In Texas, some women see guns as the answer

In Texas, some women see guns as the answer

on November 2, 2022

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An orange “dummy” gun, along with some live ammunition, belonging to firearms instructor Cindy Scott sit in the shooting range at the Texas Gun Club in League City, Texas, on October 14, 2022. (Photo by allison dinner / AFP)

by Paula RAMON
Agence France-Presse

GALVESTON, United States (AFP) — Cindy Scott teaches women to shoot using multi-colored targets and weapon bags decorated with unicorns, convinced that guns are not only safe but symbols of female empowerment.

“I get calls from women that are going through divorce, that just filed restraining orders or who are widowed,” she says.

“The second amendment is for everybody, but it’s for law abiding citizens.”

The right to bear arms — the privilege asserted in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution — is one of the key faultlines that runs through America.

While it is not on the ballot in the midterm elections on November 8, it is a touchstone issue that frequently — but never neatly — divides left from right, Democrat from Republican, city-dweller from countryfolk.

On one side are those who believe that access to firearms fuels the country’s terrifying homicide and suicide rates, with more than 37,000 deaths from guns so far this year, according to gunviolencearchive.com.

On the other side are those like Scott, who view firearms as indispensable for self-defense.

Her home state of Texas is one of 23 states that do not restrict the carrying of weapons.

Those who say there should be controls on guns don’t understand the reality of the life that most people live, she says.

“They spend millions of dollars and have bodyguards,” she said.

“They live in areas where they are able to have walls and fences…

“So if you were to ban firearms from law abiding citizens, you’re taking away their ability to defend themselves.”

Repeated opinion surveys by reputable organizations such as Gallup find that far from being a minority opinion of the super-wealthy, a clear majority of Americans would like stricter controls on firearms.

Cindy Scott, a firearms instructor, shows her shot on “A Girl and A Gun” target, at the Texas Gun Club in League City, Texas, on October 14, 2022. Scott owns her own business, Galveston Gals, where she teaches females how to shoot firearms, and is a member of the nation-wide group A Girl And A Gun. (Photo by allison dinner / AFP)

– Female instructor –

Scott began learning how to handle weapons around a decade ago when she was spending a lot of time alone, or with only her son because her husband was working away from home.

In the early days finding a class with a female instructor was tough.

Years later, after her son had left home and she had more time on her hands, she began teaching other women how to shoot.

Many women who get in touch have gone through a big upheaval in their lives, she says.

“I think the realization when some of them are alone that ‘I no longer have a husband,’ I think that’s when it sets in,

“Or they now have gotten their house broken into or their car’s been stolen…

“If you have a firearm, you have a tool and it’s a tool for self defense.”

© Agence France-Presse