You ARE Worth Fighting For!

While enjoying some much-needed vacation time, I had the opportunity to partake an a rare indulgence this weekend: I was treated to an absolutely delightful hour of work by a massage therapist. While she worked, she asked me what I do, and – boom! – even though I hadn’t intended to, we were off to the races, talking about my writing and teaching about self-defense, shooting and safety.

Of course, the topic closest to the front of her mind, as with most Americans these days, was the shooting in Colorado. (In keeping with my practice to date, I’ll refrain from using either the perpetrator’s name or the catchy alliterative name the media’s come up with for the crime). We talked some about armed self-defense and the decision to be armed. She asked me whether I thought I really could pull the trigger and shoot a bad guy.

“If my life was in danger? You bet,” I told her.

Her reply was one I’ve come to expect, and it’s a distressingly common one when I talk to other women.

[Read more…]

Feeling Safe vs. Being Safe

Mike over at Stately McDaniel Manor had a post this morning about an interaction he had with the owner of a local movie theater who’d chosen to post a “no guns” sign. For those who don’t know him, Mike is retired military and a retired cop whose duties included SWAT operations – in other words, precisely the kind of guy you’d think citizens would want to have their back. And when Mike wrote his letter to the theater owner, that’s essentially what he said. The theater owner’s response was less than enthusiastic, as Mike reports:

His return letter was less civil and kind and all but accused me of being the problem because obviously, I was one of those gun nuts who endanger the pubic and whose very existence causes violence. The only rational and moral stance against such maniacs was the establishment of gun free zones so theater patrons could feel safe. My presence, you see would actually endanger everyone.

This seems to be a surprisingly common attitude among those opposed to an armed citizenry, and while I’d encourage you to read Mike’s comments, I wanted to add in my own thoughts.

As the mother of a teenager who’s about to become a young adult and go off into the world on her own, it would be lovely to delude myself into feeling safe. I’d surely sleep better at night if I could believe that there are no monsters in the world, that she’ll never have to face danger firsthand, and that posting signs banning weapons everywhere would keep her safe. An imaginary utopia is a lot more mentally comforting than the reality that we live in a world populated by predators, and that we are their prey. The delusion of safety, the feeling that banning the lawful carry of weapons makes us safer, is surely a comforting one, and this is why some cling so strongly to it.
[Read more…]

Making the Choice

I was pointed to a great blog today and have spent quite some time perusing archives. Lynne at Female and Armed writes from the perspective of a woman who’s an armed citizen, firearms and self-defense instructor, and the co-founder of the (totally awesome) National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day initiative.

I found a short and sweet post in Lynne’s archives about the decisions we make in living an armed life: The decision that our lives are worthy of protecting, and that we will give ourselves the capacity to fight back if we or our loved ones are in jeopardy and avoidance or escape are impossible.

I am reminded of something I read (I forget where, though it might have been on Cornered Cat) to the effect that, if a predator decides that he or she is going to engage in a violent encounter with us, he or she is deciding that it’s okay if someone is killed or seriously injured. In that case, being prepared to defend ourselves enables us to make the decision that the the “someone” isn’t going to be us or our loved ones.

Administrative note: I’ve added a few more great blogs, including Lynne’s, to the link list on the right side of the home page. I invite and encourage you to check them out.