The Women of Dallas Are Armed and Dangerous, Thanks to Mama Jeanie

Her own shooting career derailed, Jeanie Almond has become Dallas' go-to teacher for shooting's fastest-growing market: women.

She quit shooting competitively that day. Ever since, she's told people the reason was because she had young children to take care of at home and left it at that. Only her closest friends and family heard the truth, and not until years after the fact.

"She was and is a terrific shot," Stark says, "and I just hate her not to get to use those abilities."

Three weeks before those Olympics, her husband came down with a bad cold that bloodwork revealed was actually leukemia. Despite her heart being "broken in 5,000 pieces," she says, she cared for him until the end. She remembers well her dual life, doing her best to keep him alive while feeling relief that it was almost over. He died two years later.

Jeanie (left) and the Lipstick and Lead instruction team. Yes, that's her pink truck.
Danny Fulgencio
Jeanie (left) and the Lipstick and Lead instruction team. Yes, that's her pink truck.
Jeannie's granddaughter is a competitive shooter, too.
Danny Fulgencio
Jeannie's granddaughter is a competitive shooter, too.

Jeanie bought a home just outside of Dallas, packed her belongings into the biggest U-Haul available, put her .38 revolver in her purse and drove away with her children. Her son picked up his shooting career in Texas, going on to win several shooting titles. And about a decade ago, he bought the gun range that would become Elm Fork after attending college at University of North Texas and working as a stockbroker. He told his mom she could play whatever role she wanted.

"That," her son says, "was kind of the beginning of the modern-day Mama Jeanie."


Like several of Lipstick and Lead's instructors, Susan Cranford started as one of Jeanie's customers. An oil and gas geologist who rides Harley-Davidsons, she first called Jeanie when she was invited to an oil company's sporting clay match. She'd shot guns since childhood, but she didn't know the first thing about sporting clay.

"I wasn't about to go over there and have the least idea of what I was doing," Cranford says. "I've watched a lot of girls shoot; I've watched how a lot of the guys treat the girls."

She told this to Jeanie. Jeanie was in.

Cranford was instantly comfortable. "When she's teaching that first lesson, you see Jeanie in the raw. You see that total passion underneath come up and it's transferred to you and it's given to you as an open gift."

Cranford had been through a terrible marriage, a bad divorce and a battle with kidney cancer that had collectively turned something off deep inside her. After meeting Jeanie for the first time, Cranford says, "It was like something popped off the cork of my giddy button. ... She opened up the key to the missing chunk in my life that I didn't even know was missing at the time."

It's the way Jeanie operates. These women, or any woman, walk in for a shooting lesson and walk out with something else entirely. She doesn't ask customers what emotional baggage they're carrying through the door or act as a therapist; it just happens. It could be the sport — it's a form of protection and a massive emotional release — but it's more than that, too.

"There's a link, there's a hook that gets in your soul ... a very deep empathy for each other," Cranford says of the Lipstick and Lead ladies. "I think we're all survivors in one way or another. Whether it was physical, emotional, medical ... Several of us have been through some stuff, and we're not gonna take no more," Cranford says, laughing at her brashness. "That's the other way of saying I'm not going to take any more."

Jeanie splits her time between instruction and hosting corporate shooting events at Elm Fork. On a recent July afternoon, she charmed, taught and mothered 40 prospects for the Dallas Stars, part of the NHL team's Development Camp, a week-long orientation of sorts. She paced the clubhouse floor in a pink button-down with a Lipstick and Lead logo and her rhinestone belt, holding a shotgun like a walking stick, casually and with flair.

Her bounciness pairs well with her love of the color pink: She has a pink truck, a pink handgun, pink shooting glasses and, somewhere in her bra, a tube of pink lip gloss. Offsetting her peppiness, her resting face is one of concern; her lips are tight, her blue eyes more thoughtful than sharp. There's an underlying seriousness that makes it impossible to shrug her off as some sort of Barbie-doll grandma caricature. She demands attention for reasons deeper than being entertaining as hell; it's the sort of attention people reserve for their own mothers.

And she reciprocates: With the hockey players, it was "Everybody's got drinks?" and "Everybody's got water?" as she buzzed station to station with water, soda and sunscreen in the back of her cart. "That's Texas service, boys!" she called out on one of her rounds.

