‘Hey, you can be your own protector’: Black female veteran makes goal to train 1 million women to shoot

To the surprise of many, Huffington Post featured an interview with Marchelle “Tig” Tigner-Washington, who talks about her ambitious goal to train one million women how to shoot.

“I think a lot of women, sometimes, we have this mentality that, ‘Oh, someone’s going to save us,’” Tigner-Washington explained. “And I try to inform the women that, ‘Hey, you can be your own protector.’”

Tigner-Washington is an African-American woman and National Guard veteran. She is also a firearm instructor who said she has experienced domestic abuse and sexual assault, and feels “more safe” now that she works at a shooting range.

She started her own company, “Trigger Happy Firearm Instruction,” an LLC that “is dedicated to empowering women through safe firearms education,” according to the website.

The vet said more than 3,000 people responded to the first class offered.

“I realized that a lot of women want to have a woman teach them instead of having their boyfriend, or some other guy or brother,” Tigner-Washington said.

Training women on using a firearm is encouraging, but it’s unfortunate that there’s so much focus on race in the video. The goal of one million women being trained to protect themselves is noble, so why does it have to be segregated?

Not that a black woman working as a shooting instructor isn’t about breaking down barriers.

“There’s these boxes that people put everyone in, and I wish we can kind of do away with them,” she says in the video. “In the textbook definition of a conservative, you’re pro-gun, and then in the textbook definition of a liberal, you’re anti-gun … It’s really tough trying to separate and look at people as just individual people and not, ‘I’m one group or I’m another group.’”

“I try to identify myself as just, ‘Hey, I’m Marchelle, that’s it. I like guns and I’m an instructor.’”

Tom Tillison


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