From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Self defense has never been just for men

It never was just a "Guy Thing"
The idea of self defense and personal protection has always been more than "just a guy thing" or the "man of the house's" responsibiltiy. In many homes there only a single parent and that is not an adult male to do "the guy thing". There are also many single women that live alone.
Don't get me wrong, I do not believe for an instant that a woman needs a guy around to protest her. Far from it, personal protection is one area where, with the right tools a woman is every bit the equal of any man. The truth is in many instances men require many of the same tools to protect themselves.

Size does matter
Consider a 150 pound male senior citizen set upon by a couple of youths that could be part of the Dallas Cowboys front line. Without the proper tools to protect himself the hapless gentleman has very few choices. One, he can comply, risking life or injury. Two, he can try to run away, only to get chased down and beaten and possibly killed for his actions. Three, he could try to call 911 on his cell phone before it is slapped out of his hand by one of the miscreant youths. Four he can try to defend himself. No this aged American really doesn't have any really good choices does he? What is the answer? That is for him to decide at that moment, based on the sum total of his life's experiences and no one elses.

Or consider a woman in the late night parking garage set upon by a serial rapist as she enters her car after working a late shift. What choices does she have? How much of a cell phone call will she get to make?

Can anyone of us have the audacity to tell another human being in these situations that they have no right to fight back or posess the necessary tools to defend themselves?
Do they need a gun? Maybe, but that should be their choice not ours. A gun is most definately not the answer to every situation and should only be a tool of last resort in any case. It is only one of the tools that people may avail themselves of in todays modern world. There are many other tools that are less lethal options as well, but like all tools there is no one tool that is the right toll for any and all situations. Unfortunately many of these other tools such as, pepper spray, Kubatons and sharp instruments are also illegal in many localities.

What they are really saying
The most common available advice to citizens by "powers that be" is, give the attacker/s what they want, comply with the demands don't fight back and you may not get hurt. Translated that means; Hand over everything you got, if it is a robbery or Just lay back and enjoy it if it is a rape, and then call us. We'll come out and take a report and investigate it.

The "if you resist you might get hurt" montra is a wash. I guess the people that espouse this nonsense have never been raped or do not believe that the resultant psycological trauma is a serious enough injury. How many of todays rapists use a comdom and how many have some type of venereal disease and/or aids. In today's society a rape, could very well be a death sentence.

How on this earth can any compassionate person tell a woman that her "best defense" against rape is to let the attacker have his way. I am not a woman and I have never been raped, I know some that have. Many of them have said NEVER AGAIN. These are the people that have been there done that, these are the people we need to be listening to when it comes to advice on what to do.

No Duty to Protect
Why should you, I or anyone be concerned about protecting ourselves, our families our children? Isn't that what the police are for? In some situations yes, but courts have just about always held that the police have no duty to protect us as individuals, only the community as a whole.

The Police can only be in so many places at once
I am not trying to take anything away from the good and decent cops that patrol our streets, theirs is a tough lot and mostly a thankless job, and I do not know a single one that wouldn't help if they could. Cops can not be everywhere all the time and in the majority of crimes, that they handle, it is after the fact. They arrive to take a report and conduct an investigation. The police have to know there is a problem before they can help and in the frightenly brutal moments of a crime you are NOT going to be able to alert them.

That does nothing for the victims of the crimes themselves.
Rarely are cops able to stop a robbery, mugging, beating, rape or other crime while it is IN PROGRESS. Again this is in no way the fault of the police, it is just the dynamics of life. If you are the victim of one of the aforementioned crimes you are on your own for your safety and survival.
The choices you make in these situations are yours and yours alone. Some people will just submit and hope for the best, others will fight back tooth and nail, and still others may do something between the extremes. The point is, man or woman, you will probably be alone with no one to rely on but yourself. Have you ever thought through what you would do or not do in moments like these?
Since the dawn of the internet there have been websites addressing self defense and personal protection issues, the majority of which have been aimed at the male population. In recent years that has changed, and for the better. There are and have been several groups that are run by women, that are about self defense and personal protection for women. Some of these groups have a presence on the internet and they are not all about guns. There is a lot of valuable information that can be gleened from these organizations that may help you be and feel safer in todays world. Maybe you do feel safe already and don't need any advice offered by other women. That is good and I applaud you for that. For many that is not the case and I offer the following links for those that wish to persue the subject in more depth.

Effective self-protection for intelligent women who want help, not hype, Pepper spray, persuaders, stun guns, firearms. What works, what doesn't? AWARE is a non-profit group dedicated to your safety.

Women Against Gun Control
Women are concerned about becoming victims of crime. Guns give women a fighting chance against crime.

Mothers Arms
Mothers Arms teaches women how to protect themselves and their children from assault and aggression in a dangerous world.

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