Larry Parks interviews Paxton Quigley about her book Armed & Female: Taking Control

For five years prior to her work in women’s security Paxton Quigley was an executive for Playboy Enterprises, reporting to Christie Hefner, CEO. She is on the Board of Governors of Impact/Model Mugging of LA, and took first place in the Charlton Heston Celebrity Shoot, Women’s Division, 2 years running. Her message of women’s empowerment hb aired on more than 300 TV and radio shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, Regis and Kathy Lee, Hard Copy, The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, 60 Minutes, CBS Evening News, Fox and Friends and many others.

Paxton was interviewed and profiled in the WSJ, the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, NYT, Wa Post, and just about every major media outlet there is.
She is the author of 6 books and is here to talk about her latest, Armed & Female: Taking Control.

Some of the issues discussed during the interview are:

  • I understand from your first book, which was written in 1989, that you were anti-gun before you decided to write Armed & Female. What made you change your mind?
  • Story about women driving alone long distances.
  • Talk about your experience holding classes in Los Angeles after the Rodney King Riots in 1993.
  • What is the perception of gun ownership by women? How many own guns?
  • Over the years, have there been any changes in women’s attitudes toward guns?
  • I read that you have taught 7,000 women how to shoot a handgun. Who are these women and what was their motivation to get involved?
  • What are the gun laws in NYS and in NYC regarding carrying a concealed weapon?
  • I’ve read in the press that people are more likely to be killed by brandishing or trying to shoot an intruder? Is that true?
  • You have written two sequels to your original book–the last one being titled “Armed & Female: Taking Control” in 20ll. Why did you do that?
  • Experiences in other countries, e.g., pre-war Germany. What happened?

Clips From Last Night: Gun advocate talks about the feminine appeal of firearms

Piers Morgan, February 21st, 2013

The author of “Armed and Female, Taking Control,” Quigley addressed gun manufacturer marketing campaigns that are geared to a female audience, and the ways in which such advertising impact sales:

“I think they’re [gun manufacturers] marketing that way, but I don’t think women are following in that way,” she told the host.

“In most cases, I would say that women go to a gun store. And even before they go to a gun store, they first learn how to shoot and they’re not shooting pink guns,” said Quigley.

See the clip at CNN

“Gun ownership on the rise among women”

A Gallup poll reported that in 2005, 13 percent of all women owned a gun. That number jumped to 23 percent in 2011. Many women say they are buying guns to protect themselves. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

See the clip at MSNBC

“Why gun ownership among US women is climbing”

The Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 2013

By Allison Terry, Correspondent

Fifteen percent of America’s women own guns – a small but pronounced increase from six years ago, a recent poll found. Personal safety is the motivation, but some argue that a gun at home makes women less safe.

Owning or carrying a gun remains mostly a guy thing, but American women who pack heat – or at least keep a pistol in the nightstand drawer – are often Exhibit A in the case for broad access to firearms for personal protection.

The opposite contention, that having a gun in the house actually makes women less safe, is the rebuttal from those who say the country needs to make guns less accessible.

As Congress, President Obama, and the nation debate the need for stricter gun laws, women’s safety is emerging as a heated and emotional issue – and one that is almost impossible to “prove” on one side or the other. Every time gun rights defenders cite an incident of a young mother defending herself and her children by shooting an intruder, gun control advocates point to a woman fatally shot in a case of domestic violence.

But it would appear that as women themselves do the calculus, a small but growing share is coming down on the side of having a gun. The gun-gravitation is not drastic: 15 percent of women in the US own guns. That, however, is up from 12 percent as recently as 2007, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this month.

Julie Warren, a consultant in Colorado Springs, Colo., keeps a handgun in her house for safety and recreation. After serving in the Air Force, she doesn’t think twice about having it.

“There is peace of mind,” she says, “knowing that you have something you can do to overpower anyone coming through the door.”

Broadly speaking, polls show women are more inclined than men to support new gun control proposals before Congress. Women support stricter gun laws in general – 62 percent compared with 40 percent of men, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Feb. 7. Sixty-eight percent of women support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, versus 44 percent of men, and 65 percent of women favor a limit on high-capacity ammunition magazines, while 46 percent of men do, the poll found. Both women and men overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun buyers, 94 percent and 90 percent, respectively.

But the argument that women need guns for personal safety and home defense resonates with many women – some of whom see government efforts to curtail gun access as a threat to their rights.

“We always hear about a woman’s right to choose, and we are women who want the right to choose how to protect our lives,” says Jenn Coffey, national director of legislative affairs for Second Amendment Sisters, a women’s advocacy group with the motto “self defense is a human right.”

“Gun-control laws degrade our rights, and put more rights in the hands of criminals,” Ms. Coffey adds.

Aside from polls showing an uptick in gun ownership among women, there is other evidence that women are becoming more familiar with firearms.

The National Rifle Association, for one, is conducting more training sessions directed at women. Its Women on Target program, which started in 2000 with 500 participants, had 9,500 attendees in 2011. (The NRA does not release figures for membership.)

