The Amarillo chapter of The Well Armed Woman, a national organization with chapters in many states with the goal of educating, equipping, and empowering women gun owners, has just hit its one-year anniversary.
KVIA decided to use the occasion to check in on the Amarillo chapter, in which about 70 women are enrolled, ranging from age 18 to two women in their 80s, the story says. M’Lynn Miller, 48, who is getting used to a 9mm after graduating from a .22LR pistol, said she likely would never have started shooting if not for TWAW.
“I don’t think so,” she said in the story. “I’d have been kind of intimidate. Now, it wouldn’t matter, but in the beginning, I wouldn’t have done it. There’s just something about being all-women that makes you feel comfortable.”
“No one feels pressure to perform and know everything immediately,” said Karen Schrader, an English teacher at Tascosa and one of the chapter leaders, in the story. “I learned to shoot from a man, but that doesn’t mean all women respond to male instructors.
“A lot of men can be intimidating, and by nature, often more aggressive. Especially for women who’ve been involved in a domestic violence situation, it can be hard for them to ask for help from a man. I’d say at least half of our class wouldn’t be here if it were mixed,” she added.
Caprice Nutt, 52, another shooter interviewed in the story, said she wanted a concealed carry permit a couple years ago when her son got his, but wanted some training, since she’d never even owned a gun before.
She got some training with local shooter Ayvrie Dixon, the story says, before discovering TWAW, and its closest chapter in Logan, New Mexico, 105 miles away. She and a friend made the trip twice before deciding to open a chapter in Amarillo, holding the first meeting in August 2016.
The story says the women in the chapter shoot mostly .380 and 9mm guns, but some also go for .40 S&W and .45 ACP handguns.
“There’s just something about seeing these women ‘get it,'” Nutt said in the story. “It’s like, ‘My husband bought me a gun and I don’t know what to do with it,’ and so they come out and now they start to understand it. They’re confident and comfortable. This is why we’re here – to see that light come on for them.”