CENTRAL OHIO CHAPTER OF WELL ARMED WOMAN GETS UP AND RUNNING WITH LOCAL LADIES FROM WAYNE, HOLMES AND BEYOND

Local ladies part of new shooting group in Central Ohio designed just for them

By LYDIA GEHRING Living Editor Published: 

DANVILLE — Spending the day at a spa or laying out on the sandy beaches weren’t what a couple dozen ladies had in mind as ways to kick back and relax on a recent Tuesday evening.

Instead, women from Wayne, Holmes and surrounding counties were at PM Security Services Tactical Weapons Training Group for the first meeting of the Central Ohio chapter of the Well Armed Woman shooting club.

Founded in 2012 by Carrie Lightfoot, the Well Armed Woman was created to become a complete resource for a female gun owner, according to its website (www. thewellarmedwoman.com). As more and more chapters of the organization began to pop up across the United States, the need arose for one in this area, so Mindy Whited of Fredericktown and Kim Sayers of Wooster decided to coordinate a Central Ohio chapter. With the help of PM Security Services TWTG’s Ed Atherton and Jeff Wilson, women from many different backgrounds — homemakers, Realtors, business owners and more — came out to the Well Armed Woman’s first meeting, where participants spent an hour learning about gun safety and then took an hour to do what they came to really do — learn how to shoot their guns, or advance their skills.

Before the “real” fun began, it was important for the women to get their classroom time in, so Whited and Sayers shared some significant information with them during the learning portion of the meeting. Participants went over the different types of handguns available to them as well as some of the most crucial gun safety points for women — 1. All guns are always loaded; 2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy; 3. Keep your fingers off the trigger until your sights are on the target; and 4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

As far as choosing the best type of gun, Atherton said that doesn’t really matter, as long as the shooter knows how to grip the weapon.

“We’ve been doing this class for a very long time,” said Hatherton, who has 40 years of firearms experience and is a federal law enforcement firearms instructor. “It doesn’t matter what kind of gun you choose — it all depends on your grip. Women need to be taught how to hold a handgun properly. It’s actually easier to grip a longer pistol so I recommend putting your money into that one. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 9 mm, a 40, or a 45.”

Many of the women at the meeting had shooting experience, like Realtor Lauren Mingay of Wooster, who recently completed her carrying a concealed weapon course at PM Security Services TWTG. She was the only lady at the meeting shooting with a revolver, which takes a lot more strength to fire, she said. Mingay, like several others in attendance, said gun education is important before taking any steps in owning one.

“It’s important to educate ourselves and know about them,” Mingay said. “You never know what situation you’re going to be put in so education is key. My profession is one that I think gun education should almost be a requirement before you get into it.”

Loudonville resident Brenda Lucas, who owns and lives in a campground, is unable to practice shooting at home, so getting together with a bunch of women once a month is the perfect way for her to further her knowledge with her firearm.

“I enjoyed getting my CCW here and I’ve enjoyed this tonight,” Lucas said. “Even if you don’t like firearms it’s important to educate yourself, and then you can educate your children and others.”

Before her first Well Armed Woman meeting, Victoria Reed of Mount Vernon had never held a gun. As she gripped the trigger for the first time, lining up with her target, she was shaking, practically in tears. But after only a few minutes of working with Wilson, Reed had found her comfort zone and was ready to fire a few more rounds on her own.

“I had never held a gun before in my life until today,” Reed said. “I was on the verge of tears when I first started. But Jeff is really good and made me really comfortable. I’m a little more confident and I’m not as scared anymore. I was really afraid of the kick, but it’s not bad at all.”

A longtime member of the National Rifle Association, Reed said she’s always been interested in guns, but just has never taken the time to learn how to use one.

“I want to be able to protect myself and my family,” she said. “I don’t want to be one of those helpless people.”

Following the meeting, Whited was pleased with the positive feedback she was getting from attendees, and also from participants who decided to become members of the Well Armed Woman.

“I loved seeing the women who had never shot before and the confidence they had built,” she said. “With knowledge, you alleviate the fear.”

PM Security Services TWTG is located at 26355 Jelloway Road in Danville. It is available for rental and offers a variety of classes in the use of handgun, carbine, shotgun, precision rifle, edged weapons and unarmed self-defense for civilians, law enforcement and military. Visit www.pmsecurityservicestwtg.com for more information.

Annual membership to the Well Armed Woman is $50, used to cover chapter expenses, events and sponsorships for women who need financial assistance. Members receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases made on the Well Armed Woman website throughout the year; a chapter hat; member card; and savings and discounts at local ranges/stores. There is also a $20 range fee collected per woman at each meeting. Potential new members are invited to attend their first meeting prior to joining.

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