In honor of Sabrina “Gun Girl Bree” MacHaffie, whose inaugural article posted at Bearing Arms on February 11, I thought it fitting to provide an updated article I posted last summer at my home website. Welcome Bree!
I like women. I know; what red-blooded American male doesn’t? Actually, quite a few, I suspect. It’s one thing to observe that you love your wife, but how many guys really like their wife, I mean like her so much they would rather spend time with her any day than spend time with the guys? How many guys appreciate women for their unique qualities of intuition and intellect? How many guys like women because they’re, well, women, and while they expect them to be strong and capable, don’t expect them to be curvy men? I do, and that appreciation of women inspires me to write about their protection, for I know that as strongly as I feel a need to protect women, I also know I can’t be around all the time, not even for my wife. Ultimately, all women need to ask: “who really cares about women?” The answer might surprise some.
First, however, might I take a moment to dispel a common fallacy? I speak of the idea that progressives are the champions of women and their defenders against evil conservatives and their “war on women.” Consider Mary Katherine Ham at Hot Air, speaking of just such a progressive savior of the sisterhood:
In arguing for the disarmament of college students in Colorado this week, state Rep. Joe Salazar [Democrat] suggested a novel method of self-defense for women on campus— just chill, ladies.
‘It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.’
Well, after all, you might not get raped. In Salazar’s world, not only are women incapable of defending themselves against a physical threat, but they are incapable of even identifying a physical threat, and should therefore be deprived of the ability to try. Empowerment! I guess if you are raped, there’s this…safe zone.
As a firearm instructor, not only do I deal in the identification of actual threats, but in the effective removal of same, as does my wife, also an educator and firearm instructor. I find Mr. Salazar’s comments anything but supportive of the intellects, bodies, and welfare of women. But let’s return to Ms. Ham:
Salazar has apologized for revealing how incapable he believes women are. (Notice the framing of the story in local media is not about his comments, but about conservatives objecting to them.)
‘I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention. We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes people safer on campus. I don’t believe they do. That was the point I was trying to make. If anyone thinks I’m not sensitive to the dangers women face, they’re wrong. I am a husband and father of two beautiful girls, and I’ve spent the last decade defending women’s rights as a civil rights attorney. Again, I’m deeply sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.
Notice that Mr. Salazar, the woman-defending “civil rights attorney,” does not retract or disavow his comments, he’s just sorry you excitable women are so silly as to doubt his sensitivity to the dangers women face. He’s so sensitive he doesn’t want to expose women to the most effective means to defend themselves from those dangers, which they can’t recognize anyway. And if they were allowed, by the representatives of a benevolent government—such as sensitive Mr. Salazar—to carry guns, they’d just “pop” up the landscape. Besides, he didn’t intend to offend women by suggesting they’re too stupid to know when they’re in danger or about to be raped. He obviously still thinks that, he just didn’t intend it to offend anyone. Silly women; they’re so easily offended.
Ham notes approved anti-Second Amendment methods of pseudo self-defense:
Charles Cooke notes the University of Colorado’s advice for women under attack. This would be the liberal-sanctioned method of self-defense if the Rep. Salazar method of hoping real hard doesn’t pan out. Passive resistance, bare feet, and your period:
Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.
Your instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.
Kick off your shoes if you have time and can’t run in them.
Don’t take time to look back; just get away.
If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense.
Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!
Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.
Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate.
Hmm. I know you’re only women, but don’t some of these suggestions seem to be contradictory, ineffective, even a bit…stupid?
And don’t they seem to assume that you are supposed to be helpless victims and practice to remain that way?
Such is common with proponents of gun control. Notice that I am not indicting all progressives, Democrats, etc. There is no question that a growing number of people, regardless of gender, that might once have reflexively supported gun control policies are coming to understand the wisdom, indeed, the necessity, of taking responsibility for the safety of ourselves and those we love. They are, each and every one, to be welcomed and supported. But for gun control proponents—most whom, sadly, are Democrats—life is all about feelings, and “feeling safe” is all that matters, regardless if one is actually safe or not.
