Dear Gun Whisperer,
Can you offer some suggestions on how I can relate better to female students in my gun classes? It has gotten back to me that I’ve made some women uncomfortable, and I can’t see <expletive deleted> why, but that is what I’m told.
Signed, F&%(*$*)% Great Instructor
First, profanity is often a substitute for a poor vocabulary, or a sign that you just don’t care. Either way…Miss Manners would tell you to stop and so would I. A gun class can be intimidating for someone who is new and it is helpful if the instructor comes across more like a gentleman than a street fighter. Second, (just guessing here) be very careful about the gender comments or jokes. Racking a slide is hand leverage, many men have trouble. Pulling a heavy trigger is about hand strength, not gender. Keep them in the workspace (the same place you open a tight jar of pickles, where you are strongest, in close to the body). Tiny guns, often called Pocket Pistols, are not easy for ANYONE to shoot, male or female. Remember, just because it is small, or pink, does not make it great for a woman.
Women are often more focused on communication where men are more focused on visual. You need to be able to explain as well as demonstrate. Be patient, guns can be scary to someone who is new to them, regardless of gender.
Never encourage a woman to carry a gun in her purse, unless it is a carry purse, and even then there are considerations and remembering to keep it under her personal control at all times.
Be respectful, patient, explain why, not just because you said to do it that way. You will find you have happier students, both men and women, the probably more of them once word gets around.
The Gun Whisperer
This article is not intended to provide legal advice, nor is the substitute for consultation with a trained or certified gun-smith or trainer in making any particular decision or election not to act. Laws, customs, and weapons choices vary widely within states across the country for reasons ranging from climate, general and specific dangers, and political philosophy.