Friday, March 16, 2012

What is a well-armed woman?

By Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor
At The Well Armed Woman, it's all about accomplishing the "Three Es:" To Educate, to Equip and to Empower women. Anything that falls into these Es is why it exists and what it's about. I started because there was nothing like it when I was considering a gun.

No single resource that had everything I needed to explore firearms, make an intelligent decision, grow in my skills and find products that fit a my body and lifestyle and, more importantly, spoke to me as a woman. In such a short time, I can say with confidence, women are hungry for these Es!

I am thrilled to be invited to share and connect with you to not only grow in our own skills and knowledge but to inform and expand the world of firearms to all women.

OK, so back to the question. You either are a woman or know a woman; right? So what IS a well-armed woman? Is it a woman in full tactical gear with an AR15 on her shoulder? Is it a gal in jeans and a cowboy hat with a .45 strapped to her belt and a .380 holstered in her boot? Is it the "Mature woman" with her 12 gauge shotgun under her bed? Or is it the business woman with her compact 9mm tucked discretely in her bra holster? All of these are armed women, but what makes a woman well-armed is not just the firearm she owns or how well she is equipped, it is the two other Es that define her. A woman who is well-informed (Educated), well-trained and encouraged to grow and improve further (Empowered) is what makes one well armed.

Let’s hear what you think. Please comment and share about what makes you, or the woman in your life, a Well-Armed Woman. Or share your thoughts on what makes a Well-Armed Woman and what kinds of topics you would like me to discuss in future articles.

Let’s hear what you think. Please comment and share about what makes you, or the woman in your life, a Well Armed Woman. Or share your thoughts on what you think makes a Well Armed Woman and what kinds of topics you would like me to discuss in future articles.

One thing I know, is that each woman has her totally unique reason or combination of reasons as to why she owns a firearm, she has a unique life and lifestyle that it must fit within safely, and a unique body to not only handle her gun, but to carry it as well. There is nothing more beautiful than a Well-Armed Woman!

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook or Twitter and visit

Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.


  1. In my opinion a well armed woman is a woman that has proficiency with what ever firearm she is using, it is not what you carry but how good you are with what you carry. In my humble opinion.

    1. I think your humble opinion is right on CM! Being a Well Armed Woman takes commitment to regular practice and training. In the middle of a life threatening situation, is not the time to get acquainted with your firearm!!

  2. Great post, Carrie! I'm a well armed woman, and seek to be ever more so! Thanks to Beretta for bringing in new feminine perspectives!

  3. Thank you! ! I am looking forward sharing here. There is a whole population of Well Armed Women - can't wait to meet them all!

  4. A Well Armed Woman: My belief of one started when I was 9 years old with my father. He believed and "hammered home" the adage I still have today at 44. If the weapon is in the home, you will know how to maintain and fire it. He introduced me to the world of firearms with a 12-guage shotgun, and I carry it through today with my CCW Nano!

    1. Kudos to your dad Ms Tgr. He really started you off right and with the right attitude about firearms. What we think and know about guns is just as important as the physical skill of shooting one. Thank you for sharing - Hope all the men out there take their daughters to the range and start them off right too! They are the next generation of Well Armed Women!

  5. Isn't the meaning of a well armed woman the same for a well armed man. I'm confused on the need to describe a difference based on gender.

    1. Yes, what makes any of us Well Armed are the same things. The rising interest in firearms with women has taken the industry by surprise, with that, women have been struggling to find resources, training and products that speaks to them. I think women are struggling to define themselves as "shooting women" as it is (for many) new territory. We all know men and women speak a different "language" and have different needs. The Well Armed Woman is focused on meeting that need, hence my emphasis on women., and I am one :)

    2. First of all, I am immensely grateful to Carrie for starting The Well Armed Woman. It’s so wonderful to see products and information that are specifically for a female. And, I think of the term “well armed” to include equipment, knowledge, and skill. It’s not just about having a gun. Being “well armed” is the whole package.

      I think there is quite a difference between a well armed man and a well armed woman. Or maybe the end result is the same, but we need to travel there on different roads.

      The differences start with equipment. I cannot use my husband’s equipment. My body type is too different, my clothing is too different, my physical strength is too different. We can both be “well armed” but we’re going to have to use different tools to get there.

      My gun needs to be lighter so I can hold it, smaller so I can hide it. My holster has to be unique so it works with my clothes. A man certainly doesn’t have to worry about how to conceal carry while wearing a skirt. I do. Bra holster? I guarantee my hubby has never thought about its existence. For me, it’s a wonderful, useful option. With the appropriate but different equipment options for each of us, my hubby and I can both be “well armed.”
      My training needs to be different from a man’s. I am vulnerable because men are nearly always stronger. Maybe that means I need to have multiple weapons in case I’m overpowered and my primary weapon is taken away. Maybe that means I need to learn to defend myself earlier, not let an attacker get close. My personal space requirement needs to be larger than that of a man. It means the option a man has of punching is probably not going to be among my personal protection options of being “well armed.” I need strategies and methods that take into account my lack of physical strength.

      Oh, and my husband probably doesn’t have to worry about being raped. Unfortunately, there are men who are focused on trying to rape, so I have to be aware and trained for that possibility. In my overall arsenal of protection, I need to have many strategies for protecting myself against that specific type of attack. So, a woman has to add this to her “well armed” training.

      As a woman, I did not grow up playing with guns or even pretending to shoot using sticks or fingers. I am not familiar with the many different types of weapons or how they work, so I have a lot to learn. I didn’t have a BB gun as a youngster. I didn’t grow up aiming, shooting, or destroying things. In order to be “well armed” I have a lot of information to learn that many of my male counterparts already know. A lot of things that are simple and intuitive to a man need to be taught to me. My lack of exposure and lack of knowledge could make me feel stupid compared to a man’s knowledge. I have a lot of catching up to do in order to be “well armed.” My training needs to start at a very basic level.

      Society has always told me to be nice. I’ve never punched someone, brawled or had a physical fight. It’s hard for me to find that inner warrior - really really hard. Nearly impossible, in fact. I can kick a dummy when practicing personal protection, but it takes me a while to go deep down and find a flash of inner warrior rage that I need in order to fight back and win. So, in order to be “well armed” I may need a bit more coaching.

      It is for these reasons, and probably many more, that there is a distinct need for equipment, training, and strategies that are specific to women. With Carrie’s business, The Well Armed Woman, we can find the techniques and tools that will result in women being as well armed as a man.