(NJ) Women take up arms


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Drizzt
April 2, 2003, 06:55 PM
Women take up arms

By SUSAN ELAN
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: April 2, 2003)

TEANECK, N.J. — Lenore Higgs tightens her grip on a .380-caliber semiautomatic, closes one eye and pulls the trigger.

Bullets fly from the firing line, piercing a black-and-white paper target set up at the other end of the low-slung indoor shooting range.

"When someone threatens your life, you should take it seriously," said the 27-year-old mother and college student who lives in White Plains.

Higgs recently took part in an eight-hour firearms safety class at the Tenafly Rifle and Pistol Club in Teaneck. She and several other women had come because they plan to buy guns for self-defense following threats or episodes of violence. Others attended because they want to hunt or take up target practice.

"Guns used to make me panic," Higgs said during a lull. "I was always afraid they would go off."

Things changed after Higgs witnessed an attempted car theft on her property late one night. When the thieves discovered her identity, she received a threatening phone call.

"The individual said he would kill my whole family," Higgs said.

Handgun ownership has risen in Westchester and Rockland counties since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including ownership by women. Permits issued to women in Westchester have increased nearly 50 percent from 1998 to 2002, county figures show. Figures were not available for Putnam County.

Data from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago show that at least 17 million of the country's 90 million gun owners are women.

A Harvard University study concluded that seven out of 10 women killed in industrialized nations are American, and most of those deaths are due to the high level of household gun ownership in the United States. Women are far more likely to be killed by someone they know than by an unknown intruder, the study found.

But women gun advocates argue that owning a gun gives them a fighting chance in instances of attempted rape, burglary or domestic violence.

Back on the range, Katonah resident Jan Marinier smiled broadly as she surveyed a cluster of bullet holes near the bull's-eye on the black-and-white paper target.

"I love this," Marinier said as an odor of gunpowder swirled around her. "It's very exciting to shoot."

Marinier, training for skeet shooting, reloads a 9 mm Beretta. Her outstretched arms do not waver as she takes aim and sends a volley of shots crackling through the air.

Interest by women "in the lawful use and ownership of firearms is growing tremendously," said Carl Albanese, a National Rifle Association certified instructor and founder of Safety Association for Firearm Education & Training, the business that organized the class.

"Many women are interested in firearm training for self-defense," said Albanese, a White Plains resident. "They want to take control of their own security and not become a victim."

Nancy Novaes is just such a participant.

Although her father had been a police officer, Novaes never wanted to learn to shoot. After she was robbed at knife-point twice in her Greenwich Village apartment, she changed her mind.

"I don't want to feel like a victim anymore," Novaes said as she reloaded.

The full-day course also drew representatives from a number of national organizations that advocate gun ownership by women including Armed Females of America, Second Amendment Sisters, and Shooters' Committee on Political Education or SCOPE.

Robee VanNorman, a physician's assistant from High Falls, Ulster County, said she bought a gun in 1988 after being stalked.

"The police said there was nothing they could do for me," she said. So VanNorman began packing a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson. When the stalker showed up at her house late one night, VanNorman pulled out her gun. "I saw a figure running away. I never heard from him again," said VanNorman, who now recruits for SCOPE.

But for many American women, the presence of guns in their lives does not lead to such a happy ending, said David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at Harvard's School of Public Health.

Many more women were killed with guns used by their husbands or intimate acquaintances than were murdered by strangers using guns, knives or any other means, Hemenway said. Only 13 percent of female victims were killed by strangers.

Steve Eisenberg, a gun dealer and an owner of The Firing Line indoor shooting range in Pearl River, said gun use for self-defense is a bad idea because it can result in the death of a family member or neighbor.

"You've really got to know what you are doing," Eisenberg said. "If someone is trying to break in, it's better to barricade the door and call the police. That's why we have police."

Nevertheless, the percentage of women who make up The Firing Line's 4,850 members has shot up from 4 percent two years ago to 10 percent today, Eisenberg said.

In Rockland County, the number of people applying for handgun permits has increased steadily since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and about a quarter of those applications come from women, said Milton Glassman, the county's pistol license clerk. About 19,000 Rockland residents have handgun permits, he said.

About 10,000 Putnam residents have handgun permits, said Deputy County Clerk Michael Bartolotti.

Westchester County Clerk Leonard Spano said 16,634 residents have handgun permits and the number of women applying is steadily growing.

Permits are not required for rifles or shotguns.

Higgs, who came to the course ready "to do anything and everything I have to do to protect my family," said she had learned a lot during the 90-minute "live fire" class and enjoyed the experience.

"Maybe I can take a negative thing and make it into a positive thing by making shooting a sport, too," she said.

http://www.nyjournalnews.com/newsroom/040203/b0102womenguns.html

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blades67
April 2, 2003, 07:09 PM
Good for them!:cool:

benewton
April 2, 2003, 08:01 PM
"Marinier, training for skeet shooting, reloads a 9 mm Beretta. Her outstretched arms do not waver as she takes aim and sends a volley of shots crackling through the air."


Considering that I can, on a good day, wack out 5 12 oz cans with 6 .38s at 25 yards, I'm sure I want no part of a woman, man, or anyone else who can go 25 with a 9mm, rifle or pistol!


"You've really got to know what you are doing," Eisenberg said. "If someone is trying to break in, it's better to barricade the door and call the police. That's why we have police."

No, actually, in fact, the police pick up the mess afterwards. Sometimes, they even get the person who did it.

BTW, aren't barricades normally errected PRIOR to the breakin?

Ah well, that's NJ, and they already have too many "people" to start with, at least in the northeastern segment, so, I guess, why should anyone care about their stupidity.

Standing Wolf
April 2, 2003, 08:49 PM
"The police said there was nothing they could do for me," she said. So VanNorman began packing a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson. When the stalker showed up at her house late one night, VanNorman pulled out her gun. "I saw a figure running away. I never heard from him again," said VanNorman, who now recruits for SCOPE.

Small wonder leftists want to disarm every law-abiding citizen in America!

Nathaniel Firethorn
April 2, 2003, 09:51 PM
Thanks for posting. Even in PRNJ there are occasional glimmers of common sense.

OTOH, we have range owners like this: Steve Eisenberg, a gun dealer and an owner of The Firing Line indoor shooting range in Pearl River, said gun use for self-defense is a bad idea because it can result in the death of a family member or neighbor.

"You've really got to know what you are doing," Eisenberg said. "If someone is trying to break in, it's better to barricade the door and call the police. That's why we have police." :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

- pdmoderator

DFBonnett
April 3, 2003, 03:51 PM
Steve Eisenberg, a gun dealer and an owner of The Firing Line indoor shooting range in Pearl River, said gun use for self-defense is a bad idea because it can result in the death of a family member or neighbor.

"You've really got to know what you are doing," Eisenberg said. "If someone is trying to break in, it's better to barricade the door and call the police. That's why we have police."



What a tool!

"Excuse me Mr. Rapist while I go out to Home Depot and buy some lumber for a barricade".

That AH had to be kidding!

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