Tahlequah Daily Press

March 18, 2013

A call to arms

By ROB W. ANDERSON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — More and more, women are fulfilling roles once deemed appropriate only for men, whether it’s becoming the chief executive officer of a multi-million dollar company, or serving as the disciplinarian for children in the home.

Single mothers especially need to adjust and become stronger in areas in which their former spouse or partner was a source of support. Protecting the home is one of these areas, and a new women’s firearms club known as “Sweet Shot, The Well-Armed Woman, Northeast OK Chapter” is offering the chance for all women to learn how to properly use a handgun while improving their shooting ability.

Co-chapter leaders Dee Page and Kara Gage recently became certified National Rifle Association pistol instructors, and have been spreading the word about the club, which is for females 21 years of age and older.

Sweet Shot members gather from 2-4 p.m., the second Sunday of the month at Cedar Creek Range, 132999 437 Road, near Locust Grove. Attendees will spend time in discussion and topical study, as well as on the range learning and practicing gun safety and handling skills, said Page.

“We don’t want people thinking ‘Oh they’re just a bunch of men haters.’ This is here to educate and empower women to know that they don’t have to wait for their husbands to get home to take care of things,” she said. “We just want them to have the knowledge, so if they want to go out shooting, they can.”

The Well-Armed Woman is a national organization that was started in 2012 by Carrie Lightfoot, who found herself a single mother and taking on all of the home’s responsibilities. As she began looking into purchasing a handgun, Lightfoot discovered the lack of educational resources designed for women and decided to begin a training program for women only. Page found Lightfoot’s website, as did Gage, who noted the majority of women lack experience handling a gun.

“A lot of the women we’ve run into have never touched a gun, or they’ve taken their concealed carry class, bought a gun or borrowed a gun, put it in their closet and never touched it again,” she said. “We have a few who are well-trained, but we want to make sure that everybody has the proper fundamentals. That they really know how to protect themselves if, worse case scenario, they have to use their firearm to protect themselves or their family. We also want to promote it as a sport. It’s fun.”

Page and Gage held a meeting in Peggs recently to provide information and background on the gun club, and found there is a lot of interest in the female community.

“I think women are becoming more knowledgeable, and they know that they need to step up and take care of themselves and their families,” said Page. “We had an informational meeting [in Peggs recently] and we had 22 people come to that meeting. There is an interest. We had 80 people sign up here my in store through the Wines of Winter event. We are doing an email list, and they’re signing up and that’s just here. They have to come into this store to do that.”

Gage added women attending the Peggs meeting were from Jay, Sallisaw, Muskogee, Locust Grove, Tahlequah and Arkansas.

 

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