For another, Coffey says her local chapter of Second Amendment Sisters, in Andover, N.H., has seen a big upswing in participants at its safety trainings and target practices. The Texas-based organization, founded in 1999, now has more than 10,000 members across the US.

Women also appear to be taking greater part in gun sports. Five million women took part in target shooting in 2011, a 51.5 percent jump from 2001, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. Women who hunt increased 41.8 percent in the same period, from 1.8 million to 2.6 million, according to the association’s annual sports participation reports.

But personal safety is the overriding reason women become interested in guns, at least initially, experts agree.

“Women typically own guns for safety reasons, then branch out to target shooting and hunting,” says NRA spokeswoman Stephanie Samford. “Men, on the other hand, get into guns for hunting. Safety is a secondary concern.”

Paxton Quigley, the author of women’s self-defense and gun books, says broad lifestyle changes – women waiting longer to get married, choosing to live alone, and more ofter serving as head of household – coincides with women’s rising interest in guns.

“There is a different attitude now, that women need to take responsibility for their own safety,” she says.

In the past 20 years, Ms. Quigley has taught more than 7,000 women how to use a handgun – women who aren’t necessarily ardent Second Amendment supporters, but ordinary citizens who want to protect themselves.

“I’ve taught women from all walks of life – housewives, doctors, lawyers, and teachers,” she says.

Doubts persist, however, about the degree to which a gun improves personal safety. Having a gun in the home creates more risk, including higher rates of homicide victimization, suicide attempts, and accidental shootings, studies show.

A 2006 Gallup Poll found that 49 percent of women thought having a gun in the house made it more dangerous, while 39 percent thought it made the house safer. According to a recent Monitor/TIPP poll, 46 percent of households have guns.

A gun in the home can put women at higher risk of personal injury, says David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center in Cambridge, Mass.

“There is little evidence that guns are effective when it comes to self-defense,” he says.

In his book “Private Guns, Public Health,” Dr. Hemenway argues that in high-gun states (determined by average levels of household gun ownership), the rates at which women experience gun violence are higher than in low-gun states: 3.5 times higher for gun homicides, 6 times higher for gun suicide, and 7 times higher for accidental death by gun.

Nationwide, 52 percent of homicides in which women were the victims (about 1,700 in 2010) were committed with firearms, according to the Violence Policy Center’s analysis of 2010 FBI homicide data.

“Statistics show that when females are killed, it’s more likely, over 50 percent of the time, to be by a spouse or household member,” said Baltimore Police Chief Jim Johnson during a Senate hearing on gun violence Jan. 30. “A gun in a home where there is a history of domestic violence, statistics show that there is a 500 percent increase of chance that that person will be victimized by gun violence.”

Simone Smith, a marketing director in San Francisco, says she chooses not to rely on a gun for personal safety, but rather focuses on ways to reduce the likelihood of attracting criminals.

“I don’t want to have a loaded gun under my bed,” Ms. Smith says. “I wouldn’t sleep well.”

She has nothing against guns – she grew up in a family that used guns for recreation – but she says there are more effective things women can do for their personal security.

“Being aware of your neighborhood, making sure your curtains are closed, and having someone you can call will make more of a difference than having a gun,” Smith says.

Some gun-rights supporters – including women with guns – say some additional firearm controls, such as an assault-weapons ban and limits on high-capacity magazines, would help to curb gun violence.

“Handguns are more than enough for a woman to protect herself,” says Tom Cheffro, owner of Boston Firearms Training Center.

Amy Forbes, a teacher from Peabody, Mass., took Mr. Cheffro’s firearm safety training course so that she can apply for her firearm’s license and eventually buy a gun – one that would be easy for her to handle.

“You just don’t know what will happen,” Ms. Forbes says. During the hands-on training course, she learned safe handling and shooting techniques, which she says make her feel prepared for owning a weapon and defending herself.

But she supports stricter background checks for all gun sales to try to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental-health issues.

“I would support requiring a doctor’s note before being able to get a gun license, so people have to prove they are mentally stable,” says Forbes.

Read the article at The Christian Science Monitor “Why gun ownership among US women is climbing”

“Female Gun Owners Drawn to Way of Life”

Atlanta Constitution, February 11, 2013

By Katie Leslie

Sydni Lee has lots of hobbies. She knits. She quilts. She raises money for three-day breast cancer walks. And she shoots guns. At least once a week, the 29-year-old Dahlonega woman visits the Bulls Eye Marksman Gun Club in Cumming. And every other Thursday, she meets with a group called Sisters in Arms for a ladies’ night at the range. There, they try out each other’s pieces, hold target practice and afterward head to a nearby restaurant for margaritas. For Lee, owning and shooting guns isn’t a political stance. She’s not one to dish about gun policy. Shooting is a sport and, more importantly for her, a social outlet. “When you’re not from an area, you’re always looking for a way to meet people,” explains Lee, who moved to Georgia seven years ago. “I’m from Texas, where (guns) are a way of life.”

