East Cobb resident aims to arm women in county
by Rachel Gray
February 02, 2014 12:07 AM | 9212 views | 27 27 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After reported criminal activity occurring recently at the Kroger Shopping Center on Whitlock Avenue, Marietta resident Elizabeth Finch, who has a conceal and carry permit, loads her .45-caliber pistol before heading out of her vehicle to do some shopping. Finch is an NRA member and a leader in The Well Armed Woman chapter in Cobb County.
After reported criminal activity occurring recently at the Kroger Shopping Center on Whitlock Avenue, Marietta resident Elizabeth Finch, who has a conceal and carry permit, loads her .45-caliber pistol before heading out of her vehicle to do some shopping. Finch is an NRA member and a leader in The Well Armed Woman chapter in Cobb County.
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MARIETTA — An east Cobb woman has her sights set like a laser beam on making sure the women of Cobb are prepared to defend themselves.

A couple of recent reports of shoppers being victimized at a local grocery store has 38-year-old Elizabeth Finch, a self-employed National Rifle Association certified instructor, offering to teach women gun skills for their own safety.

On Jan. 24, a woman reportedly distracted a shopper at the Kroger on Whitlock Avenue while an accomplice pick-pocketed the woman’s purse.

Then, the following Monday evening, a teenage boy reportedly slapped the buttocks of another female shopper who was bent over to reach a low shelf at the same grocery store.

The woman was not treated medically, but was given a bag of frozen peas by the Kroger staff to numb her stinging backside.

Finch is the organizer for the local chapter of The Well Armed Woman, a national organization established to educate gun-owning women.

“It is really my passion that every woman can defend herself,” Finch said.

Women are more susceptible to being targets, she said. But instead of being paranoid, women should be conscious of their surroundings.

“Situational awareness is of utmost importance,” Finch said. “Know who and what is around you at all times.”

Finch, who grew up around guns and is now a collector, said she practices at a shooting range each week.

“It is a perishable skill,” Finch said. She said if gun owners don’t continuously practice, their skills will degrade over time.

Since July, Finch has led a group of 30 “diverse” women who shoot together on the first Sunday evening of every month at the GA Firing Line, a range off of Canton Road near the corner of Piedmont Road.

“We have ladies in their 20s and 70s,” Finch said. “I want to make shooting accessible to every woman who wants to learn.”

Cobb woman permitted to conceal and carry

Officer David Baldwin with the Marietta Police Department said a report on the latest pickpocket incident at the Kroger was filed by an officer who responded to the 911 call but made no arrest.

As for Monday’s incident, Glynn Jenkins, Director of Communications and Public Relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division, said the inappropriate contact against the shopper was taken very seriously and the police were notified.

“The safety of our customers and associates is first and foremost,” Jenkins said.

A 17-year-old boy from Marietta was arrested on charges of sexual battery for assaulting the shopper, Baldwin said.

Even when Finch is grocery shopping, she tries not to be in the radius of anyone that can be a potential threat. Finch said she will go down another aisle to avoid a suspicious person.

One time, while leaving a Kroger store in the East Lake area with her husband, Finch said she was leery of a man in the parking lot who was staring at them.

“He seemed very intent on us,” Finch said.

Finch chose to walk a longer way around the parking lot to their car.

Most of the time while out in public, Finch has a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun holstered on her hip, but would only draw the gun as a last resort.

Finch said a woman must be comfortable carrying a gun before attempting to be armed in public areas.

“It is a personal choice,” Finch said.

Comments
(27)
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jemdad99
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February 09, 2014
I've lived in Cobb for 25 years and fortunately never been a crime victim or around violence. I find it best to steer clear of those looking for a fight. I plan to stay far away from Ms Finch. My family and I have a policy: gun in the house, count us out. It's been 100% successful to date.
Elizabeth F
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February 10, 2014
That's fantastic for you. Unfortunately, my experience and that of millions of others is much different. You can steer clear of someone looking for a fight all you wish but it doesn't guard you against evil. How about you tell the families of every victim of rape, murder and assault that maybe if their loved one had just steered clear of that person looking for a fight then maybe they'd be alive and fine today. How about telling the victims of Aurora that if they'd just steered clear of James Holmes he wouldn't have shot them dead in the middle of a movie theatre where GUNS WERE PROHIBITED.

