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President’s Message

Marty-eJournal column pixby Marty Hayes, J.D.

As I write this month’s President’s Message, I am preparing to fly off to Waco, TX to participate as a presenter in the 2nd Annual A Girl and A Gun Conference. What a thrill it will be for me to be amongst 300 or so armed ladies. (Get your mind out of the gutter, boys, that is not what I meant!)

For me, my journey in the defensive shooting/training world started back in 1988, teaching women’s only firearms classes at an indoor range in the greater Seattle area. This was back in a time when it was virtually unheard of for women to actually carry guns on a daily basis, but the movement had started. During this time, Paxton Quigley had come out with her ground-breaking book Armed and Female, and Women & Guns, the first magazine dedicated to armed women, was started by Sonny Jones. It is still published by the Second Amendment Foundation. Smith & Wesson was waking and warming up to the women’s movement in the gun world by introducing a line of firearms meant especially for women, the Ladysmith.

I had no experience teaching women how to shoot. My previous experience as a firearms instructor had been in law enforcement circles, and women cops were very rare back then. I was a little taken aback when I found out that most of the women in these classes had been victims of sexual assault, either as a child or later in life as an adult. After this realization, I concluded that the concept of men teaching women (especially previous victims of sexual assault) how to shoot was a poor substitute for women teaching women how to shoot. But, there were virtually no female firearms instructors in the country back then, so it was a while before women started assuming the natural role of teaching their own peer group.

Since then, through my training company, The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc., I have certified five female instructors, all of whom are still active in the industry. In fact, three of them will be teaching their own blocks of instruction at the conference. How cool is that?

Now days, there are women teaching all over the country, and while men still dominate the upper echelons of firearms training, the female instructors are starting to get noticed in a big way there, too. A Girl and a Gun is a nationwide membership organization with local chapters all across the country. If you are one of our lady members, check them out, and if there is not a chapter in your area, consider joining or starting one up! I will report back next month to let you know how the conference went. I’ll have a few pictures, too!

New Book on Self Defense Due Soon

Friend and author Marc MacYoung, whom you saw on the Network’s member education DVD Recognizing and Responding to Pre-Attack Indicators, will have a new book out soon, called In the Name of Self-Defense. He has been working on this book his whole life and I have a pre-publication copy to review for him. It is a very thorough treatment of the topic of violence and self defense. It will be my in-flight reading material and I hope to get through it during the next couple of weeks.

Lead Article’s Backstory

The article, Meet Your Legal Defense Team was ideated after I heard about yet another self-defense aftermath legal provider coming into the market place. I have lost count of how many there are now out there, but it must be over a dozen. I wonder how many of them even have a clue as to what is needed in a self-defense case? I suspect that at least some of the pre-paid legal schemes do have a clue, since attorneys typically run them, but I see them advertising that they will cover the legal fees only.