60 local women take handgun certification course

By: Lynnsey Gardner
By: Lynnsey Gardner

August 26, 2006

Women seeking certification hit the range in Edgefield today to fire off rounds and gain a feeling of power in their lives.

Women with weapons...namely handguns. It is a growing trend nationwide, with some 17 million women owning some type of gun.

Today, 60 local women headed out to Edgefield with their sights set on certification.

"I do travel quite often by myself, and I want to be able to protect myself," said student Katherine Brookes. "I would like to have the confidence to know I could make that split second decision if I should have to."

This lesson was aimed at certifying women to carry concealed weapon permits. And it was an easy lesson to learn; even I gave it a shot.

"There are a lot of bad people in the world who know how to use guns, and us good guys don't, so that is why I am here today to be prepared," said student Penny Hunt.

Two moms, Beth Johnes and Rachel Sligh, brought their fourteen-year-old daughters along.

"Sometimes there are undesirable people out there who want to take advantage of young girls, so I want her to be able to protect herself and recognize dangers that are out there," said Johnes.

Sligh agrees. She wants her daughter to feel empowered.

"She is not old enough to get her concealed weapons permit, but at least she will be more comfortable with using one."

"Knowing how to use it would make me feel better, just in case I am ever in a situation where I need one," said Johnes' daughter, Melissa.

A life lesson for the ladies, young and old, that could just end up saving a life.

The lesson was sponsored by Women and the Outdoors, a national program from the Wild Turkey Federation aimed at encouraging women to be more active.

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