I welcome you to stay far away from me anytime. I wouldn't want to offend you by possibly saving your life one day.
GdMit
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February 03, 2014
This article was not printed as the interview was conducted by the MDJ. The questions asked of Mrs. Finch were about the 'knockout game'. The incidents at Kroger were not even brought up by the author. Mrs. Finch would not pull her gun on someone unless it is to defend herself. MEN what say you?

Also, if you think there isn't crime here in East Cobb, you need to come out from under your rock.
My Sunshine
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February 03, 2014
I am aware of more roberies and problems now. This was for years a safe area to live in, but now it seems people are being braver and want to come in and take what you have. I support having, learning to properly use fire arms. I have a carrying permit and a pistol. I am practing more now because I have not done much shooting in the last few years. You have to practice to feel secure using a gun. I need to find a good range close and affordable to practice. I want to be able to protect myself if I get into a situation that calles for a need to use a gun.

Just to protect myself form harm is my purpose.

You also have to be watchful of your surroundings.

Women more especially, because many think they are unable to protect themselves. That is not always true.

Get a gun learn to use it and let it be known that it is for your protection and we won't have the problems we are having now. Some cities have made it mandatory to have guns. All my family have guns an are very good with them. I have shot several kind and was a real good shot, but when you don't practice much, you can be dangerous.

Get a gun and Practice, practice, practice GET Good and shoot accurate to hit what you are aming at.

Protect yourself
anonymous
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February 03, 2014
It's great she's trying to train women how to be safe with handguns but NRA training is basic and superficial.

roryred
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February 03, 2014
Situational Awareness, knowing who & what is going on around you. That is a very sensible first step towards safety and great advice regardless of how you may choose (or choose not) to defend yourself. If you see someone that looks suspicious or dangerous, taking a different route to avoid a possible confrontation is just smart.

Note that the interviewer never connected the assault stories with the interview nor were any questions asked about those situations. Those of you trying to connect someone getting slapped to shooting them are just making this up as you go.

Finch consistently suggests being aware of your surroundings, avoiding what looks like a dangerous situation, practicing with your weapon, not going in public with it until you are ready to do so... in other words, responsible gun ownership.
Alert and Aware
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February 03, 2014
Profiling in the grocery store? All you have to do is live in Manhattan and that will teach you everything you need to know about handling yourself around others. No guns required. Of course pick pockets abound because people leave their bags in the carts and turn away. People break into cars because they see purses on the front seat. Naivety is no excuse.
The_Bald_Eagle
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February 03, 2014
I fully support and encourage people proper firearms training. But this "article" is just propaganda. How would a gun have resolved any of those situations?

Shooting someone for slapping your butt? Enjoy your time in prison.
Lib in Cobb
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February 03, 2014
I guess Finch is incapable of answering for herself.

"situational awareness" sounds like a Zimmerman reason for murdering an unarmed 17 year old.

@guido: What you know about common sense?
Lib in Cobb
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February 03, 2014
Correction: What do you ......

Just in case Guido doesn't understand.
Be Prepared
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February 03, 2014
Maybe Finch doesn't see the worth in responding to liberals with no common sense. And yes, as someone else said, it's about situational awareness. Sounds like you should get some of that.
MoreGunsLessCrime
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February 03, 2014
Responding to Lib in Cobb

It's called: situational awareness

You may want to google that.

anonymous
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February 03, 2014
Finch sounds like Zimmerman to me. I am more afraid of Finch than I am a butt slapper.
Too funny
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February 02, 2014
Because shooting someone is always an appropriate response to being smacked on the rear...
twistyseaway
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February 02, 2014
Both crimes described above are misdemeanors in Georgia. The use of deadly force would not be legally justified, unless the perp continued to make an assault where the victim thought their life was in jeopardy and could convince the District Attorney or a jury that was the case. Anyone carrying a firearm should be familiar with the state laws concerning the use of deadly force.
Mike In Smyrna
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February 02, 2014
She loads her pistol in her vehicle before exiting her vehicle to shop - why was it unloaded to begin with? How many time a day does she load and unload her pistol?

