Courtney Free said she practices shooting at a range two to three times a month. photo from

As more women buy guns, obtain concealed carry permits, and take gun safety and self-defense courses in record numbers, the question, “Are women really made safer by owning a gun?” often arises.

There are, of course, numerous figures and statistics used to “prove” women not only aren’t made safer by owning a gun, but are putting themselves in greater danger just by being around one.

But there’s just as much evidence pointing the other way.

The Shreveport Times interviewed Janalee Tobias as part of a feature on the topic. Tobias is a conservative Mormon housewife and as the president and founder of Women Against Gun Control, she deals with women who wonder if buying a gun is a good choice.

She told the Times she has seen women transform and develop confidence and competence as they learn how to use a firearm.

“Guns are magical,” Tobias says in the story. “If people think you have a gun, they’re afraid of you.”

There are several The Well Armed Woman chapters in Louisiana, which are specifically designed to train and educate female shooters.

Adrianna Eschete (left) provides firearms tips and training to women in the Well Armed Woman Bayou Region Chapter in Houma. photo from

“Today, more and more ladies are independent, travel alone for their careers, are single moms, take care of a household while the husband works away from home for long periods of time, run errands after daylight hours,” wrote Adrianna Eschete, TWAW chapter leader for the Bayou Region in Houma, told the Times. “Because of these and many other circumstances, we find ourselves as the protectors, rather than the protected, of ourselves and our families.”

The story recounts the time that Elzie Pipkins, a 64-year-old woman, found herself confronting a robber with a shotgun who broke into her home last year. She managed to get to the gun she stashed in her safe and defended herself, shooting the robber.

“I was only defending myself and my family inside of my home,” Pipkins says in the story. “It wasn’t on the outside, this was on the inside. When someone comes at you with force to do bodily harm, you have the right to defend yourself.”

The story cites a report from the NSSF this year stating that more than 48 percent of women surveyed say they keep a gun for self-protection and home defense. “More than 80 percent of women reported feeling more secure because of owning a firearm, while 74 percent said they considered owning a gun a matter of survival and self reliance,” the article says. “According to the report, the average female gun owner was between 25 and 34 years old, white, employed full time and married. She also had a college degree and lived in a rural area.”

For the full story from the Shreveport Times, go here.