Until recently, she was the general manager of the range, taking care of everything from managing the facility to replacing toilet paper, while handling the 400 or so corporate events a year and the lessons. But mother and son recently agreed that she would step down from management and handle events while focusing on Lipstick and Lead. Her organization of instructors is contracted with Elm Fork, but it is run independently of the range, which means it is set up to expand elsewhere, as Jeanie plans to do. She's also recorded two Lipstick and Lead instructional videos, and a major network recently bought a reality show starring her.

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25 comments
A Ft. Worth-O-Plex Music Page
A Ft. Worth-O-Plex Music Page

hmmm, preparing to fight back in the war on women, like, "you can have my birth control pills when you pry them from my cold dead hands?"

loxas1
loxas1

myrna - so if guns kill people, then was it a spoon that made you a fat-ass??? maybe we should have an anti-spoon rally and ban all the spoons in the country to solve the obesity problem.... typical leftist libtarded hypocrite....

gdruzek
gdruzek

I hope that people realize that Jeanie Almond isn't the only lady instructor. The NRA's "Women On Target" teaches classes at various gunranges. The Second Amendment Sisters started right here in Texas. On the West coast are the Liberty Belles. All of these organizations teach responsible, safe gun ownership which is sadly lacking due to the media and hollywood.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Nothing sexier than a woman with a gun.  Unless "she BIG". Then you just have her load the rifle. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Another mass gun murder.  This time in New Jersey.  Guns kill people.

JM64
JM64

Leslie, I don't know if you selected the headline, or the editor who did so, but it is quite misleading. The women who are being taught to shoot by "Mama Jeanie" are NOT ARMED AND DANGEROUS in the classic, criminal sense. These women, and any others who learn to properly handle firearms are dangerous ONLY to those people they intend to shoot, if/when necessary.

 

The implication of the headline is that women with guns are a danger to anyone/everyone around them simply because they have guns. I respect the article's overall neutrality concerning guns, but the headline is poorly written.

JM64
JM64

Myrna, obviously you have never seen a gun that didn't terrify you, except for those in the hands of 'trustworthy, well-trained' LEOs, such as the NYPD, who wounded NINE innocent bystanders in shooting one armed criminal. Of course, such twits as you would call that 'collateral damage'...

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

This is clearly a paranoid man-wannabe with a gun fetish and an Annie Oakley complex.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Just what we need.  More guns killing more people.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

Thank you for this article. I have taught several people to shoot pistol and rifle. I've been looking for professional instructors for those who I do not have the skill to teach. This has given me an instructor to recommend to them.

azlefty
azlefty

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz   So the gun fired itself you idiot?

You do realize  the  largest non-terrorist related mass-murder in the  US did not involve any guns? 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @jmelton6414 I was on here bashing the cops for doing that after it happened, and I was invidiously excoriated for doing so by the gun fetishistas.

RTGolden
RTGolden

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Empower women, but only if they are women who behave in a proper, progressive-approved, liberal fashion?

 

How very Republican of you.

BANE
BANE

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz

 So a strong, independent, empowered woman is now a man-wannabe in the eyes of the tolerant left?

gdruzek
gdruzek

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz

 What we don't need is so-called liberals empowering more and more criminals to prey on law abiding citizens. Typical liberal "crime" control: 1. create gun laws that only effect law abiding citizens. 2. Do away with the death penalty and harsh penalties for criminals. 3. create victim disamament zones that only effect law abiding citizens. 4. Give guns and hand grenades to Mexican drug cartels. 5. Disband police forces due to "budget cuts". 6. Supply police forces with military hardware and at the same time reduce training hours to due "budget cuts". 7. Jail law abiding citizens without trial due to "national security". 8. Allow the media to hero worship any gunbanger who's stopped from robbing, murdering and raping. 9. Create no questions asked "gun buybacks" that allow gangbangers to dispose of their murder weapons witihout ballistic tests. 10. Encourage the media to publish statements from anti-gun organizations.[Asking the antigun brady bunch to comment on guns is like listening to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers comment on a NASCAR ruling.]

oboudet27
oboudet27

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Do we have to go there again? Is it not getting old already?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @BANE An independent, empowered woman would not need to run around shooting guns in order to be independent and empowered.

dmd-123
dmd-123

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  @BANEAnd why not? You are clearly threatened by this, as you put it man-wannbe. There is nothing wrong with sport shooting and certainly nothing wrong with personal defense.

 

oboudet27
oboudet27

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Its funny how "guns" kill people. But yet Chicago who has one of the most restrictive gun laws is on the edge of declaring marshal law due to so many killings.

 
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