By – Tshepi Mmekwa
Women who have taken up firearms for protection will all tell you about a sense of being empowered and independent.
Women with firearms have always been seen as rebels in society or just women who are bullies. Not so long ago it was presumed that shooting was for white men on farms or hunters. You see it’s easier to imagine white men with beards and short pants lugging around long-barrel shotguns.
These days we have more women especially in South Africa, taking up arms with the sole purpose of self-defence (Crime Stats: More women in South Africa need firearms for self-defence). We live in an era where the most vulnerable members of society are left with no option but to fight for their survival by the use of a firearm.
It has to be noted though that some have taken up arms not only for self-defence but also for the love of sport shooting like myself. Women who have taken up firearms for protection will all tell you about a sense of being empowered and independent. The ability to defend oneself and those around her has become an important commodity in the daily living of South African women due to the gender-based violence pandemic.
Firearms come in all different shapes and sizes and perform at different intensities (Guns for beginners).
It is important to note that the smaller the firearm, does not constitute the easier to shoot. In most cases, sub-compact firearms bite a lot more than larger firearms (dynamite does come in small packages) whereas larger firearms can pose an issue with carrying position for most women.
That being said whichever firearm you choose, ensure that you learn how it functions and train to use it better. You need to strike that balance between firearm size, concealment, and recoil. If you walk into a store and they immediately recommend that you purchase a Revolver, tell them to keep it and walk out. During an attack, you do not have the luxury to be reloading after 6 rounds and in most cases, you would need more than one shot to stop an attack on you.
Ensure that whichever firearm you choose to carry, when faced with an attack, will not hinder your ability to stop the attack Last but not least women need to explore their options on concealment. I for one have to be comfortable when I carry and most importantly whichever way, I carry I must be in a position to draw my firearm quickly should I be confronted with an attack.
Women have the element of surprise, as in most attacks nobody is expecting a woman to be armed and ready to shoot. Women are first responders, and it is important that they know their roles when carrying a firearm. Never let your firearm be a safe queen and collect dust. Carry always and every day and most imperatively carry one up because there is simply no time to rack that slide when confronted by danger.
Don’t expect someone to come to your rescue and remember that during an attack there are only two people around, YOU and the PERPETRATOR. The police only come to take a statement.
Tshepi Mmekwa, is a wife and mother of 2. A go getter who is very loud and lights up a room with laughter and positive vibes. An absolute gun enthusiast. A songstress of note would you believe. Loves the outdoors and loves to travel. She is currently the director of Firearms Policy Campaign (FPC), and the Gauteng Communications Coordinator at Action Society.