Notice how Mr. Salazar, who is very sorry by the way–we know because he said so–and the University of Colorado—good statists all—make certain assumptions about women, particularly that they must be denied effective means of self-defense and allowed only such traditionally feminine methods as screaming, running, kicking off those kicky little high heels, yelling, biting, and even…peeing and puking? I’m sure they would also endorse such traditionally stereotypical female methods as purse whacking, pathetic pleading, tripping and falling down while running and screaming (preferably repeatedly) and every girl’s secret weapon: hysterical, semi-catatonic sobbing.
If you, like most women, are not prevented by ideology and/or cult of personality politician worship from engaging in rational thought, it may be time to consider the sole, truly effective means of self defense: firearms.
YOU ARE VALUABLE: Every human being, by virtue of being born a human being, has a God-given, unalienable right to preserve their life. Life is, in fact, God’s greatest gift. To fail, or worse, to refuse to protect it, is a sin. I know some think terms like “sin” to be unenlightened and old-fashioned, but they remain useful because morality and equally old-fashioned terms like “honor” and “obligation” remain useful, and hopefully, always will.
Frivolous people think everyone is valuable because they are unique, because they can write, or paint, or have some special insight or because they espouse political philosophies favored by the self-imagined elite. However, those grounded in the ways of the world, of human nature, of existence, know that you are valuable because you are made in the image of the Creator who knew you before you were created.
This concept is so fundamental, so important, that the Second Amendment to the Constitution recognizes and affirms it. The Second Amendment does not establish your right to self-defense and the means to affect it; no law or government can do that. If the Second Amendment did not exist, your unalienable right to self-defense would still exist; government cannot take it away, at least not legitimately.
You are valuable to your family, your spouse, your children. You are certainly more valuable to society than any thuggish predator cruel enough to beat and rape you or take your life. But above all remember this: you and only you are ultimately responsible for protecting and preserving your life. You might want to visit this article on that subject, which contains links to two additional, more in-depth related articles. It’s surprising and eye-opening.
EVIL EXISTS: Even if you are not interested in evil, evil is interested in you. For some, evil is only an abstraction, a debating topic, a means of making fun of the supposedly less-sophisticated and enlightened who aren’t capable of the nuanced thinking that can so easily deny its existence. But in nearly two decades of police service, I have seen evil. I’ve chased it down dark alleys, fought it hand to hand, held it at gunpoint and talked with it across tables in interviewing rooms. I’ve looked into the abyss, and felt the soul-deep chill of the abyss looking back.
There are more sociopaths out there than most are capable of imagining. They walk among us every day. They have stood behind you in checkout lines and waiting for movies. They have passed you on sidewalks. When you’ve had that raising-the-hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck feeling that you’ve been watched, that may have been a sociopath looking for his chance. You’ve been lucky so far. The residents of Newtown, Connecticut, to name only one contemporary example, now have no doubt about the existence of evil. The kind of soulless murderers you see in movies exist, but in reality, many are worse and more twisted than even the most imaginative screenwriter can conjure. The real horror shows don’t require tickets and serve popcorn. They’re out here, among us, every day.
Living a virtuous life, thinking politically correct thoughts, sneering at the unsophisticated that support the Constitution and find America exceptional, donating time and money to politically correct causes is no protection against evil. In fact, it is only encouraged by such ineffectual, self-defeating gestures. However, evil can be deterred, and when it attacks, beaten, but it will never be deterred or beaten by those who deny its existence.
One may spend a lifetime without being directly confronted by evil, but there is nothing preventing such a confrontation with anyone at any time or place. Evil is always prepared, always waiting its chance. Are you prepared?
WOMAN ARE THE WEAKER SEX: Physically, that is. Women are generally smaller, shorter and substantially weaker in upper body strength and overall strength than men. In amateur and professional competitions, 150 pound men do not fight 170 pound men because the difference in weight and size is so great as to render the outcome a foregone conclusion and because even that relatively small difference in size and weight greatly increases the chance of serious injury or death. Size, weight and strength matter, as the average woman quickly discovers in unarmed combat with the average man. The difference is shocking, paralyzing, and potentially deadly.
In pursuits where absolute size and strength aren’t disqualifying—such as flying fighter aircraft–women can compete with men on equal footing. I’ve been beaten soundly by skilled women in European and Japanese fencing. But in any unarmed encounter, women are virtually always at a substantial and usually deadly physical disadvantage.
