or at the coffee shop. This is dangerous because it gives a stranger, perhaps a criminal, the opportunity to appear that they know you by using your name. It can lead to a dangerous situation.
Firearms are discussed as well as proper use and safety in handling. You are welcome to join them at the Copper Basin Sportsman’s shooting range and practice your shooting skills after the meeting. They can provide you with various types of guns to try out if you are thinking about getting one as well as provide ammunition. There is a small fee for that service. There are male range officers present at the shooting range. It is very safe, fun experience.
The Well Armed Woman group is bringing Independence Training in to instruct a Defensive Handgun course on Sept. 21 ($150) and an IFAK Life Saver course on Sept. 22 ($100 -$225). There will also be a Self-Reliance Q/A session on Sept. 20 ($25). There is a cost involved for these courses. If you have questions or would like to attend, you may call Glen Stilson at (520) 831-3683.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, the WAW will be bringing AZ PlayItSafe to town to teach children from Kindergarten through eighth grade how to deal with bullies and strangers. This empowering class also teaches some practical self defense techniques. They will also hold a class for teen girls and women called Girls on Guard. Classes will be held at 305 Croydon starting at 2 p.m. for the younger children and at 4:15 p.m. for the teen girls and women. To register call (602) 538-3639.
For more information on the Well Armed Woman local chapter, contact Marti Stonecipher at (520) 400-8914 or Renee Ramsey at (602) 920-3765.