We had the good fortune of connecting with Judi Wells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Judi, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I know that this is a really sensitive subject, especially right here in SoCal / San Diego. Gun Ownership and Gun Control is at the forefront of political and private discussions all over the country. People who do not frequently visit the gun range might think that our guns are a “go-to” tool, but actually they are tools of last resort. Gun owners want our loved ones to be safe, and most of us believe that each person has the right to define what that looks like…whether we want to use a firearm or pepper spray or other self-defense item. We train to be able to protect our families, but we hope the day never comes when we have to use our gun against an attacker. Instead, the day that we look forward to is a typical afternoon on the range with our friends, shooting a competition for fun, smashing sporting clays, or learning new self-defense information..
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am most proud of / excited about soooo many things….. Our radio broadcast, Responsibly Armed Radio, came about when Tatiana Whitlock and I were discussing extreme situations and how we would handle them from a preparedness mindset.. She is a “celebrity” in our professional space and was just named one of America’s fastest rising stars in the country. With her insight and knowledge, and my personal journey, we thought that many people could benefit from our conversations. We decided to see if we could find a sponsor for airtime and after our first two shows, we did!! We talk about so many topics, all centered around being better prepared… Are you prepared for an extreme event such as an active shooter event? Prepared to handle a situation if you come across a human trafficking victim? Do you know how to harden your house against intruders or what to do in a scary parking lot? We have leading experts from around the country as our guests. It’s been amazing!
Our A Girl & A Gun San Diego chapter is a wonderful non-judgmental group where a woman can come and learn how to be her own first responder in body, mind and spirit. We have created a female firearms community of like-minded women, all ages, who support and lift each other up. We have beginner classes, a pistol competition team, a Trap League, archery, first aid and so many interesting classes and events. The challenges to overcome and the lessons I’ve learned along the way have to do with learning that every woman/person has a different story. We all have different motivations to learn to handle a firearm, and as an Instructor, I need to find the way to unlock each person’s inspiration and understand her personal challenges. When I know that, I can help guide her to resources and activities that will best serve her in her journey. It may be just for fun, or there may be a more serious reason in her story. I’ve discovered that learning to shoot has many connections to real life… attention, concentration, eye-hand coordination, confidence, and accepting your own strengths and weaknesses. It’s a mindset of positivity, willingness to accept your failures and successes, and desire to learn and share knowledge with other women in our shooting community (men, too, but our chapter is women only).
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So many options!! San Diego is a great vacation spot and a wonderful place to live! Places I would visit: The San Diego Zoo, The Cabrillo Lighthouse on Point Loma to see the super awesome prism, Balboa Park (the museums, the Japanese Gardens) and the Marina. I would take her on a tour to see the iconic signs at the entrance to each area in San Diego…Hillcrest, North Park, University Heights etc. The tour might include trying to see the Green Flash while watching the sunset at the Beach. Belmont Park just for fun. OB for the antique shops. A trip to Coronado Island to see the Hotel Del. La Jolla for some street-side shopping and to see the waves against the window in The Marine Room. Hit Little Italy and have some amazing food at Barbusa, Nonna or Zuchero.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I could give a shout-out to so many people! Kyle Dau at Discount Gun Mart for helping me to overcome my fear of shooting. LeAnne Farmer was my first female firearm instructor, and she encouraged me to push myself out of my comfort zone to become better at something I never thought I would do. Julianna Crowder and Robyn Sandoval, Founder and Executive Director of A Girl & A Gun (www://agirlandagun.org), offered me the opportunity to create a cohesive and vibrant womens’ shooting community right here in San Diego. We have over 150 active women in our group, with many new members joining weekly. Tatiana Whitlock (tatianawhitlock.com) is my co-host on Responsibly Armed Radio. She constantly challenges me to create show content with her that will appeal to our listeners who may or may not have or want a firearm and who want to be better prepared for events that might unfold around them. Thanks to Discount Gun Mart for letting our chapter use their facilities. And of course, yay for my husband and children, who are my biggest cheerleaders and supporters.
Other: Please join us on Responsibly Armed Radio, 1170am and 96.1, The Answer San Diego. Our mission is to promote a responsibly armed community through engaging conversations with peers and leading experts across the USA on the topic of self-defense. Our show explores the day-to-day logistics of managing the safety of yourself and your loved ones – whether at home, at work or on the road – and the challenges we face doing so in our lives. Your view on “responsibly armed” may or may not include a firearm, but it definitely should include a plan. Join us to develop or enhance your “safety first” mindset, through discussions around less than lethal self-defense tools, vital life-saving medical skills, making your family a hard target, home defense strategies, concealed carry, and more.