Fortunately, in terms of intellect, determination, courage, strength of character and perseverance, women can counter and best men. While it is surely true that women tend, for genetic and cultural reasons, not to be as aggressive as men, they can learn how to successfully channel aggression and how to focus their anger into effective attack or defense. Unfortunately, the laws of physics remain.
WOMEN ARE UNIQUELY VULNERABLE: Because women are not naturally as aggressive as men, because they are generally smaller and weaker than men, and because few women think tactically to the extent that they have reasonable situational awareness—a weakness they share with most men, I might add—predators tend to target women more than men. They reasonably assume that women—even women in groups—will be easy targets. As unpleasant as thinking about this might be, refusing to think about it only plays into the hands of predators.
NON-LETHAL WEAPONS ARE DANGEROUS–TO WOMEN: Predators find things like whistles “safe zones,” “gun free zones,” pepper spray, air horns, Tasers, and a variety of other similar items hilarious. Not only are such things ineffective, they do not in any way intimidate predators, and even if used as intended, will generally only annoy or anger predators…at best. People who are so enraged, deranged, drugged, or simply determined to harm others are commonly impervious to such weapons.
If these weapons and related toys don’t work—and one may be reasonably assured they will not—anyone employing them has just convinced their attacker they are out of options and therefore, helpless. And, of course, they have likely enraged the brute they have just sprayed with pepper spray who will proceed to sniff and sneeze a bit while beating and raping them with abandon.
There is no doubt: any woman being attacked, particularly by a stranger, must assume they are in danger of serious bodily injury or death. Believing “if I give him what he wants, he’ll leave me unharmed,” is a foolish and potentially deadly gamble. Anyone making that assumption is actually betting their life. It’s a sucker’s bet (take the next link to see exactly what I mean).
MARTIAL ARTS AREN’T THE ANSWER: they may be for a select few, and there is nothing wrong with studying a martial art such as karate–the martial arts provide many valuable physical and psychological benefits–but the simple fact is that even if one attains a very high level of proficiency, size and weight still matter very much and in most circumstances, will overwhelm any advantage in skill. Studying a martial art may help one to radiate confidence and ideally, gain situational awareness, which can cause some of the more wary predators to avoid them, but this cannot be counted upon.
Hand to hand fighting is brutal, dirty, brief, bloody and ugly and consists of breaking the will and body of an opponent to whatever ends the winner desires. Both fighters usually end up on the ground. The kind of “fighting” one sees on TV and in the movies is choreography, not fighting. In a real fight or attack, there are no rules other than that there are no rules, and only winning by any means necessary matters. It is up to the winner to decide if his opponent is disfigured, crippled or killed.
There may be a handful of women in the world so highly skilled in martial arts as to be capable of defeating a larger and stronger man, if they deliver the right combination of blows quickly without taking blows themself. A handful. Facing one–not more–man. And of course, if a predator is armed with a knife or gun, as they often are, the importance of distance and timing will quickly become obvious.
No one should be so foolish as to imagine themselves capable of defeating, empty-handed, multiple predators intent on harming them. A staple of movies, in real life this is virtually impossible. The only means to reliably deter or stop a group of attackers is with a handgun or long gun while displaying the obvious resolve and intention to use it.
THE POLICE ARE NOT AN OPTION: Not only are the police not able to protect you, they have no legal obligation to protect you, as I noted in a December, 2011 PJ Media article. In any attack by a predator, two factors matter greatly (the overwhelming factor of difference in size, weight and strength is always present): time and distance. Given sufficient time and distance, one might be able to run or even make a cell phone call, but predators do their best to leave their victims no space and no time. Even if a woman under attack were able to call and connect with 911, it would certainly take many minutes for the police to respond, even if they knew exactly where she was.
Remember that at Newtown, Connecticut, despite the fact that the police were responding to an easy to find school building, the location of which every responding officer knew, it took 3 minutes and 21 seconds for the first officer to arrive. This sounds great until one realizes that the first 911 call to the police wasn’t made until five minutes and 39 seconds after the attack began and the first officer didn’t enter the school until 14 minutes and 47 seconds after the attack began. By the time the first officer entered the school, all of the children and teachers were dead or dying, and the shooter killed himself 4 minutes and 44 seconds earlier.