How many women practice that way of life, owning or regularly shooting guns, is a subject of endless debate. Despite recurring news stories and reports indicating that more women have taken up arms for sport or protection, the evidence is sketchy and in some instances contradictory.
Pro-gun advocates point to surveys that show an increase in the number of women participating in hunting and shooting sports. Anti-gun activists present research suggesting the opposite — that gun ownership has remained flat, if not on the decline, for 30 years.
Definitive numbers simply don’t exist. Federal laws prohibit The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from keeping registries of gun owners. Shop owners don’t know whether a buyer is purchasing a firearm for herself or as a gift. And though Georgians who apply for weapons carry permits indicate on the application whether they are male or female, neither county nor state officials compile gender statistics.
Overall, the number of U.S. households that own guns has declined in the past few decades. In 1977, more than half reported owning a gun; today it’s less than one-third, said Josh Sugarmann, founder and director of the Violence Policy Center. On the other hand, the people who do own guns tend to have more of them.

Tom Smith, who directs a center dedicated to social science research at the University of Chicago, has studied household gun ownership for several decades. He’s found that the number of women who report personally owning a gun hasn’t changed much since 1980. The latest data, from 2010, shows that 10 percent of women report owning a firearm.
In general, women are one-fifth as likely to own a gun as men, he said.

Another study, by researchers at the University of California at Davis, found roughly similar numbers. Based on multiple national surveys, they estimated that 7 percent to 8 percent of women and 26 percent to 30 percent of men own a handgun.

Such numbers tell only part of the story, because so many women have access to guns through other members of their household, said Mary Zeiss Stange, a women’s studies professor at Skidmore College. Even though a woman may not see the weapon as her possession, she may use it, said Stange, who has written books on women and firearms.

“The precise rate of women’s gun use, exclusively by women, is hard to gauge,” said Stange, an avid hunter.

Anecdotal evidence does suggest that more women are arming themselves. The number of women participating in target shooting increased from 3.3 million to 5.1 million between 2001 and 2011, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. The association also found an increase in women who hunt. And several gun shop owners interviewed for this story reported seeing more female customers and women enrolled in gun safety courses than in previous years.

Paxton Quigley, author of “Armed & Female: Taking Control,” said long-term demographic and social trends impel many women toward guns.

“A lot of that has to do with changes in women’s position in society,” said Quigley, who says she has taught more than 7,000 women to shoot. She herself took up arms in the late 1980s after a close friend was sexually assaulted.

With the decline in the marriage rate, more women are living alone, more women are raising children alone and more women are working, she said. The net result: “More and more women are learning how to shoot for self-defense,” she said.

Liza Kirby, who coordinates the Sisters in Arms club at the Cumming range, notes that many married women also want to feel competent to defend themselves. “It’s not the ’50s anymore where the husbands took care of everything,” she said.
For her part, having a gun is part of rural life. Her husband owns rifles for hunting, while she prefers handguns for target practice and home defense, particularly against varmints. Kirby, 56, keeps a Smith & Wesson .38 Special in a kitchen drawer to scare off animals that threaten her chickens.

But Sugarmann, of the Violence Policy Center, isn’t convinced by reports of an increase in female gun ownership. “I would put it this way: I’m highly skeptical,” he said. “I’ve seen this push every five or six years.”
He understands why such stories tend to persist in the culture. Female gun ownership is undoubtedly a sexy topic. “It’s fun, it’s cool, it goes against what people expect,” he said.

The gun industry has also marketed aggressively to women in recent years, in part to offset falling ownership among men, said Smith of the University of Chicago.
“They knew women were underrepresented and now they gave them a rationale: not to shoot the 9-point buck, but the assailant who will break into your house,” he said.

It’s a sales pitch that resonates for many women.
Chloe Morris was staunchly anti-gun until 2008, when her aunt was beaten, tied up and held hostage for ransom with her children in her DeKalb County home. After that, Morris’ aunt and mother began building an arsenal, she said.

But it wasn’t until Morris’ mother bought her a firearm and she attended a gun safety course that she felt comfortable with guns.
“The class changed my life,” said Morris, who soon became a regular at the range and eventually a pistol instructor. She’s now a recruiter for the NRA.

She teaches for free, she said, focusing on helping women become comfortable with guns. She believes women hesitate to own the weapons because of cultural conditioning.
“When you’re little, boys are taught to play with guns and girls are taught to play with Barbie dolls,” said Morris, 30, whose other hobbies include writing a food blog. “Once you know more about safety and you go to class, you know you can use it responsibly.”

Katie Jones Gant said responsibility is exactly why she’s learning to shoot. Gant, of Atlanta, was neutral toward guns until she married a homicide detective. Now the mother of two believes that if her husband keeps guns in the house, she should know how to use them.
Gant, 29, pointed to the recent story of a Loganville mother who shot an intruder as a nightmare scenario in which the good gal won. “As a mom, and really as a woman gun owner, I’m not looking for a fight,” said Gant, a makeup artist by trade. “I don’t want to use my gun on someone and I hope I don’t have to, but if someone puts me in that position or threatens my kids, absolutely.”

