Nothing is more effective for protecting yourself—short of having a black belt in karate—than a gun wielded by someone who can use it and with the time to bring it into action when threatened by an aggressor.
So this story from NPR reporting on the increasing sales of guns to women is a very encouraging sign.
“For years, gun stores were predominantly patronized by men. But these days, shooting ranges and shops selling firearms are seeing more female customers than ever before, and that has them changing the way they do business.
“In one brand-new shooting range at Eagle Gun in Concord, N.C., shots from Sharon Skoff's handgun boom behind glass that separates the range from the rest of the shop.
"I just refuse to be a victim if I possibly can in life," Skoff says. "I actually went and got my concealed permit a couple months ago so I can carry."
“Skoff, a 47-year-old flight attendant, says she shoots because she's scared.
"If you listen to the news at night, all you hear are women in parking lots — someone coming up, or threatening them for their purse or threatening their life, or raping [them]," she says.
“A Huge Emerging Market
“Store owner Mike Threadgill says there was a time when women like Skoff would have been out of place. Not anymore.
"The ladies are bringing in a lot of the money for the business," Threadgill says. "And if they do that, then I want to cater to them."
“Rachel Parsons, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, says women are a huge emerging market. What's happening at Eagle Gun is happening at shops all over, she says.
“The latest data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation shows gun store owners reported a 73 percent increase in female customers in 2009 from the year before. Parsons says the trend is even being reflected by the number of guns made just for women.
"You see firearms being developed that have smaller grips to fit a woman's hand," Parson says. "Maybe they're pink, or maybe they have pearl grips. And they're a little bit less intimidating."
“The NRA says it's also organizing more hunting excursions for women than ever before. And the spike in sales is not just a North Carolina phenomenon. In Texas last year, almost 30,000 women obtained a concealed carry permit. Georgia has also seen an increase.”