Even if it took the police only five minutes from the moment they received your call for help until they arrived, ready and able to intervene, would you be alive by the time they arrived?
Anyone depending upon the police to protect their lives simply doesn’t understand the reality of policing, the law, and the physics of time and distance. Consider too that police forces around the nation, under serious budget crunches like never before, are laying off, or not replacing, officers and are cutting back on even emergency call response. Emergency call response in Detroit is now nearly an hour, and that’s for the calls they actually bother to answer. Ambulance response times aren’t any better. Some of the more honest public safety officials throughout the nation are actually advising the public to arm and train themselves. It would be wise to listen to them.
MY BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND WILL PROTECT ME: Perhaps, if he is tactically trained, situationally aware, armed and brave. Biology is on your side–at least with some men. Men are programmed, by biology and culture, to want to protect women because they are smaller, weaker and less aggressive, or at least an older generation of men was so programmed. I wouldn’t bet on the current generation of metrosexuals and video game warriors.
While I would give my life to protect my wife, or any woman, I would do everything possible to make those trying to harm them pay dearly first, and I have the training, weaponry, and mindset necessary to act on that resolve. Even so, I cannot be with her every minute of every day. We are often apart, and so she is also trained, armed and capable. When we are together, we are capable of working as a team to deal with threats, which greatly increases our odds of success. When we last renewed our concealed carry licenses, I fired a perfect score. She fired only a single point less, beating everyone else in the class—all men—by considerable margins.
GUNS ARE DANGEROUS: Yes they are, to predators. Supposed supporters of women constantly engage in fear mongering, telling women that guns in the home kill children and those who live there and that any woman carrying a gun will either shoot herself, those she loves, innocent bystanders, or will have the gun taken away by a predator and used against her.
They lie. They know they are lying.
Take the case of a Georgia woman, home during the day with her two young children when a seasoned criminal broke into her home with a crowbar. She hid with her children in the attic, but he hunted them down, and when he opened the attic door, likely expecting to have his way, she shot him five times, and her revolver empty, bluffed him until he managed to stagger out of the house and crash his car not far away. There are many such true stories of courage and survival.
The best research clearly reveals exactly the opposite of the dangerous lies those who supposedly care for the rights of women espouse.
The probability of serious injury from a criminal confrontation is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than resisting with a gun. The probability of serious injury from a criminal confrontation is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than resisting with a gun.
My police experience supports Lott’s research. I have, on many occasions, investigated cases where predators, unexpectedly confronted by the smallest women with guns and the obvious will to use them, ran the fastest sprints in their lives to get away. I also investigated cases where predators didn’t run. In those cases, it was the predators who were carried away in ambulances or boxes while the woman they hoped to harm or kill lived to make life that much better for us all. Who would you rather survived? An innocent woman or the two-legged animal that attacked her? Which would most enrich and ennoble society?
FINAL THOUGHTS: Anyone that wants to make you “feel safe” is not your friend and does not care about women, except in the abstract. That’s not a world you live in. One need not be paranoid and see danger behind every tree. Not only is that unnecessary, it’s unrealistic and psychologically debilitating.
Every woman should learn to be aware of her surroundings, to avoid trouble if possible. That’s what situational awareness means. And every woman should, if trouble is unavoidable, in the home or on the street, be able to protect her life and the lives of those she loves.
A good place to begin is a series I update each year on the rationale for gun ownership. It’s a comprehensive look at the issues involved, including not only guns and accessories, but philosophy and mindset. Even if you already own a gun, there is much here to consider. Here are links to the first two most recently updated articles. I’ll be updating the rest every Wednesday.
Shooting is not only a worthy physical and mental discipline—Thomas Jefferson recommended it to his nephew for just those reasons—it is a great deal of fun. The women I’ve had the pleasure to teach have, uniformly, found it not only satisfying, but relaxing, even liberating. And thanks, in no small part to Mr. Obama and the best efforts of his fellow gun grabbers, women, in enormous numbers, are arming themselves and learning not only to shoot, but to develop real situational awareness.
Still, it’s not as simple as merely buying a gun or taking a few trips to a range. I hope you’ll take the time to visit my seven-part series. It will help you to be equipped, not only to ask informed questions, but to decide who really cares about the welfare of women, and to effectively protect yourself and those you love.
I, for one, want to keep you around.
Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.