I’m Tess Branson, the Katy, TX A Girl & A Gun chapter facilitator. I have a strong belief that every individual’s life is worth protecting, and I am passionate about helping people to learn defensive skills. In particular, I am motivated to help women to see the value in their own lives. Women are often fierce protectors of their loved ones, but sometimes forget that they are worth defending as well. I want women to tap into their inner warrior, their inner strength, their power to love not only others but also themselves, and see the value of learning self defense skills as they see their own worth.
When I was first learning to shoot, I found it very intimidating to go to ranges or take firearms classes. Often I was the only woman, and I struggled with my internal pressure in that situation to not be “that girl” that was somehow holding back the class. Fortunately, I had my husband at my side encouraging me to keep working on my skills. However, not every woman has that kind of support, and I want to be that support for women who need a push to be their best. I want to see more women participating in competitive shooting as well. I have participated in IDPA, and I am the lone female RSO at the rifle match I participate in, and usually the only woman as well. I want to encourage more women to just show up and try. If they do, they will be successful regardless of their ranking.
After 28 years as a high school teacher, I understand that people learn better when an instructor is patient and clear and when students feel safe and understood. I am a certified pistol instructor with the USCCA, NRA, and Rangemaster, as well as an NRA Certified Range Safety Officer. I am also working to develop my own firearms training company, The Gun Teachers, with my husband. We want to reach out to people who need reassurance that they don’t have to be anything more than just ordinary people who want to be safe and competent in the firearms world.