Rise of the Female Gun Nut
Sydni Lee of Dahlonega, a transplanted Texan, shoots at a shooting range as a way to meet people

Rise of the Female Gun Nut
Chloe Morris, from Johns Creek, shoots her Glock 17 at the Bulls Eye Marksman Range in Cumming. Sisters in Arms and A Girl and a Gun are women’s shooting groups that regularly hold events at the club.

Rise of the Female Gun Nut

Read the article at Atlanta Constitution “Female Gun Owners Drawn to Way of Life”

Rise of the Female Gun Nut

“Rise of the Female Gun Nut”

By MARIN COGAN, Published: February 7, 2013

When Niki Jones, a longtime New Yorker relocated to Austin, Texas, needed a group to practice using her new concealed-carry weapon with, she was shocked that she couldn’t find a woman-friendly league. So in July 2010 she founded Austin Sure Shots, a free, women-only gun club focused on target shooting. Soon their ranks swelled to almost 300; a local firm of current and former military and police firearms instructors took the women under their tutelage, teaching them defensive shooting. After learning to shoot semi-automatic AR-15 style rifles, a dozen of the women decided to make custom versions of the gun. Niki had her AR-15 railed handguard coated white and named the gun “Snow Queen.” Another Sure Shot, Mandy, had hers painted periwinkle and decked out in daisies. Other women had their handguns custom-coated pink and decorated with cupcakes and Hello Kitty.

Spend a few minutes scrolling through the websites of gun dealers and you might be forgiven for thinking America is a nation of Gayle Trotters: women using the language of feminism to demand the “right to choose to defend ourselves,” as the gun-rights activist put it in her Senate testimony last week. Three of the top six U.S. gun-makers — Smith & Wesson, Remington, and Sig Sauer — have pages or products dedicated to the prospective female gun owner, offering smaller lightweight models, shorter trigger pulls, and grips designed for smaller hands. There are rifle cartridges designed to reduce recoil, holsters designed to fit between a woman’s décolletage, and high-end concealed-carry purses. There’s a lot of pink: pink camouflage gun cases and pink Pumpmaster Air Rifles and pink tipped bullets and pink assault rifles.

Trying to determine the exact number of women who own guns in America is, like every other aspect of the gun control debate, controversial. “We don’t have fresh data. We don’t have anything new — that’s a huge problem,” notes journalist Caitlin Kelly, who struggled to find solid, impartial data while researching her book Blown Away: American Women and Guns. Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association would have you believe the number is 30 million; more conservative estimates put the number at 15 million. A 2011 Gallup survey put the number of women who reported personally owning a gun at 23 percent, as opposed to 46 percent of adult men — 10 percent more than they measured two years prior. Nevertheless, according to an aggregate five-year study from Gallup, men are three times more likely than women to own a gun. A recent General Social Survey put the number of women gun owners closer to one in ten.

It’s not an accident that women have become more visible as gun consumers. In the late eighties, after a slump in sales, gun-makers turned their attention to women customers, both to respond to the female gun enthusiasts already among them and to spread into a new market of women who were gun curious. In 1989, Smith & Wesson released a line of LadySmith handguns. The same year, a gun enthusiast named Sonny Jones launched Women and Guns magazine, a journal that reviews gun accessories and celebrates female firearm owners. Pro-gun group Second Amendment Foundation acquired the magazine a few years later; Jones went on to run an NRA program for women’s self-defense called “Refuse to Be a Victim.” Over the years, the NRA has expanded female outreach efforts to include shooting clinics, hunting groups, and wilderness escapes.

“As far as gun manufacturers, I think they are finally beginning to take notice of the sheer number of women shooters that are out there,” Niki Jones, the Sure Shots founder, said in an interview. “Some seem to still be a bit tentative and consider including pink accessories in their product line as ‘catering to women,’ but most are actually really starting to get it.” Several manufacturers, she notes, have supported her league, sending new products for them to test and evaluate, the same way cosmetics manufacturers send product samples to women’s magazines.

Much as feminist writers criticized Trotter last week for insisting that guns were a “great equalizer” making women safer from violent crime, women’s groups and feminists have long been critical of gun culture. In 1992, following public outcry, the editors of Ladies’ Home Journal apologized for running a full page Colt ad depicting a mother tucking her child into bed above two semiautomatic weapons. “Self-protection is more than your right … it’s your responsibility,” the ad read. In the ensuing controversy, a Smith & Wesson official pitched the new efforts as a sign of feminist progress: “Firearms are one of the last bastions of male dominance,” he said. “Today, in 1992, it’s OK for women to be CEOs of companies and go into space as astronauts, so why shouldn’t they own guns?”

The efforts to convince more women to buy guns appalled many in the feminist movement, including Betty Friedan, who called the effort to cast gun ownership as feminist a “horrifying, obscene perversion of feminism” and helped create Women Against Gun Violence, in part to organize women, a majority of whom favor gun control, and to raise awareness about the increased risk of death for women who live in homes with guns, especially the victims of domestic violence.

