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Well-armed women make history with Piney Flats gun club

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November 9th, 2014 12:25 am by TONY CASEY

Well-armed women make history with Piney Flats gun club

Kimberly Henderson-Clemens stands with her used targets at Shooters Edge indoor shooting range after a recent shoot. Henderson-Clemens is starting a local chapter of The Well Armed Woman. (Tony Casey/Johnson City Press)

 

If ever faced with a dangerous “fight or flight” situation, Kimberly Henderson-Clemens wants members of The Well Armed Woman Piney Flats Shooting Chapter to be able to react properly with a firearm.

Henderson-Clemens, a proud member of the National Rifle Association who started the group, said her first response to such scenarios would be to defuse the situation and hand over a purse or car keys. But that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be prepared to defend herself with a firearm, referencing her hours of training and education.

She wants other area women to join her and her group in getting familiar with firearms.

“Women look at firearms differently than men do,” Henderson-Clemens said. “Women are fearful of firearms, and we want to remove that fear.”

The way to remove that fear, she said, is to emphasize the three E’s, which are education, equipment and empowerment. Oftentimes a woman will try to shoot her husband’s gun, but it was selected to fit his needs.

This might make it uncomfortable for the woman, thus ruining any chance that she might want to use firearms again.

Getting fitted for a gun is one of the most important parts of the group’s mission. This comes through testing various options, something offered for those who join.

To start the joining process, Henderson-Clemens said $50 goes to the national group, which lets members choose the local Piney Flats chapter. This gets members a local chapter hat, a kit and the chance to shoot at their “host” indoor range — Shooter’s Edge in Piney Flats. Each month, the range fee comes to $10 per session.

Henderson-Clemens said the group doesn’t want to influence politics, like its father organization the NRA, but they support Second Amendment rights, of course.

She said the group is not social and thrives more on firearm education than anything else. They have monthly meetings. There are guest speakers, lectures, local and national discounts and more for those who sign up. With women being the largest growing segment of this historically male-dominated demographic, Henderson-Clemens said the industry is scrambling to meet the needs of women who want to be involved.

And that’s where the group comes in to help interested women learn and practice with other women.

Shooters Edge owner Don Reimer said efforts like Henderson-Clemens’ are working. When he first opened in 2010, there was an 80-20 ratio of men to women who would actively shoot at his range, but the popularity of firearms in the female demographic has significantly changed.

Reimer said the ratio is now 50-50, and he sees the possibility of that number tilting toward women. For the new members that will sign up, he says Shooters Edge is going to offer Handgun 101 as either a refresher or an introduction to proper handgun use. This will help women familiarize themselves with the program.

Reimer said he applauds Henderson-Clemens in putting together the group, expecting it to grow in popularity.

“She’s thinks it’s going to be big,” he said about her enthusiasm for starting the Piney Flats chapter.

Anyone who’s interested in joining or getting more information on the group can go to their Facebook page or email wellarmed@charter.net.

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