Two Shots and the Gift of Confidence | Women & Guns | USCCA

I had a great opportunity to take the USCCA’s Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals course on the road not too long ago. I ended up teaching at Cape Gun Works in Hyannis, Massachusetts, to a fantastic group of motivated women. One of the reasons I loved teaching this class was this diverse group of women came from all different backgrounds and shared a wide variety of reasons for wanting to get firearms and self-defense training.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

My career was in teaching, but I took a part-time job as a police offer to supplement my income, and because I wanted to contribute more to the community. I already knew how to shoot a handgun, having had some experience in the military, but when a firearms course came available by the PA State Police, I jumped at it. I was amazed at how much more confidence I had in my skills after completing the course; a confidence that made me feel a lot more in control, and a lot less likely to go off “half cocked” when an incident with a man-with-a-gun came up. I don’t know if that man is still walking around today, but he probably never knew how lucky he was that day. NOTHING instills confidence like training.

I am so glad you took the time to help this women. Confidence is a big one and I know that for a fact. I have appreciated the instructors who were not judgmental and very patient. Training is so helpful.

When are you coming to Philadelphia?

This was a real heart warming story Beth, it is good to hear about others coming up in the ranks, I’m sure she will pursue her endeavors, because it is good to have a working knowledge of guns even if you don’t shoot them if a bad situation happens you do have some kind of chance, thank you Beth for this information and continually to teach them.

Beth, I actually teared up reading this because I have been exactly where you were emotionally with several students in the past. It is amazing to watch and experience when eyes and minds are opened to capabilities always thought to be out of reach by students. The gratification is palpable! The emotions involved in personal conquests are real for both the novice and the mentor. You describe it (and handled it) PERFECTLY! Thanks for a reminder of why we do what we do.
Dick @ Raymore Outdoor Sports, LLC

I crawled into my very first firefight, all the other Marines ran, when I got to my gun team the team leader said, “you showed up, lots of people don’t, next time it will be easier”! Running into a firefight is not something you ever want to do but running to the sound of the guns is what Marines are paid to do, everyone is afraid, but if you overcome your fear and show up, every firefight from then on became something I ran to. Those who froze and would not go into battle would end up in the rear with the gear and do something else, or get kicked out.

Beth, you did a good job with that lady, fear is something everyone has to deal with in their own way, the hero’s are all dead and the rest of us who did overcome fear and do what we had to do are just regular people who happen to have some interesting skills whom others think they have but until the gun fire starts no one knows until you have been there.

You do have to stay in touch with this lady, she has to get from where you left her to the next step and so on or the little training she did receive will not get her where you and she actually want her to be, teaching is a tough job, if you care. And caring is the hardest part, you cannot fight any fight but your own but your students must be able to fight their own fight and overcome their fear. Believe me, I know everything there is to know about fear!

Semper Fie