In Chicago, women worried about violence join gun club

smith & wesson

Another devastating weekend in Chiraq with a large amount of shootings. Women living there are doing something to protect themselves. Shannon Watts hardest hit.

From France 24: Her hands slowed by rheumatoid arthritis, 71-year-old Marietta Crowder stands in front of her paper target, steadies her gun and pulls the trigger. Shots are fired in quick succession.

Crowder is perhaps not the typical patron of a gun club. But she is one of seven women learning to safely handle firearms at a shooting range in a suburb of Chicago, a city wracked by gun violence and a soaring murder rate.

“My husband influenced me and we thought about it a long time. Maybe you need a gun these days, in your house at least,” said Crowder, who lives in a gated community with her retired banker husband.

A fellow retiree, Javondlynn Dunagan, came up with the idea of gun training classes geared toward women, and for the “Ladies of Steel” gun club — after successful training, the women gather twice a month to practice their skills.

Dunagan served as a parole officer for 25 years before finishing her career in January, but had rarely held a gun when dealing with convicts.  She said she started carrying one after divorcing her police officer husband.  “I was at home by myself with my daughter, and I was used to having a firearm in a home with my ex-husband,” she explained. “So, I wanted to make sure that we were safe.”

But Dunagan noticed something curious when she visited gun ranges around Chicago to practice.  “I noticed that I never saw two women at the range together or a group of ladies,” she recounted.

Dunagan was particularly struck by the lack of African-American women like herself interested in learning how to use firearms.  “I started asking friends and they said, ‘Yeah, I’m scared of guns.'”

That answer prompted her to start JMD Defense & Investigations, offering gun training programs geared towards women. The “investigations” side of the business will debut next year.

Dunagan also offers classes such as the “Mommy & Me Self-Defense Class,” where women can bring their daughters, ages 8-18 years, to learn hand-to-hand combat. “That came about because my daughter was going to college four years ago and she couldn’t find a self-defense class on the south side of Chicago,” Dunagan said.

Her clients are from the predominantly African-American communities in Chicago’s south side, in or near neighborhoods struggling with runaway gun violence.

Chicago does not have the worst crime rate in the nation, but owing to its large population — it’s the third-biggest US city — it has seen a staggering number of killings and shootings. By mid-July, there had been 1,557 shootings and 369 people murdered so far this year, according to the Chicago Police Department.

Gangs and the drug trade are behind most of the shootings, and they are indiscriminate.

Just this week, a 78-year-old man was wounded in one shooting, and a six-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother were wounded in another. All survived.  “Things happen in the neighborhoods all the time,” said Shandrea Boyd, a 40-year-old physical therapist wearing a “Black Girls Rock” t-shirt.

Boyd said she wished she did not feel the need to carry a gun, but there were too many others who were armed, she said. “You see people shooting on expressways. You see people shooting everywhere. You just never know. So you’d better be prepared (rather) than unprepared,” she said.

Boyd planned to buy a gun with enough safety features that she would feel comfortable having it at home with her four-year-old child.

That will likely be an expensive proposition. Purchasing a gun can cost several hundred to thousands of dollars. A concealed gun permit in the state of Illinois costs another $150.

The process is not for those without means. But, for students like Rhonda Gary, the cost is worth it.  “I get up before daylight and I live alone,” said the 51-year-old railroad worker. “I’ve been broken into before.”

Gary was also joining Dunagan’s gun club to get regular practice shooting with other women. “I think it will be a little bit of comfort,” she said. “A feeling of security.”

h/t Drudge


10 responses to “In Chicago, women worried about violence join gun club

  1. How does this gun club work? Doesn’t Chicago have gun control?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My wife is a much better shot than I am!! SHHHH! We live in California, were not supposed to have or like guns. We all see the stellar results that Chicago has with their gun ban. LOL. Good for the ladies who want to be able to protect themselves with a gun, they need one for all manner of predators.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, we are created equal so we “all” must have guns, learn to put the bullet right on target, trust and respect it that in a given moment will be our life saver. Nothing wrong with having one, better yet owning two!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Most of the women I know own guns,of those,about 75% carry most of the time,several have CCW’s and a couple open carry or carry concealed without permit. (They’d rather be ALIVE to argue their case in Court,if necessary,than comply with a law they don’t believe in and die for it.) I was told by a guy some time ago,”I carry concealed ALL THE TIME. I don’t have a CCW,but I figure if my gun’s concealed,nobody knows it’s there-it won’t be an issue unless I need to USE it,and I can’t argue it in Court if I’m DEAD.”
    Out here,if you’re in town,the Cops can’t be counted on to be close enough to help you if you’re attacked,and the Sheriff could take an hour or more to be on scene if you’re in an outlying area,so they SUGGEST you need to be able to defend yourself. (The Sheriff says he’d like it if EVERYONE would carry,because he and his Deputies can’t be everywhere all the time.) With this said,depending on circumstances,the Courts aren’t as rabid as in other places to pounce on a home owner who has to defend against an armed intruder. It’s like the “Castle Law” but without the actual SAYING of it.

    “When you’re attacked,and seconds,count,the Police are only MINUTES away.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I outshoot my ex-Marine/ex-Justice Dept. officer husband…..and he humbly admits it in public. I built a replica Kentucky Long Rifle black powder armament in our first year of marriage (40 years ago! And, It works and hangs over my mantel, ready to “go”….so he KNEW what he was getting in to….and he’s still here 🙂 ) My Pennsylvania grandmother ( maybe 4-foot 10-inches tall, 90 lbs) always went deer hunting with my grandfather and bagged her deer every year. It was a necessity for our dairy-farming family: You milk your cows…you don’t eat them. You eat venison.,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Took them long enough….


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