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Women in Mississippi are taking their personal protection into their own hands by exercising their right to bear arms.

Lori Shelton, who always considered herself anti-gun, decided to take a firearms training course after her home was broken into just last month.

“I was always anti-gun,” she told News Channel 3. “I wasn’t really scared of them, I just decided I wanted to be anti-gun, and what a difference 24-hours makes.”

“I was getting ready for work, doing my normal routine, and I heard a noise as I was getting out of the shower,” Shelton recalled.

“I peeked through the blinds…and saw him looking at me. I mean we made complete eye contact,” Shelton said. “He proceeded to come through the back of the house, and I ran back and dialed 911.”

Her daughter was sleeping upstairs during the incident.

While police arrived in minutes, it took over an hour to locate the suspect.

According to Shelton, the intruder not only stole some of her antiques but her sense of security.

“It’s really hard. You don’t think about standing at the sink washing dishes, but with every dish that I wash, I’m constantly turning and looking over my shoulder to see if somebody is looking in,” she told News Channel 3.

It’s for that reason that Shelton decided to educate herself on guns, and is currently working toward getting her pistol permit and her own firearm.

She not only goes to the range for target practice but has enrolled in a firearms training course that teaches her how to load, shoot, store and clean a gun. She even brings her 15-years-old daughter along so she, too, knows how to protect herself.

Firearms instructor, Donna Hollway, says the course has had over 200 female students since it started last year; that’s about 50 percent of all participants.

“We have a large group of women that want to learn more about their weapon, want to be comfortable with it, want to be able to protect themselves and their family,” Holloway told News Channel 3. “Policemen and their husbands are not always going to be there to protect them, so they need to learn how to protect themselves when they’re out doing their daily lives.”

Judith Starks has also enrolled herself in the firearms training course.

It’s taken her more than twenty years – her home was broken into in 1993 – but Starks said she’s finally ready to learn how to defend herself.

“The thing that held me back was the fear. But now that the way the world has changed, I’m not going to be fearful anymore,” she said. “Let the fear go, get these lessons.”

Holloway reminds us: “Every woman is capable of doing this.”

So get out their girls, and learn how to defend yourselves and your loved ones.