Sunday, April 09, 2006

For self-defense, women take up firearms. Article in today's Charlotte Observer.

More women, gun advocates say, are buying, shooting and carrying firearms -- in briefcases, purses or even on their hips.

For some, it's sport. But with violent crime up from five years ago and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police actively searching for a serial rapist, many women say it's about self-protection.

"Things out there are tough, for men and for women," Christy Barnes, a 22-year-old chiropractic assistant, said while practicing at a shooting range earlier this month. "I'd like to know I can handle myself."....

Dan Starks, who has taught firearms safety courses for 17 years said a firearm can give women the power to control almost any situation. And with crimes like carjackings and home invasions increasingly common, Starks says they need the protection.

"When you have a firearm in your hand, and the knowledge, skill and chutzpah to use it, nine times out of 10 you won't have to use it," he said. "Criminals don't like armed citizens."

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