July 24, 2017

ARMED AND FABULOUS: In Chicago, women worried about violence join gun club.

“My husband influenced me and we thought about it a long time. Maybe you need a gun these days, in your house at least,” said Crowder, who lives in a gated community with her retired banker husband.

A fellow retiree, Javondlynn Dunagan, came up with the idea of gun training classes geared toward women, and for the “Ladies of Steel” gun club — after successful training, the women gather twice a month to practice their skills.

Dunagan served as a parole officer for 25 years before finishing her career in January, but had rarely held a gun when dealing with convicts.

She said she started carrying one after divorcing her police officer husband.

“I was at home by myself with my daughter, and I was used to having a firearm in a home with my ex-husband,” she explained. “So, I wanted to make sure that we were safe.”

But Dunagan noticed something curious when she visited gun ranges around Chicago to practice.

“I noticed that I never saw two women at the range together or a group of ladies,” she recounted.

Welcome to the club.