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Women Take Up Arms in California: Shooting Ranges See Major Increase in Women Buying and Learning to Use Guns

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Left-leaning women in California are finally realizing that their firearms — not their elected officials — are what criminals fear most.

Often referred to as the “great equalizer” between the two genders, firearm proficiency is something that women are starting to embrace, according to California resident Brandi Joseph.

Joseph is the owner of Fortune Firearms shooting range in Hemet, about 90 miles south of Los Angeles. She told the Washington Examiner that most of her clients are not what one would expect from the blue state.

“The majority of people I know in my life are Democrats, and I do not know any who do not own guns,” Joseph told the news outlet. “What has started now is an increase of women getting involved. The majority of my clients are women.”

Joseph said fears for her safety during a traumatic divorce led her to become proficient with a firearm about 20 years ago.

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According to the Washington Examiner, she believed a gun would be a more certain means of protecting herself than a restraining order, which she also obtained. “A restraining order is a piece of paper that doesn’t do anything — it’s a joke,” she told the news outlet.

The recent increase in violence has confirmed her decision to arm herself, she added. “We are seeing people walking into a restaurant and robbing a family in broad daylight,” she told the Examiner. “I want to protect myself, with all the looting and the guys who want to overthrow my government. The world is changing, and it’s scary.”

Joseph is not the only one who has noticed an increase in women gun owners. A recent poll cited by Fox News found nearly half of those buying guns for the first time since early 2019 were women.

“The preliminary results from the 2021 National Firearms Survey … show an estimated 3.5 million women became new gun owners from January 2019 through April of this year. About 4 million men became new gun owners over that period, they found,” Fox News reported.

That’s a significant increase from decades of previous surveys, which found that 10 to 20 percent of American gun owners were women.

Elaine Pierce, 74, of San Diego was one of several women who told Fox News that recent racial and political violence prompted her to buy a gun and learn to use it. In her case, protests against police brutality that erupted near her home frightened her, as did calls to defund the police.

“I’ve seen riots before, but the police were always there,” she told Fox. “You drive into a riot, which we’ve seen on TV, [but with a gun] at least you have a fighting chance.”

Studies show the COVID-19 lockdowns caused an increase in domestic violence, which also has inspired many women to join the ranks of gun owners.

Domestic violence incidents in the U.S. increased by about 8.1 percent during the lockdowns, CNN reported, citing the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.

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Many believe that to be a conservative estimate, because many incidents go unreported, are unnoticed by outsiders or are not taken seriously by authorities, the news outlet reported.

“In my mind, I think that 8% is a floor and not a ceiling,” Alex Piquero, the lead author of the analysis, told CNN. Piquero, who is chair of the University of Miami Department of Sociology, said, “I think the problem is actually worse than we actually know right now.”

If self-described California moderates like Brandi Joseph are encouraging and training women to become proficient with firearms, perhaps it’s time for the rest of the country to take a hard look at Democratic policies in our major cities.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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