OAK FOREST – Her hands slowed by rheumatoid arthritis, 71-year-old Marietta Crowder stands in front of her paper target, steadies her gun and pulls the trigger. Shots are fired in quick succession.
Crowder is perhaps not the typical patron of a gun club.
But she is one of seven women learning to safely handle firearms at a shooting range in a suburb of Chicago, a city wracked by gun violence and a soaring murder rate.
“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 successf
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