Speaking With Carrie Lightfoot, NRA Board Member and Founder of TWAW
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Carrie Lightfoot is an NRA Board member and the founder of The Well Armed Woman LLC. The Well Armed Woman LLC (TWAW) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best products, training, and information to women across the country. TWAW consists of over 400 chapters in 49 states with over 12,000 members. The group also allows the members to network with other like-minded women.
In 2015, Newsmax named Carrie one of the 100 Most Influential Pro-Gun Rights Advocates. In the same year, GLOCK honored her with the Safety Ambassador Award. The NSSF also named her Project Childsafe S.A.F.E Local Champion.
Carrie Lightfoot is also an accomplished author. Her book “The Well Armed Woman’s Concise Guide to Concealed Carry” won praise from industry professionals and the average everyday readers. She has been a guest of every news network from FOX News to CNN.
She took part in the movie “The Reliant,” which will play in theaters for one night only on October 24th. The movie is about a family’s struggle to survive during a societal collapse. Unlike most films, this movie is pro-Second Amendment and Pro-conservative values.
I had a chance to speak with Carrie about the movie, her life, and the issues facing the gun community.
John: Let’s jump right into it. How did you discover firearms?
Carrie: I didn’t come to my life with firearms until late in my 40’s. I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, and they were just not part of my world. The only context I had was that criminals and our enemies used guns to kill and hurt people and that law enforcement and our military had guns to protect us from them.
It’s rather funny to me now, but I didn’t even allow toy guns in our house when my children were young. I don’t think I was anti-gun; I was just afraid of them in my ignorance.
Following my divorce, I found myself deep in a relationship that turned very abusive and violent. After escaping the throes of abuse, the stalking began. During this time, my youngest child was preparing to head off to college, and I had just started a new position with a non-profit that worked with the homeless and those struggling in poverty, which took me to a tough part of town. My sense of vulnerability grew.
The final catalyst was one evening I was home alone watching the news, and I watched a news report of an ex-abuser, who had stalked and brutally and horrifically murdered a woman. I said to myself – “that could be me,” that could be me in this news story. At that moment, I knew I had to figure out how to protect myself.
There was no avoiding the truth that a gun was and is the only tool that I could use to defend my life effectively. I asked some co-workers if they would take me shooting. Three things became instantly clear. First, I could handle this powerful tool. Second, it is the person using a gun that determines its goodness or its badness, and third and most profoundly, I felt empowered, and a sense of freedom from fear flooded me.
John: What is the “The Well Armed Woman,” and why did you decide to start the organization?
Carrie: With this newfound “tool of freedom,” it became immediately apparent as I began researching that there were no products, supports or resources that answered the questions I had as a woman seeking to own and carry a gun for my self-protection. What I found in the very male-dominated firearms world at the time was rather over-sexualized and somewhat condescending. I knew there was a need for resources that spoke respectfully to women. One that could help women to navigate the world of firearms intelligently and comprehensively and to help guide them through the significant decision of owning a gun. There was a void of holsters and products that fit the needs of women gun owners, so I started The Well Armed Woman, LLC, in January of 2012 to fill this void.
The response was instant and overwhelming. Women all over the country were thrilled to find not only the information, resources, holsters, and products they were hungry for but a community of like-minded women that understood their questions and needs. The Well Armed Woman is now the largest and most trusted resource for women shooters and a vital contributor to the firearms industry.
It became clear early on that women, in general, felt intimidated going to the shooting range to shoot by themselves. The idea for The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters was born from this common hurdle many women had to their training and practice. This non-profit organization launched in January of 2013 and provides local women, led by female firearms instructors, a monthly meeting to learn and train in the safe and effective use of a firearm for their self-protection. There are now almost 400 chapters across the country, providing a much needed comfortable and welcoming environment for women to grow as shooters.
John: You sit the NRA Board of Directors, and the NRA seems to be under attack by the anti-gun lobby and by a lot of people within the gun community itself. Do you think there is a concerted effort to sow the seeds discord within the membership by people with ulterior motives, or is it all self-inflicted?
Carrie: I am incredibly honored and humbled to have the privilege of being a director. I take this role extremely seriously. It is an enormous responsibility, right up there with birthing and raising four children! I spend countless hours reading everything I can get my hands on, talking to the people who can answer my questions, studying and understanding our enemies and their strategies, and thoughtfully and prayerfully examining where I stand and how I can best serve.
