Women, and the Macho, Boot Camp Mentality in Firearms Training

Women shooters have found an alternative to the drill sergeant mentality so prevalent in firearms training. Constructive, personable training using positive reinforcement, such as found at Front Sight Resorts, is bringing record numbers of women to the firing line.

by Robin Schmitt

In a recent visit to Front Sight Resorts, I was surprised to find such a large number of women students. I had come to Front Sight to polish up my handgun skills which were in need of significant sprucing up, as it had been five years since I last attended a professional firearms training course. I was literally shocked to find that over 30% of the students in my class were women. During one of my reload breaks I took a head count to find that 12 of the 38 students, on our range alone, were female. This is in stark contrast to what I had experienced in prior training, where about 5% of students were women.

I started checking to find what it was that was bringing women, apparently in droves, to Front Sight for firearms training. The growing awareness among women of the need for self-protection training is, of course, a well-established trend. I found that a key influencing factor for these women was the lack of macho, boot camp mentality by the instructors, and in its place a personable, friendly constructive instruction, the likes of which are rare, maybe non-existent elsewhere in this industry.

Does this mean that the long-entrenched drill sergeant method of instruction may be on the wane, supplanted by a more positive instructional system?

Certainly for these women shooters - they were completely satisfied that none of this boot camp stuff was being used on them.

One female attorney, also taking the Two-Day Defensive Handgun course had been to Front Sight a couple times before. She made it very clear, It just makes for a much easier, and more constructive learning environment. Judging by her shooting ability, which was exceptional, I would have to agree.

Of all the places you can go to get firearms training, Front Sight appears to have the broadest spectrum of students. Possibly this is because of the way their instruction is conducted. For sure, Front Sight has within its student ranks police officers, military, emergency personnel, experienced hunters, and they also train a substantial number of firearms instructors themselves. However, there is another range of Front Sight students that you don’t see in such concentration anywhere else: College professors, teachers, nurses, mothers, flight attendants, real estate agents, and other occupations where there is a high propensity for women.

Just listen to what a few of these women have to say about firearms training at Front Sight using non-boot camp methods for instruction:

The Front Sight course was great fun. Says Nancy Speer, a teacher, I learned the correct and safe way to handle a gun, both for target shooting and when there is a need to use a gun in extreme circumstances. I now feel I could better handle a fight if necessary. Front Sight is a great confidence builder.

Front Sight is an awesome place to learn to shoot a gun. The instructors are professional, personable and patient. I enjoyed it immensely. Says Maita Castellanes, an office manager.

A lot of women are afraid of guns. Says Kamie Blake, a homemaker, Coming to a course at Front Sight taught me how to be more confident with weapons and myself. I learned how to defend myself and those I love.

Front Sight is safe, thorough, and by the numbers. You walk away with skills to keep you alive. Says Deborah Williams, kindergarten teacher.

As a woman student I was concerned whether I could really do the class. Says Juliana Bernabe, a CFO. I was glad I attended because I learned so much more in two days than I had in the last year of shooting. I now have confidence to draw my gun, shoot, and even clear any malfunctions in two to three seconds.

The Front Sight instructors are great! They treat you with positive reinforcement constantly. Says Katherine Bohn, a registerd nurse and paramedic. I totally loved this course, it gave me great pride to be one if its students.

I approached this training with an extreme anti-gun attitude that I’ve had my whole life. Front Sight definitely changed my attitude significantly. Says Mallika Albert, massage therapist. I acquired important life-saving skills.

The instructors are true professionals. They were helpful and 100% safety conscious. Says Dr. Suzanne Hedden, a college professor.

Looking around at the other 26 students in our class who are males, coming from all walks of life, of all ages, and all levels of shooting experience, it became clear to me that they, as well, were enjoying the non-drill sergeant training style.

Could it be that for these many years, we shooters have been fooled all along into believing that to really learn to shoot well we had to have it drilled into us with boot camp tenacity? Fortunately, Front Sight has developed a better way to train just about anybody in the proper use and safety of firearms, using positive reinforcement and constructive correction. In fact, their instruction method is so successful, that each year they reportedly train more private citizens in firearms safety and handling than all of the other major schools combined.

Front Sight has made firearms training very appealing and very accessible to women, and without getting into the macho, boot camp mentality. If popular consensus is any indicator, Front Sight will continue to be center stage in the firearms training arena and we will see increasing numbers of women learning to effectively defend themselves by acquiring the skilled use of firearms.

For more information on Front Sight Resorts call.

Robin Schmitt writes on women’s personal safety issues.

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