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Our school would later initiate a no-contact order to help keep my ex-boyfriend out of my life until after we'd both graduated. Just about every woman's felt it at one point or another—that flicker of fear for her safety around angry men, and especially angry men with guns.

Picture the “gun owners of America,” and it’s all too easy to imagine bearded white guys toting long-barrel shotguns into pheasant country. Who is the new American female gun owner, and what’s she taking up arms against? gun owners are women, and more gun owners than ever are arming themselves for self-defense.On any given day, there are an infinite number of objects you might find in a woman's bra, besides her breasts.Maybe a credit card, some folded-up cash, or a tampon; a tube of lipstick if she's feeling fancy.We'd been arguing lately, even as we'd started making plans for where we'd live when college was over—and a few times, instead of bickering back at me, he'd just grown silent and We didn't stay together much longer after that; I wrote him a long letter and collected my things from his place, and I wish I could say that was the end of it.

A month later, I stood shivering in the doorway of my building at 3 A. in a bathrobe, telling a police officer why I'd called 911 from under my bedcovers to report a man standing on my back porch.

Today, the Harvard-Northeastern study found, nearly half of gun owners whose gun collection consists of a single handgun are women—and according to the NRA, the number of women who registered for classes on how to use a pistol nearly doubled between 20.

Christine Chen, 33 | San Gabriel Valley, CA | Owns a Beretta 92FS semi-automatic pistol “My boyfriend introduced me to target shooting three years ago, and he taught me the importance of self-protection.

"I don't think you expect a mom toting a 5-year-old and a toddler to carry a gun in her purse," she said.

"But I wanted a safe and reliable way to know I could protect my family in the case of a threat."What kind of threat, exactly, does Uhan picture when she tucks her pistol into a handbag before leaving the house?

Today Lola never leaves the house without her Smith & Wesson.