Nevertheless, the role guns play in male-on-female violence came up last week in Gayle Trotter’s testimony, too. When Senator Sheldon Whitehouse questioned Trotter’s opposition to banning assault rifles, she retorted, “You are a large man, tall man, a tall man … You cannot understand. You are not a woman stuck in her house, not able to defend her children.” A similar debate happened in 1990, when Paxton Quigley, a pro-choice Democrat, emerged on the scene. Quigley said she was against guns until one of her closest friends was raped by a home invader. “I said, this is never going to happen to me. I’m going to learn how to shoot,” she remembers. At the time, none of her friends knew how to use a gun, and all of them discouraged her from learning. “I started doing research and there was a Gallup poll done at the time that said 12 million American women own guns for self-defense and there were no books written on the subject. I said, I’m going to write a book on it.” Accordingly, Quigley published Armed and Female: Twelve Million American Women Own Guns, Should You?, making her the self-appointed poster girl for the empowered lady gun owner. Smith & Wesson took her on as a spokesperson and sent her to tour the country, giving gun-shop talks on self-defense, autograph-signing, and shopping advice for women who wanted to know which gun might work best for them. “I always felt that by learning how to shoot a gun it does give a woman more of a feeling of empowerment,” Quigley told me. She is quick to note, however, that she supports stricter gun control measures.

Today there’s a new wave of Paxton Quigleys connecting and finding audiences online, including forums like the Girl’s Guide to Guns, a publication from L.A.-based gun enthusiast Natalie Foster that features advice on purchasing handguns, a reaction to this summer’s Aurora shooting, and instructions for DIY shotgun shell ornaments; and Packing Pretty, a blog from 25-year-old Gracie McKee, an NRA instructor who wears pink polo shirts and once posted a video demonstrating how to carry a concealed weapon under a little black dress. There are concealed-carry fashion shows and meet-ups like at the first annual A Girl and a Gun National Conference, to be held next month in Waco, Texas, and with sponsorship from Smith & Wesson. No word yet on whether man cards will be passed out or revoked.

Read the article at New York Magazine: The Cut – Rise of the Female Gun Nut

Do American Women Need Guns? Self-Defense Pro Paxton Quigley Says Yes

“Do American Women Need Guns? Self-Defense Pro Paxton Quigley Says Yes”

By ABIGAIL PESTA, Published: July 25, 2012

As the debate over gun control rages in the wake of the Colorado shootings, one self-defense expert tells Abigail Pesta that handguns play an important role in society: they stop rape.

Paxton Quigley remembers the moment she decided to get a gun. It was more than two decades ago, when a female friend in Los Angeles called her late one night with some terrible news. A stranger had broken into her home through a bathroom window. She had called 911, but the police had arrived too late—a half hour after a brutal rape.

“I asked my friend, ‘If you’d had a gun, do you think you could have stopped the attacker?’” Quigley recalls. “She said yes.”

Quigley took a gun course soon after. “I had never shot a gun. I had never touched a gun. I was actually antigun,” says Quigley, who was working in public relations in Los Angeles at the time. “But I thought, ‘This is never going to happen to me.’”…

Read more at The Daily Beast – Women In The World

The New York Times - Hotel Safety

“At a Hotel on Business? Be on Alert, Too”

By MICHAEL T. LUONGO, Published: July 25, 2011

The discussions about hotel safety recently have centered on what happened in a suite at the Sofitel in New York between Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, and a hotel maid.

But business travelers can fall victim to attacks, too, by intruders, hotel staff, even other guests. Most often, the victims are women.

Paxton Quigley, a women’s safety consultant in New York and author of “Not an Easy Target” (Fireside, 1995), said most women business travelers were “just beginning to learn how unsafe they can be, especially in airports and planes, hotels, walking on streets in cities that they don’t know and in convention settings.” Conventions, she said, leave women particularly vulnerable because “they’re wearing name badges and are telling people where they are staying.”

Read more at The New York Times – Business Day

FOX & Friends

“Good Girls Get Armed, with Paxton Quigley” on 12/08/2010

The Paxton Quigley Empowerment Hour Radio Show

The Paxton Quigley Empowerment Hour Radio Show: Self-Protection Information for Women–featuring interviews with fighting experts. (Paxton Quigley Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Part One

Part Two

Featuring the new book “Armed and Female – Taking Control”

Paxton Quigley became an international celebrity when she first produced Armed and Female back in 1989. It was the first book of its kind — victim avoidance through armed resistance — by a woman, for women. Now available again after years of being out of print, it is revised, updated and better than ever. It is basically an entirely new book, picking up where the original edition left off, and updated for the 21st Century.

Read more in the article.

Gun Talk Radio

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk – interview by phone on 10/24/2010

Paxton Quigley talks with national talk show host Tom Gresham about the increase of women owning guns for self defense and encourages male listeners to give their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and women friends a copy of Armed & Female: Taking Control.



