(AmmoLand.com) I recently met up with Beth Alcazar at the United States Concealed Carry Expo in West Bend, Wisconsin May 8-10. Beth’s popular blog, Pacifiers and Peacemakers on the USCCA web site deals with issues concerning self-defense and concealed carry for women, especially Moms.
Beth, the Expo attendance has exceeded the expectations of the USCCA. I have noticed that women represent a good percentage of the attendees and there are a number of vendors with products designed for women. How do you compare the products and services available now to when you first started shooting? “There is definitely significant growth in products that target women. Initially manufacturers offered lots of pink guns and accessories without asking what women really wanted. This trend has gone away and you can tell the manufacturers are starting to listen. Statistics show that 37% of new shooters are women. Gun dealers’ sales to women have increased 80% since 2012. 42% of women say they have a gun in their home for self-defense. These are numbers that are hard to ignore.”
How did you get involved in the concealed carry and self-defense lifestyle? “Unlike the so called typical woman shooter, I wasn’t raised in a home where my parents were hunters or shooters. They weren’t against guns; it was just something they didn’t think about. My husband shoots, so he introduced me to the sport when we got married. When I became a Mom I started to realize that it was my responsibility to protect my children, no matter what type of threat we faced, whether a hot stove or an intruder. I knew then that I needed to get the training necessary to carry concealed. After all, who typically spends more time with the children? In most homes it’s the Mom. She’s the first responder. It’s important to call 911, but what do you do while waiting for help to arrive? You have to be able to take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of your children.”
What is your goal when talking to women about guns and self-defense? “First of all I want to help them see the anti-gun misinformation that is perpetuated by the media about how women and children are more at risk having a gun in the home. The statistics simply don’t bear this out. Accidental gun deaths and injuries in the home have fallen over 58% in the last 20 years. In 2013 there were 505 gun related accidents. Compared to falls, drownings, poisonings and other events, accidents with guns are a tiny percentage of deaths and injuries in the home. I want women to get the training they need to feel empowered to protect themselves and their families so they sleep better at night. There are programs through the NSSF, NRA, state hunter education, local gun ranges and others that provide this training. Training builds confidence and the ability to act in an emergency. Women need to know that they are making a difference financially and politically when they exercise their Second Amendment rights. Moms with guns are no longer victims.”