Anti-gunners like to paint concealed carry as the domain of beer-swilling, minority-hating wannabe Rambo males looking for an opportunity to blow someone away. Much of their anti-gun rhetoric is based around this idea. Well, the part that isn’t based on misconstrued data or outright fabrications.

However, they really need to update their version of reality.

In a statement released Monday, the National Carry Academy says the number of women taking concealed-carry courses has spiked by 24 percent since the February 14 shooting. In an interview with The Federalist, NCA CEO Chris Schutrop said an increasing number of women have been arming themselves over the past three years, but the Parkland shooting especially hit a nerve among women.

“There’s a greater chance they can protect themselves if they are carrying a firearm and are trained to use it,” Schutrop said. “It’s a tangible way that they can make a difference to help others and help themselves.”

That’s awesome. Seriously.

While concealed carry wouldn’t have prevented Parkland, it may well have helped at countless other mass shootings. It wouldn’t have helped in Parkland simply because concealed carry wasn’t allowed on school campuses in Florida. Based on the anti-gun push down that way, it’s unlikely that’s going to change any time soon.

But even taking the extremely rare possibility of mass shooting off the table, concealed carry is a massive benefit to women. While some circles like to pretend that women are capable of literally everything a man can do, there are exceptions. For example, the average woman is physically weaker than the average man. That puts women at a disadvantage when it comes to violence, where strength is an important factor. Unless that is, she has a gun.

You only need to muster a few pounds of pressure with your finger to pull a trigger, and that’s an incredible equalizer when you’re asking a 120-pound woman to defend herself against a 250-pound aggressive male.

I think most women recognize that fact, and many are looking at how to mitigate those differences. That means a firearm. Plain and simple.

One comment about the NCA’s numbers is that it only accounts for increases in concealed carry courses. It doesn’t account for a spike in states that don’t require a course before issuing a permit. I’d wager that you’d see as big, if not a bigger, spike there. After all, women who might be intimidated by a concealed carry class might skip the process. If they didn’t have to sit through one, they might just pick up the permit.

Of course, it’s impossible to know the gender breakdown of concealed carry, but I’m glad to see this news. I’m a husband and a father of a young daughter. One of my greatest fears is something happening to my wife or little girl and me not being there to try and protect them. The idea of the average concealed carrier changing to include more women means other fathers can deal with that fear a little bit better than before as their little girls, now all grown up, can protect themselves.