WON Landing Page March 2022

Meet Rita Boucher, ‘Fan of the Month’

Rita Boucher is the May “Fan of the Month” for the new podcast titled “The Women’s Gun Show.” She is a master optician in Wisconsin.

Rita Boucher Story, as told by Rita

Over 20 years ago, I was newly divorced and living in an apartment. I awoke one night to someone cutting my window screen and trying to get into my apartment.  I had nothing in my apartment to protect myself except … ME!! I used my “big boy” voice to order the guy to leave and threatened to shoot him, even though I did not have a gun. When I was married, my husband was the protector.

I now look back on that and realize how naive I was. And decided to never be in a situation like that again.

The first thing I did was go and buy my Ruger P95 and take an NRA Basic Pistol class. At the time, the instructor told us to hang on to the certificate in the event Wisconsin would ever allow concealed carry. Almost 15 years later, that paper did in fact allow me to get my CCW! While I had been raised in a “gun” family, it was primarily for hunting. Once I got my CCW, I knew I was not trained enough to responsibly carry. I took a class via our local police academy, their Level I. Still not feeling skilled enough, I took their next 2 levels that included force-on-force training. This came to around 50 hours of professional training and countless hours on the range.

It was about this time that the Green Bay chapter of The Well Armed Woman was formed and I joined as one of the very first members. I remember thinking that this was where I belonged! As a very experienced gun handler by this point, I was enjoying assisting our chapter leader to train the ladies. As our chapter grew, I was asked to come on as a co-leader. I finally felt that my passion for a woman’s God-given right to be safe would be utilized. All the people that had helped me, I was now able to give back.

I have not faced any real cultural challenges. Wisconsin and the rural area I live in embrace firearms. Some of the ladies I work with do have some questions from time to time, but I believe a velvet glove and a gentle approach works far better than the “in their face” method. Most respect my choice and have at times asked me to walk them to their cars after a late shift, because they know I carry.

Rita BoucherPhysical challenges

I have very severe Psoriatic Arthritis. My hands are a mess; I have had to train myself to do some things in an unorthodox manner, dropping mags, pulling the trigger on my support hand with my “sassy” finger. Where there is a will, there is a way.

For women that are afraid of firearms, I tell them it is a personal decision.

The fear most likely comes from lack of knowledge. And once they have the knowledge, a healthy respect is in order. Firearms are only a tool, no more dangerous than a knife or an automobile. The evil lies in the heart of the person, not the tool.

When I am instructing classes for CCW and am going over the Wisconsin laws, I tell the ladies I cannot tell them if carrying is right for them. I urge them to examine their core beliefs in the dark of the night, when they are alone with their souls. If they do not believe, that when faced with a threat of great bodily harm or death to themselves or others, they are capable of taking another life for self protection….. they should not be carrying.  And that is OK! But I stress that if they decide they are capable, the right for self-protection is NOT a right given to them by man. It is a God-given right!! I am 100% passionate about that right as I believe they should be, too. This is the main reason I decided to step up and become a firearms leader in our community. Sometimes our true callings come when we are older! Or at least it did in my case.

I am now an NRA Basic Pistol Instructor, NRA PPITH Instructor, PPOTH Instructor, NRA Advanced Pistol Instructor, NRA RSO, Project Appleseed Instructor, NRA Distinguished Expert for pistol and soon to be RTBAV Instructor. I am also involved with training Marine Poolees before they are sent off for basic training through my local rifle club and their affiliation with Friends of the NRA. As I approach retirement, I want to engage more younger women and older women, and of course, the in-between as well. I would also, as my time frees up, like to  be involved more with Friends of the NRA and political activism for 2A rights.

Rita Boucher and Gunner

My next goal is to become an NRA Training Counselor… loooong waiting list. All good things are worth waiting for.

I currently carry every day, where the law allows. It has been a lifestyle change for the better. I rotate between an SR9c or a Sig P938, depending on what I am wearing. I train live weekly and dry fire almost every night.

Listen to Rita’s interview with Carrie Lightfoot in Episode #5: http://www.womensoutdoornews.com/2016/06/womens-gun-show-episode-5-trigger-time/

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.