Take a Friend to the Range

20121001-213423.jpgMassad Ayoob had a lovely blog post today about a GSSF match he and Gail shot in Salt Lake City over the weekend. Mas talked about the joy of taking someone shooting and seeing them do well and have a great time. He ends his post by encouraging us to “take someone shooting. On the practice range if they’re new, and to a match if they’re ready. You’ll feel as good about it as I do, today…”

Mas’s post was very timely for me, because I had a similar experience over the weekend. Having just written about the empowerment that comes from spreading our wings and trying new things and pushing our internal mental boundaries, Sunday was a great opportunity to reflect on that in action.

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Shooting, Empowerment and Inner Strength

Over on Gun Nuts Media today, the inimitable Shelley Rae has a thought-provoking discussion of why women in the shooting industry use the word “empowerment” so often, and what it really means. Shelley writes:

The empowerment behind shooting is not the sport in itself. Empowerment comes from inside the person, from their self esteem and their inner strength. What makes shooting empowering could be identified as a gun being “the great equalizer,” but there’s more to it than that. Shooting is a step outside of comfort boundaries for many, and trying new things, excellling at new things, enjoying new things is a level of empowerment all on its own.

I think this is exactly right, and I’d like to talk a bit about why.

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Should You Resist a Violent Attack?

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Greg Ellifretz over at Active Response Training has a fascinating post today about the topic of resistance by victims of violent crimes. Greg takes a good look at the available research and concludes that, while each person must make their own decisions about whether, and how, to resist in any given assault, the standard advice that “the criminal won’t hurt you if you do what he says” is almost certainly wrong.

I’d like to quote part of Greg’s post, and then I’d like to talk about something he doesn’t discuss in detail: The empowerment that comes from fighting back, whether or not it increases the physical injury.

Greg writes:

Almost all studies show that resistance is successful in preventing the completion of a personal crime. This holds true in rape, robbery, and assault. Resistance is an especially effective tactic in preventing most rapes. A woman who physically resists a rapist doubles her chance of escaping rape.

Another study asked resisting victims of violent crimes whether their resistance helped or hurt their situations. The responding victims overwhelmingly stated that resistance helped them in the majority (63%) of cases. This statistic holds true for all of the crimes examined (rape, robbery, and assault). Resistance only hurt their situations about 9% of the time.

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