Editor’s Note: In a special series of reports on Monday, KETK News takes an in-depth look at how women can protect themselves.
LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – One of the many ways people choose to defend themselves is by carrying a gun. It’s one thing to have your license to carry, but it’s another to know how to properly use a firearm.
Statistics show only about one in five women in the United States own a gun compared to the six in ten men who do. Female gun owners arm themselves for many reasons, among them to feel secure and safe.
Reagan Cole is all about proper gun trading when he teaches in-depth firearm training with Texas Defense Articulations. Paula Breedlove is one of his students, who before last October had never fired a gun.
Her interest in guns started with a single class and has now transformed into a new mindset. Lovebreed owns multiple guns and practices her new skills regularly at local shooting ranges.
She feels carrying a gun is a privilege and proper training is an important skill for women to have.
“A firearm is the only thing that puts any lady of any size on direct plateau with me. There’s no tough guys when it comes to good shot placement or anything like that. It doesn’t matter how big they are if you’re able to stop, or… I don’t want to say intimidate or posture or anything like that. But, there’s been a lot of stuff avoided simply by having a firearm.”Reagan Cole, Chief Instructor Texas Defense Articulations
Breedlove has a license to carry and brings her gun with her everywhere, including her job. This called for lifestyle changes, such as the clothes she wears. Her work wardrobe now includes thigh-holster shorts that allow her to carry her gun under her dresses. She also purchased a purse that would be secure enough to hold her compact hand-gun.
The biggest change to Breedlove’s life is the security she has knowing if she were ever in a dangerous situation, she had the training to take action.
“It’s one of those things you hope you never have to use, but it’s a skill that you’re super thankful to have just in case. And it’s kind of always in the back of your mind when you’re at work or eating at a restaurant, or shopping, you’re thinking what would I do in this situation? Oh, I know what I would do, because I’ve had training and how I would carry out everything that I know.”Paula Lovebreed, Gun Owner
Breedlove and Cole both agree that having a license to carry and seeking proper training prepare women to defend themselves in extreme situations. If you are ever handling a firearm, safety is key.
It’s important to remember to always treat your gun as though it’s loaded, never point away from your target, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, and know what you are shooting at.
Experts say over and over again to keep guns locked in a gun safe when at home, and always keep the “safety” on when carrying in public.