Women learning to use a gun for protection

Headline Goes Here

Crime is down in most major cities, but in 2010 alone more than one million violent crimes including aggravated assault and property crime were reported to the police.

When it comes to safety, many women are now choosing to take matters in their own hands and pack more than just the kid's lunch.

Former special agent Tina Wilson has made it her mission to teach women about safety.

"At any time, at anyplace, violence can happen to us," said Wilson.

She founded SHE CAN SHOOT.  It's a four-hour firearms course that costs $55.  Women walk away with a certificate of completion and knowledge of how to safely shoot.

"It takes away the intimidating factor of going into an all-male only or male dominated environment," she explained.

According to the National Sales Data, at least 17 million women own firearms in the United States. The reason: Wilson says women today like the challenge.

"Frankly, they are tired of feeling very vulnerable," she added.

Shelly Good-Cook is one of them.

"If I'm put in a situation where I need to use it, I don't wanna think about anything but having to pull the trigger," Good-Cook said.

While violent crime has fallen for the past four years, National Rifle Association certified instructor Millicent Hunter says it's not just about self defense.

"It's a feeling of empowerment," said Hunter.

This course was Julie Aromsky's first time holding a gun and she's walking away with a prize.

"The shells, they kick back at you," she said.

While owning a gun might make you feel powerful, Wilson says, "More times than not if you use common sense you won't actually go ahead and pull that trigger."

But if they do, they now know how.

Five years ago, the NRA offered just 13 firearms training classes for women.  Today, there are more than 200 nationwide. 

Here is an interesting fact.  While some people still associate guns with men, a woman is actually responsible for inventing the bullet-proof vest.

Additional Information:

SHE CAN SHOOT offers national firearms training for women by women. The female instructors are not only highly certified, they understand how much patience and support is needed when instructing this skill. The national training team has many years of professional firearms training experience including federal law enforcement, defensive, and tactical shooting. Instructors are NRA certified, and each are required to spend a mandatory (6) months on a shooting range assisting students prior to certification, maintain firearms proficiency skills, and completing role playing and scenario drills that improve teaching success.  For more information visit

Copyright 2012 by Ivanhoe Broadcast News and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.