The Washington Post

The Washington Post - Political Bookworm

Political Bookworm

By Steven E. Levingston, October 15, 2010

Women with guns

Paxton Quigley is on a mission: to get more guns in the hands of more women. And she’s already well on her way, having trained thousands of women to wield a weapon to protect themselves. “In Armed & Female: Taking Control,” Quigley describes the types of self-defense that work – yes, packing heat but also street awareness, good fighting techniques and a safe room in the home. She is unenthusiastic about pepper spray, stun guns, tasers and standard Karate. While Quigley would prefer a world without weapons, she argues there is a need for law-abiding citizens – especially women – to have access to guns. Here, she describes how she came to realize the importance of arming women against rapists and other attackers.

By Paxton Quigley

I have trained 7,000 women between the ages of 11 and 80 to shoot guns. Many of them were like me: scared or opposed to guns – and not wanting to deal with the idea of using one. But they had a wake-up call that made them persist.

Mine was a 2 a.m. phone call when I learned a close friend had been raped in her own home. I decided this would not happen to me. So I made an appointment at a gun range and then canceled because of fear. But I rescheduled it and learned the basics.

Feeling competent was another story. I spent more than 400 hours learning to handle a gun for self defense, and it transformed my life. I was a communications executive with a master’s degree in anthropology from University of Chicago. After my gun training, I graduated from an internationally recognized executive security and anti-terrorist school and became a security professional.

Read more in the Washington Post article.


Women & Guns, Sept-Oct 2010 issue.

Women & Guns, Sept-Oct 2010 issue.

Armed & Female Returns!

Exclusive Book Excerpt of Paxton Quigley’s New Book

By Paxton Quigley

“All the time I was locked in the trunk, I could hear him yelling from the driver’s seat about what he was going to do to me.”

Kate Petit’s car sputtered to a stop on the interstate highway between Lake Kissimmee and Tampa, where she lives alone in a nicely groomed but older condominium development on the established side of town.

“You know, I have never made that drive to the lake without worrying somewhere along the way about the risk of having a flat tire or breaking down and being stranded on the side of the road, alone.”

Kate was stranded, all right. What looked to her like a mixture of smoke and steam was pouring out the top, bottom, and sides of the engine compartment. She knew it was safer to stay in the car with the windows and doors secured, but sitting in a
burning car, to her thinking, was by far the most dangerous thing she could do, so she grabbed her purse and took up a position at the side of the road at a conservative distance from the car’s gas tank.

Dowload the PDF of the Exclusive Book Excerpt
as it appeared in the Women & Guns, Sept-Oct 2010 issue.


The New York Times - Guns In Bars

Guns in Bars: A Debate Over Safety

Published: October 3, 2010

To the Editor:

Only in passing does your article mention that restaurants and bars have the right to prohibit guns in their establishments, and many do. So if a person feels uncomfortable in a restaurant where carrying is permitted, he or she doesn’t have to go there.

But my real objection is that the article is rather male-oriented and quite “old school” in its thinking. Only men are quoted, leaving out the approximately 15 to 20 million women who own guns, some of whom legally carry concealed handguns because they feel unsafe.

In my years teaching women to shoot handguns, I heard stories of women accosted and raped after leaving a bar or a restaurant. If these women had had a gun, they could have deterred their attackers.

Some antigun people think that if more women carry concealed guns, they are more at risk. But a gun represents a greater change in a woman’s ability to defend herself than it does for a man.

Most women do not have the strength or the fighting skills to fend off an attacker. The gun levels the field.

But I feel strongly that both women and men who choose to legally carry concealed weapons need to be trained by professional instructors.

Paxton Quigley
New York, Oct. 5, 2010
Read more at The New York Times – The Opinion Pages

The Examiner

Self-defense expert promotes guns for women

Sarah Haughey, Special to The Examiner, September 24, 2010

Paxton Quigley, the New York City-based authority on women’s self-defense, will be speaking about the importance of women owning guns at the 25th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference taking place at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport hotel this weekend.

Why is it important for women to know how to shoot?

Women unfortunately are victims, and we’re targeted because in many cases we don’t know how to fight well or we are unprepared to fight. A gun can be a great deterrent and a mighty ally for a woman.

What do you hope will come out of this conference?

I hope activists in the gun-rights movement will start realizing that they need to focus more on women in their 20s or 30s because many of them don’t have a negative attitude toward guns, and want to learn how to shoot.

Your new book, “Armed and Female: Taking Control,” will be released in October. What is it about?

It includes stories about women who have successfully used a handgun to defend themselves. I also talk about the ethics of defense, children and guns, which guns women should choose, and how to defend your home if someone breaks in.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner

Marie Claire

Do Girls Need Guns?

by Abigail Pesta

If self-defense expert Paxton Quigley had her way, every woman would be toting a gun around like the latest It bag or iThing. Why? Handguns are the best way for women to protect themselves from violence and rape, says Quigley, who has taught more than 7,000 women how to pull the trigger. For her new book, Armed & Female: Taking Control, she talked to dozens of female victims of violent crime, many of whom said a gun could have prevented the attack. We met up with the petite, blonde, 55-year-old gun guru in Manhattan to see if her argument is bulletproof. You decide…

Read the full article here

The Chicago Tribune

Double-Check Your Safety Measures

by Judy Sutton, compiled by Wendy Navratil and Cassandra West

Author and gun expert Paxton Quigley says women need to have a better defense strategy than dialing 911.