This lady is a threat to herself and anyone nearby. She is going rack one in the chamber - misfire - and shoot the person in the car next to her.

I believe in the Second Amendment. However, I am a little uneasy around people like Ms. Finch.
IntelligentlyArmed
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February 03, 2014
It's a demonstration shot, moron.
Be Prepared
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February 03, 2014
If you were familiar with guns, you would see that's a Springfield XD or XDm. There's a loaded chamber indicator on the top of the pistol. To put it in clear terms, it's a piece of metal which sticks up to give both a visual and tactile indication that there is a round in the chamber. Clearly, this indicator is not engaged which means the gun was unloaded and the magazine was not engaged either. Looks like very safe handling of a firearm to me, especially for the purposes of a photo.

For the purpose of an action photo, would you prefer that the gun be loaded and maybe the barrel pointed at the photographer. Please get yourself to a gun safety class. ASAP.
Just Wait
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February 02, 2014
Obviously paranoia is this ladies biggest enemy. I wish she would have listed what she deems to be "suspicious," just in case I have the misfortune of being anywhere near her. And come on, a bag of frozen peas for a slap on the butt? Maybe use the peas on the victim's hand after she landed the appropriate right hook to his face.
Luek
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February 02, 2014
The most important lesson about being armed in public is knowing when it is legal to use deadly force. Once that bullet leaves the barrel there is no calling it back. A law abiding person can ruin the rest of their life by using deadly force when it wasn't legal to do so. Just pointing a gun at someone is a felony. So, learn to protect yourself from getting on the wrong side of the law as you learn to use a firearm. Assuming you were in the right when using your firearm can get you into more life changing trouble than you can possibly imagine. Be super careful.
JB in NY
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February 02, 2014
She seems like a very responsible citizen to me. Knowing what's around you is the first step to staying safe. More women should be exercising the most basic self-preservation technique of spacial awareness.

@ Lib in Cobb, anyone can pose a potential threat. Sometimes you run into people and things just don't seem right for some reason or another. It could be nothing or it could be something. Better safe than sorry and there's no harm in taking the long way around the store or parking lot to avoid that person. If you've never encountered that type of situation, I'd say you're either very lucky or completely unaware of your surroundings. She's not calling the cops or pulling a gun on anyone, just using a little common sense to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
IceDogg
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February 02, 2014
You pull a 45 on someone for slapping your butt or pick-pocketing your purse and you're going to find out firsthand what the inside of the Cobb County Jail looks like.

Poorly written article by someone with little or no knowledge of Concealed Carry laws in Georgia. This type of misinformation is as dangerous to the potential victim as it is to the suspected criminal. Get informed and then try writing a more informative, less sensational, article.

And a scary stranger that was "staring" at Finch and her husband? Wow, crime is obviously running rampant in East Cobb.
roryreed
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February 03, 2014
It appears to be a mash-up of an interview with two people and disconnected random facts about crime in the area.

Some recent crimes are discussed and we get some feedback about those crimes. Also, someone interviews a gun owner who emphasizes safety and avoiding trouble when possible.
Truly Interested
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February 02, 2014
Does anyone know what would happen legally to a person if that person pulled a gun on someone that slapped them or pick pocketed them?
Guido Sarducci
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February 02, 2014
Nothing would happen if she pulled a gun and detained a pickpocket.

A woman who has a gun is less ikely to allow herself to be slapped, without slapping back, than one who is not armed.

I don't think Ms. Finch indicated that a womnan should pull a gun on a butt slapper.

Don't be so negative.
Lib in Cobb
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February 02, 2014
Just how does Finch determine if someone poses a potential threat?

If Finch reads this, please enlighten us.
Guido Sarducci
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February 02, 2014
She uses common sense.

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