A new local gun group has been started by two grandmothers in Indiana who were tired of being victims of crime.
The group, called Women Armed and Ready (WAR), was formed by Konnie Couch and Robin Willoughby after they were robbed in 2011 and chose to make sure others didn't go through what they did, according to USA Today. Their first meeting was held on May 6 two years after the organization's formation.
"The thing of it is, bad things happen to good people all the time, and, if something bad is going to happen, it's gonna happen without warning," Couch said. "It's gonna be very quick, and you've gotta be prepared for it."
The number of women who own guns is increasing, with a Gallup poll from last year showing that women make up 15 percent of gun owners, which is two percent higher than in 2005, Cincinnati.com reported. 123,536 firearms licenses have been issued to women in Indiana in the first quarter of 2014.
WAR joins Armed Females of America, Women & Guns, the Well Armed Women and other female gun groups through the U.S.
Couch said the main point of the group is to train women with guns so they are able to react and protect themselves, with the three main goals being education, training and competence, USA Today reported. She also said in a group meeting on July 8 that the group is not trying to make its members confident while using the weapon.
"When you're confident, you're careless," she said. "I want you to be competent."
WAR currently has 35 registered members between 50 and 81 years old, but Willoughby said there have never been less than 40 members at a meeting. The women get their concealed carry licenses from online from the state of Florida because Florida licenses are accepted in 24 states. These states include Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.
Stationary shooting, in which the carrier fires at a target that isn't moving, is currently the main focus for WAR. The group is looking to train members in tactical shooting, in which they would shoot moving targets simulate real-life situations, Cincinnati.com reported.
Reasons for joining the group vary among members, including being able to protect themselves, wanting to not be victims anymore and overcoming a fear of guns.
WAR has received support from the Aurora Police Department, with Chief Josh Daugherty saying it is good for people to be aware of their surroundings in any community. However, the group has received some opposition, such as from Toby Hoover, founder of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, who said its dangerous for groups of people to get guns without training or knowing about laws, USA Today reported.
"Just because you carry a gun doesn't make you Annie Oakley," Couch said. "If you draw that firearm, there is a chance you are going to kill somebody."