“I’m not paranoid, I’m watchful,” says Quigley, who spoke at a Chicago rally recently. “I’m prudent in taking care of myself. In a world where there is random crime, there are certain (precautionary) measures that should be taken.” But you don’t have to own a gun to adapt some of Quigley’s tactics:

– Create a “safe room” in your home to protect you from intruders, either your bedroom, or, if you have children, the bedroom of your youngest child, she says. She suggests installing a deadbolt and keeping a cell phone and pepper foam there, out of children’s reach.

– Take different routes to and from work, and vary the times you leave and return home. “And if you suspect someone is following you, don’t go home,” she says. “If there’s not a police station nearby, seek help at a restaurant, or somewhere else that is public and crowded.”

– If you travel for business, “..keep a man’s necktie or hat in the car so it appears you’re not traveling alone,” she suggests. In hotels, request a room by the elevator.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Women are Giving Guns a Shot

by Plain Dealer reporter Michele M. Melendez

“Owners and managers of gun ranges in Northeast Ohio say they have noticed more women than ever taking firearms instruction, and in response to the trend, have even introduced Ladies’ Nights that allow women to shoot free.

They can’t say for sure what’s behind the boom, but they and others interested in using guns for self-defense have their guesses.

Maybe women are less afraid of guns than their mothers or grandmothers were. Maybe women are looking for another way to protect themselves. Maybe they are just curious.

Jenny Bartell, 24, of Parma, signed up for a gun safety and training course this summer because she wanted to start a hobby. By the time she left the six-hour handgun safety and training course though, she was thinking of guns as defensive tools. “When they started talking about self-defense, I started really thinking about it for myself,” she said.

Julianne Vargus, 33, of Brunswick Hills, knew before she took a firearms course about five years ago that she was doing it to take control of her safety. “I wanted to make sure that if I was by myself, I could protect myself,” she said.

Ohio does not allow a person to carry a concealed firearm, unless the weapon is necessary for work. The law confines the use of guns for self-defense to the home.

Yet the law has not stopped some women from carrying guns illegally, says self-defense expert Paxton Quigley, who sold out two Cleveland-area appearances on gun safety for women. “Even though it’s illegal [to carry a gun in some states], there are some women who say, ‘Hey, I’m not nuts. If I’m traveling, I’m in jeopardy,’ ” she said.

Quigley, a former bodyguard to Yoko Ono who also taught actress Geena Davis to shoot for “Thelma and Louise,” offers self-defense strategies in her two books, “Armed & Female” (St. Martin’s Press, $5.99) and “Not an Easy Target: Paxton Quigley’s Self-Protection for Women” (Fireside Books/Simon & Schuster, $11).

Less Afraid of Firearms

“Women are becoming less afraid of firearms, because they’re learning more about them,” said Bill Bash, owner of Royal Ridge Shooters Supply and Gunsmithing, which adjoins the Flashpoint Range in Brunswick Township. “It’s an educational process.” Flashpoint started a free Friday Ladies’ Night two years ago. Bash said a growing number of women are taking advantage of the price break.

Stonewall Ltd. Semi-Arms Inc. of Broadview Heights, where Quigley spoke, has had Ladies’ Nights the past few summers that have become increasingly popular, said corporation President Diane Donnett. So have the range’s safety and training courses, she said.

Donnett, whose classes often have equal numbers of women and men, tells her female students they cannot rely solely on guns. “There’s only a 3 percent chance that the gun is going to be there when you need it,” Donnett said. “They’ve got to have other outlets. They have to practice other things for self-defense.”

Likewise the National Rifle Association, known for its staunch protection of the right to bear arms, developed a self-defense program for women in 1993 that does not focus on firearms. “We teach common-sense strategies women can use to make themselves safer,” said Patricia Hylton, manager of the NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim program.

Donnett, of Stonewall Ltd., said every woman needs to consider all her self-defense options seriously and decide whether she is dedicated enough to practice how to handle shoot and store a gun safely.

“I tell my ladies, ‘If you’re going to buy a gun to keep it locked up in a box and never take it out and never practice shooting it, then don’t buy a gun,’ ” she said. “You can protect yourself with a gun, but you can hurt yourself with a gun if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

The Wall Street Journal – Letter to the Editor

A Girl’s Best Friend

“… if all the Loris of this country would sit down for an hour with my friend Dr. Suzy Gratia, whose parents were shot in the Luby’s Cafeteria massacre, they might change their view. If they would read Paxton Quigley’s book Armed and Female, they might see the light.

