"I recently taught a private class to a nurse," Newman recalled.
"She said she didn't want to kill anyone; she just wanted to be able to shoot an attacker in the leg. When we went to the range and she saw how nearly impossible that is to do under real-world conditions, she changed her mind. Getting her permit, getting a holster and carrying on her hip suddenly became much more attractive."
To ensure that her charges get enough individual attention, Newman takes only six to 10 students in each two-day class. The first day of the class focuses on academics. The second day focuses on shooting.
"Day one is the 'Tupperware party' part of the course, when we spend about five hours going over the NRA's pistol-course material," Newman said.
"The second day is when we go to the range to build hands-on proficiency. The range portion of the course takes about three hours. That's not going to make you a marksman, but it will teach you to draw and shoot and hit what you're aiming at."
Newman charges $50 per student for group classes and $125 per student for a private class. Students may bring their own firearms or use the school's. Newman's website, www.inhersights.net, details the other materials students should bring.
The women who have graduated from Newman's classes have formed what she calls "a very active Facebook group," the Mad Anne Bailey Women's Shooting Society.
"We currently have more than 100 members," Newman added. "I tell my students that this shouldn't be the last class they take. They can take intermediate and advanced women's-only classes at the Putnam County Gun Club, and I encourage them to do that."
A growing number of Newman's graduates are participating in local shooting-sports events.
"Up until recently, [International Practical Shooting Confederation] and [U.S. Practical Shooting Association] competitions have been mostly male," she said. "More women are getting into those events, and they're finding they're pretty darned competitive."
Newman believes she could attract even more students if she advertised her school, but she said she's staying busy enough without it.
"People are finding out about me by word of mouth, just like they would a Mary Kay consultant," she said.
A Mary Kay consultant? Hey, what else would you expect from a teacher who works to make firearms "a girl thing?"
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.