I absolutely believe there is a concerted effort to “Divide and Conquer” the NRA. Those that foam at the mouth to take away and abolish our right to keep and bear arms know that the only way to have full access to destroy our Second Amendment rights is to destroy the one organization that is and has been the indisputable solid brick wall protecting it, the National Rifle Association and take down its leadership. The strategy of “Divide and Conquer” is tried and true and has been used since ancient times. Success comes when you effectively can sow seeds of discord within the community and plant seeds that the leaders are doing something wrong. We see both of these tactics played out in technicolor upon the Second Amendment community and on the leadership of the NRA.
John: We need to unite the gun community, or we will lose our rights. It seems like we are fractured right now. How do we reverse that and bring everyone together?
Carrie: I agree we MUST unite or WE WILL lose them! The application of these tactics is weakening our ability to protect our precious Second Amendment. If we allow, yes, allow ourselves to be vulnerable and seduced by our enemy’s tactics, and permit this weakening to continue, the enemies of real liberty win and we lose. This may sound simplistic, but I believe it is in its simplicity that makes it powerfully effective and easy for us all to do; focus on the prize and only the prize! With laser focus, we ALL must keep our eyes, actions, and purpose on preserving our Second Amendment NOW. That is the forest; don’t get distracted by the trees. I’m not saying that the NRA is perfect nor that the opinions of our members don’t matter. What I am saying is if we lose the current and imminent battles, none of those issues will matter.
Therefore, we must recognize the intentional use and the purpose of these tactics of division and not participate, period. We all know the Second Amendment is under unprecedented attack. The NRA is working its tail off to protect our rights. No other group – however well-intentioned – has the experience, influence, or resources to defend our freedom. Now is the time for the Second Amendment community to stand together and fight. I, for one, stand 100% with the NRA to fight the anti-gunners.
John: You are involved in a movie called “The Reliant.” Can you tell us a little about the movie?
Carrie: “The Reliant” is an incredibly thought-provoking and moving film. Multiple themes play out as a family deals with their survival when a collapsing economy unleashes riots and anarchy. This family is equipped with the tools and the mindset of self-defense and survival, yet the realities of chaos and life or death force incredible tests of faith and trust in a complex yet wholly worthy God.
John: Is this your first foray into the movie world?
Carrie: I have worked on and have been involved in several different documentaries and national news specials and panels, but never anything with the entertainment industry. I am not an actor in the film, but rather, at the end of the film, I share my personal testimony of survival, of God’s grace, and my thoughts on the importance of the protection of our Second Amendment. The purpose of doing so is in the hope of encouraging and facilitating discussion amongst moviegoers.
John: What made you want to take part in the film?
Carrie: I am just thrilled to see a movie that accurately portrays civilian gun ownership and the invaluable defense of life and liberty guns in the hands of “good people” provides coming to the big screen. This is not what the American public typically will see portrayed in today’s entertainment. As a Believer and great consumer of God’s grace for me to get to be a part of sharing both of these important messages is an incredible honor.
John: There is a lot of armchair 2A activists out there on the internet. How do we motivate those people to get off the bench and into the game?
Carrie: Talk is cheap, plain, and simple. There is a big difference between communicating and action. I believe one of the significant consequences of life online, and our dependency on the internet is the encouragement and the enticement of feeling like we are “doing something” because we are posting, commenting and sharing our opinions online.
We get to fool ourselves from behind a faceless, inanimate computer screen that we KNOW better, and when we are done typing that perfect comment, we kid ourselves into believing that we did something. Yes, I feel there is value in taking any opportunity to educate those who don’t fully understand the truths of our Second Amendment, but doing so online isn’t enough. The fight we are in requires action. If our right to liberty truly matters to us as individuals and to us as a nation, we all must DO something. Our dysfunctional government is our fault.
The people, the policies, and the restrictions of our right to keep and bear arms are there because we, the American citizens, put them there, and only we can hold them accountable. We, the citizens of this country, are responsible, and it is up to us to fix it. We must vote, we must actively support those that we can trust to protect and defend our rights, we must visit, call or write our representatives and we all must be Second Amendment activists.
John: There is a massive Second Amendment rally in DC on November 2nd that seems to be trying to unite the gun community. Are you planning on attending?
Carrie: My son Andrew is getting married on November 2nd here in Arizona, so unless I want to be disowned as his mother, that is where I will be.
John: What is up next for you?
Carrie: Right now, I am in full battle mode working and supporting the NRA in the fight and trying to inform, educate, and inspire anyone and everyone I can to become engaged as well. If we lose the battle – there is no next project.
Readers can find Carrie at http://carrielightfoot.com/.
They can also find showtimes for The Reliant at https://www.thereliantmovie.com/.
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.