While women are one of the fastest-growing gun-buying demographics in the country, their numbers in Detroit are growing so fast that a gun instructor in the city describes firearms training as the new “therapy session” for women who have been targets of crime.
The Detroit News reports that “self-defense” is the driving force behind the surge in female gun buyers. Firearms instructor Nneka Lawrence says some of the women who come in still have tears in their eyes from an attack or assault they suffered while unarmed.
Lawrence is a black woman who has been teaching firearms training courses for ten years. She teaches at Action Impact and says:
Our gun classes are like therapy session for these women. Some of them come in crying because they have been attacked before, raped, or robbed. Others want to simply protect themselves. The two things that come up in our classes is home invasion or being carjacked.
One of Lawrence’s recent students was 63-year-old Nita Brown, who lives on the Northwest side of Detroit. Brown said, “I lost my husband last year after we were married for 36 years. Because I’m home now by myself and we see a lot of seniors who are being targeted in home invasions, I do want to take it upon myself to learn how to use a gun.”
Another recent student, 25-year-old Felicia Gentry, said:
I live in a bad area near East Warren. It’s usually dark out when I go to work in the morning and when you call the cops they don’t come right away. Because my boyfriend works a midnight shift, we talked about me taking gun classes to protect myself when I leave at 6 a.m. to go work.
In between the classroom work on firearms and the hands-on shooting, Lawrence says the training also gives the women time to discuss what they have gone through:
A lot of time when some of these women are attacked they think it’s a random act. I tell them if you go to the Meijer store for no reason, just to be there, maybe you could have avoided an incident where you got attacked. So you have to be conscious of your surrounding. I hear a lot of stories from the women in my class. But I feed off their stories and it is like I’m talking to my little sister. I think my aura in class allows them to … open up with me to share what has happened to them.
Many of the women tell Lawrence that they used to fear owning guns. However, that fear was displaced or erased when the dangers of real life made it apparent that having a gun close at hand may prove to be the difference between life and death.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.