Mar 20

Women and Weapons

by Shall

At the beginning of this year I read a few articles stating this last Christmas shopping season saw record gun sales. My husband and I were a part of those statistics because we bought a shotgun and ammo for each other. After 20 years of asking him to purchase a weapon for home defense, he finally came through.Two years after we were married I came home to find our front door kicked in and our home a mess. It terrified me to think of someone waiting and watching in the wooded lot next to our home for me to leave that morning to take our son to daycare before returning home to enjoy my day off. The thieves even took cheap little trinkets, memories of times spent with my grandmother that would not have meant a thing to anyone but me. Our home had been breached and our privacy violated.

My parents listened as we expressed a wide range of emotions. The thoughts and emotions I was never able to gain control over were anger from fear of feeling a helpless victim and the violation of our home and personal items. The thieves took quite a few things, some replaceable and some were not, but what they took from each of us personally; the mental and emotional toll were not easily comforted.

Sometime later I ran across a very empowering statement. I don’t recall the author of the statement, but the words were powerful and true. “You are only a victim if you allow yourself to be.” And it is true. I had a choice. I knew I didn’t like feeling helpless or feeling like a victim and no one could change that but me.

I began training in various martial arts disciplines and considering weapons. Each time I went shopping around for weapons, I was always led to the pretty handguns with pearl grips. Although I am sure they would have been sufficient in most cases, I was frustrated with the stereo-typing from salesmen.

I was a woman and I wanted a weapon

I just wasn’t able to find what I had in mind. I really like the 12 gauge pump action shotguns, but the kickback was strong. I wanted a weapon which, when presented, intimidated the threat at the very sight of it; a weapon that would make them stop and think about the real consequences of their actions. I wanted a powerful weapon, like the 12 gauge, but something easier to handle.

Over the years, I kept searching and during that time I was gifted with a few nice handguns and a classic Winchester rifle, but the best gift is the one I received this past Christmas…

A Mossberg 20 gauge pump action shotgun with a pistol grip…

I tried to add the image to this post but the image was too big, so here is a link to my blog where it is posted.

I think it is a perfect weapon for women. I am a short person, standing 5’4, so the pistol grip makes the size perfect and easy to handle. The shotgun has very little kickback and now I have the powerful, intimidating pump action weapon I was searching for, thanks to a considerate and thoughtful husband.

This morning, as I was writing this article, I clicked over to Facebook and saw an article on 20 gauge shotguns written by Massad Ayoob on the Backwoods Home website. What timing!


Of course, make no mistake in thinking that having a weapon is enough. Knowing whether or not you will be able to use it when the time comes is even more important than the choice of weapon.

I have taught my sons that before they ever hold a weapon in their hands for self-defense, they need to be prepared by knowing whether or not they will be able to really use it. I also let them know that not being able to use a weapon is nothing to be ashamed of. It simply means they need to find alternatives that work for them.

SheilaDon’t raise your voice, Improve your argument
Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.


  1. Verdugoadventures

    -”make no mistake in thinking that having a weapon is enough. Knowing whether or not you will be able to use it when the time comes is even more important”
    The only thing intimidating about holding that gun up is knowing that you will need to pull the trigger. If someone is in your house or trying to attack you, forget intimidation! If you draw that weapon, you need to know that you can shoot them and kill them without hesitation.

    -Great article!

  2. David Nash

    Nice article, and I don’t want to come off as a troll or know it all, but while I do agree that a 20 gauge shotgun can be a formidable gun for person protection, and I have read and appreciate the Ayoob article you have mentioned, I would respectfully suggest you try a normal stock instead of a pistol grip.

    In my experience, it takes significant practice to become proficient with a pistol griped shotgun, but if you put the same time and effort into learngin to shoot a traditionally stocked shotgun you will be deadly.

    You will be able to get hits faster, get back on target faster, retain the gun better, and you won’t risk carpal tunnel from the beating your wrists take. (even though a 20 is a lot less than a 12 – it still can beat you up).

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