Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Make that choice

Experts agree the single most important factor in surviving a criminal attack is to have an overall safety strategy before you need it, that is why I strongly support the Second Amendment and the right for law abiding citizens to own guns for sport and self defense, with their choice of gun type.

Man, his other traits notwithstanding, biologically considered, is simply the most formidable of all the beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species. A thug or a professional criminal has disassociated himself from humanity and views us simply as a hawk views a sparrow. We are prey. A woman, with her smaller size and perceived timidity, is considered easy prey.

Birds can see from the side to help protect themselves, women can not. There must be a way to level the playing field and for me that is carrying concealed. The hawk does not know I have a 38 special in my holster, but he does sense the confidence in my stride, the firmness of my hand. I do not walk timidly, I walk with strength, even if it is of the hollowpoint variety.

I know women who say "I've had a self defense course (non weapon)" or "I know karate". I can tell you this, as someone with some basic training in tactical fighting and martial arts, I'm smart enough to know that in a case of extreme danger involving a person with a weapon, be it flat edged, a garrote or another gun, that's no guarantee I can protect myself. The young woman who was kidnapped from a Eastern National Park last year and later found murdered in the woods? Black Belt. Look, even with my training, most guys could mop the floor with me simply due to the disparity in size and upper body strength strength. Even size and strength may not help you if you are up against someone armed with a knife. But though women are often targets, they are not the only ones. Predators, when wounded, stoned or hungry will try and take anything. In numbers, or singularly, using whatever advantage they have, be it blindsiding or extreme aggression. Though women are considered easier, they are not alone in being prey.

Indiana Jones was no fool. Neither are my friends who carry.

Ladies, operating a gun doesn’t require upper body strength or special fighting agility, and you can learn to safely use one in a relatively short period of time.I recommend getting an instructor if you are brand new to shooting Many ranges have certified instructors available at a very reasonable cost, for one on one or group lessons and that might be more comfortable for you than having a family member or spouse teach you. Though a couple of very competent shooters I know had their husbands teach them and it was what worked best for them both. Your choice here again. Training is key though, and not just learning how to shoot. We fight with our minds first, and you need to be proficient on not just how to fight, but when. When you look for a trainer, find out as much as you can about where he/she got their training and if their area of expertise is compatible with what you want to learn. There are a number of courses and avenues for getting basic firearm safety, the principals of which I can't stress enough.

Frankly, many women have a real aptitude for target shooting, and it's the one physical activity where men and women can be truly equal. Remember, despite my saying above, "armed and safe", a gun is not a charm that will magically keep the criminals away, and you can't bluff your way out of a dangerous situation with a gun you are hesitant to use, either technically or morally. Criminals can sense fear and hesitation like any wild animal can. A gun will only protect you if you are honestly and demonstrably prepared to use it. That requires a mindset of confidence in it, in yourself, and regular practice. .

It's a choice of being proficient or being prey. Easy choice for me.