Paxton was a militant anti-gun activist. She helped John Glenn found the National Committee for Handgun Control. After years of seeing the failure of gun control, she did a dramatic 180-degree turn. In her book, she tells the story of a woman who was abducted and thrown into the trunk of a car. During the ride, the man kept yelling to her the things he was going to do to her.

He stopped and opened the trunk. The lady victim emptied her handgun, aiming at the abductor’s chest. End of story.”

The Wall Street Journal – Editorial Page

Why Feminists Should Be Trigger Happy

by Washington, DC attorney Laura Ingraham

“… Smith & Wesson and the NRA are doing more to ‘Take Back The Night’ than the National Organization for Women and Emily’s List…

“… feminists who champion the cause of women’s empowerment, should have no problem with those whose empowerment includes a firearm for personal protection. Instead, well-known feminists and feminist groups have gone out of their way to disdain this trend, even publicly disavowing previously “acceptable” writers like Naomi Wolf when she hailed women’s gun ownership as a positive trend…
“If feminists are serious about ending what they see as the subjugation fo women, they will shelve their political agendas long enough to recognize that women who chose to become responsible gun owners, are, in their own way, feminist trailblazers…”

Investor’s Business Daily – Page One

Self-Defense Guru Paxton Quigley

“… A Chicago native now based in Los Angeles, this divorced mother of two with a master’s degree in anthropology has built a successful firm that teaches self-defense to women. She taught Geena Davis to shoot for the movie “Thelma and Louise.” A gun has always been a symbol of a man and something women have been brought up to fear,” she told Investor’s Business Daily. “My job is to take away that fear.”
“Quigley’s own story is that of an anti-gunner who slammed into painful reality…

“A volunteer in Robert Kennedey’s 1968 presidential campaign, she was traumatized by the senator’s assassination and worked for the passage of federal gun control legislation. She was also a volunteer in setting up the first gun-control political action committee, the Emergency Committee for Gun Control.
“What changed her mind? In 1986, she says, a close friend of hers was raped. Quigley drover her to the hospital. Seeing the physical and psychological trauma her friend went trhough, Quigley said she “was determined this would never happen to me.”
“Quigley then began thinking about how she would defend herself if she were attacked. She visited California’s San Quentin prison to talk with hard-core rapists. She said she found that most of them would have been deterred if their victims had been armed…”

Investor’s Business Daily – Page One

Get Tough On Crime With Safety Courses

“… Arguably the most aggressive course is Personal Protection Strategies, offered by Paxton Quigley Enterprises in Beverly Hills, Calif. It’s a daylong course, for $150 plus a $24 range fee, that teaches women and couples how to use handguns and nonlethal sprays. If you don’t have your own weapon, you’re supplied with a Smith & Wesson gun for the day. Classes are limited to 20 participants.”
“Quigley is also promoting a line of personal protection products through a catalog called Nobody’s Fool, Nobody’s Victim (800-800-1011) which is heavily laced with advice from her two books Armed and Female and Not an Easy Target.”
“Quigley switched from actively being anti-gun to promoting gun ownership after driving a friend who had been raped to the hospital in 1986. Since 1990, she has taught gun safety to more than 5,000 women.”
“It’s been an awakening as more and more women are coming to view guns as a deterrent,” she said. “Those who are traditionally anti-gun tend to be big-city dwellers with a liberal background. But once confronted with a violent incident, their viewpoint often changes just like mine did.”
“I also get women who realize that although their husbands have guns in the house, they wouldn’t know how to use them if the occasion arose.”
Quigley makes no apologies for her aggressive approach to self-defense. “If more women owned handguns and that fact were publicized, rapes would go down in this country,” she said.
“To find a similar course in your area, contact a victims’ rights group, a rape crisis center or domestic violence hotline. The local police will not give you such referrals…”

The Washington Times

Nationally Syndicated Columnist Mike Royko writes:

“…If every woman in every big, high-crime community in America had a gun in her purse or strapped to her thigh, we would have a safer, more courteous society. …At one time my left knee might have jerked. That was when I thought reasonable gun control laws would reduce violent crime. But I’ve noticed something that should be fairly obvious. With all the gun laws we have, the bad guys still have guns and use them to shoot the good guys.
…[Some say that] only a small percentage of violent crimes against women are committed by strangers. To a woman who awakens to see a stranger crawling through her window and heading toward her bed, he is not a small percentage. He is a 100 percent fiend. But if she had a pistol under her pillow and knew how to use it, she could make him a 100 percent corpse. And the world would be a far better place.
“…Imagine, if you will, that men were society’s prime rape targets. Imagine a society in which a small and mild-mannered man could not get off a bus at night and walk down a dark city street toward his home without fearing that he would encounter a large hulk with a knife who would demand the privilege of engaging in what used to be called buggery.”

“Well, I’ll tell you what the result would be. Men would not ask for workshops and self-esteem counseling or wear rape whistles around their necks. They would demand the right to protect themselves, politicians would promptly respond, and it would soon be legal to pack mini-cannons in our belts…”

Paxton Quigley on NBC Nightly News, February 19, 1991