Coryell: Women the ‘holy grail’ of gun rights movement
Women seeking to arm themselves and their daughters are figuring out that guns are not ‘taboo’ but a powerful means of protection.
The Second Amendment will stand or fall depending on the way women vote, he said. “Women make-up about 52% of the population and they vote with a mind of their own.”
Women and particularly women with children have been raised with an idea that guns are dangerous. Yet once women get over their initial fear of the firearm, they feel empowered by it, he said. “Women want to be armed and capable.”
It has been his experience that women who receive instruction quickly become comfortable with using firearms, he said. “They come into my class afraid of the gun, but 4 or 5 hours later they are on the line like a kid in a candy shop, blazing away, having a ball.”
If women are not encouraged to support firearms and instead rely on the stigma that guns are bad, they will vote against the Second Amendment and they will not be protected, said Coryell who is the owner and president of White Feather Press.
It is much more important to teach girls how to use guns than boys because girls will grow up to be women and are more likely to be victims of crimes, he said.
“If someone is going to be raped, mugged or robbed it will not be by a woman, your attacker will be a man,” said the Marine veteran. “A woman needs a Samuel Colt Equalizer to make her equal and more powerful than her attacker.”
Fifteen years ago, about 10% of his firearm classes were women, today that number is up to 35%, said the certified National Rifle Association instructor. “Women are enrolling at a higher rate of all different ages – it is very encouraging to see.”
Most of the media portray guns as animate objects that operate on its own, said Coryell. “That is just not the case – guns are just a tool like any other tool.”
As parents we do not let our children play with power tools, similarly we do not let our children play with real guns, said the married father of seven.
Safety is the most important aspect when teaching children about guns whether it is a boy or a girl, he said. “Never leave a child unsupervised with a firearm.”
The author of 9 books about the Second Amendment recommends that parents without firearm experience or expertise should start with an introduction to firearms’ class for the child accompanied by the parent.
“The best age for a child to start comes down to ability, mindset, and trust,” said Coryell.“Each child is different.”
What is important is that all children are taught to respect the gun, know how to handle the gun, and not be afraid of it,” he said.
“Shooting is an incredible bonding experience with your children,” he said. “It can be intimate and something you take into your old age and teach your grandchildren.”
Over the past couple of years there has been an increase in the number of women participating in firearm training courses, said Linda Walker, central Ohio chair of Buckeye Firearms Association.
“Two-thirds of our new enrollees are women,” said Walker. “Across the board our instructors are reporting an increase in women participants.”
Even leadership roles are being filled by women, she said. “I was the only female with BFA who was a leader since I became involved in 2005, as of last year there are now four females in leadership positions.”
There has been a complete shift in the mindset of mostly women who are now open to receiving firearm training, she said. “Women are becoming aware that self-defense is up to us because our husbands or boyfriends are not always there to protect us.”
Women have certain physical capabilities, she said. “I know I could not physically fight-off a man who was attacking me.”
Walker who is also an N.R.A. board member said the earlier in which we teach children about gun safety and responsibility the more safe they will be.
Enrolling children in an Eagle Program for firearm education at an early age is the quickest way to keep them safe, she said.
“Just like we teach a child not to touch a hot stove, we can teach a child not to touch the gun.”