Whenever I debate gun control, I wait until I’ve backed the anti-gunner into a corner. I listen for the moment when their flawed logic collapses under its own weight (or lack thereof) and they resort to emotional appeals. You know: “How can you be pro gun rights knowing that a five-year-old is going to blow his head off with his Daddy’s gun or a drunk is going to shoot his wife and kids?” And then I ask, yes, but—what about rape? Should a woman be able to defend herself against rape by using a handgun?

Unlike robbery, rape is inherently, inescapably violent. And unavoidably psychologically devastating. No matter what argument the antis marshal against “allowing” women to arm themselves against sexual assault (the antis usually change the subject), there’s no getting around the simple truth: no humane society leaves its women (and yes men) defenseless in the face of sexual brutalization.

As in all things there are gray areas. Should a woman locked in an abusive relationship—a victim who has refused help from “the authorities” and/or friends on numerous occasions—be able to decide that’s it, this much and no more, and then shoot her abuser? Where’s the line between self-defense and premeditated murder?

I reckon that’s one for the courts to decide on a case by case basis.

But whenever I hear of any random violence against women, I shake my head and silently pronounce “If only they’d had a gun . . .” Watching I Survived is often a deeply painful, yet profoundly important, process. Clock the following story of a Detroit serial killer [via cnn.com]:

Detroit police are investigating the death of two women whose bodies, burned beyond recognition, were found in the trunk of a car on fire early Christmas Day.

Less than a week earlier, the bodies of another two women were found in the trunk of a car parked at a vacant dwelling, Detroit police said.

Three of the four victims were linked to online ads that “specifically dealt with prearranged adult dating services,” Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee said at a Monday afternoon news conference.

“We felt it is imperative to alert the public that deciding to meet unknown persons via the Internet can be extremely dangerous,” Godbee added . . .

Godbee identified the website carrying ads that three of the victims were linked to as backpage.com.

The website did not immediately respond to an e-mail from CNN Monday afternoon seeking comment after Godbee’s news conference.

The Internet is a happy hunting ground for serious bad guys. But it’s also a place where gun ignorant or firearms-aversive readers can take on board information that can save their life. Such as . . .

Women: buy a gun. Learn how to shoot it. Carry it with you at all times—even in the house. If someone is in the process of trying to inflict death or bodily harm (e.g. rape) on your person, use the weapon before they can hurt or kill you or yours.

If you live in a place where concealed carry laws prevent you from buying and carrying a firearm, speak out. There are far too few women lobbying for gun rights. Look the bureaucrat and politician in the eye and ask them: “If someone was about to rape you, would you want to have a gun?”

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35 Responses to Self-Defense Tip for Women: Carry a Gun

  1. I know some girls ( such as my oldest daughter ) have taken the Hunter Safety course and will probably get my Walther PP some day. Youngest daughter has a Third Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwan Do and a Black Belt in Tonfa, Belinta, Sai, and Bo weapons. I see a lot of girls and women in Tae Kwan Do classes.

    • There is a reason why all fighting sports have weight classes. And a male psychopath of any weight who gets in real fights will defeat any woman, no matter how well trained she is. Whether knife or gun, there is no substitute for deadly force.

      • Actually, I would agree that a gun would be best, but Daughter is just deadly with some of the traditional martial arts weapons. Yeah, I forgot, they taught her how to actually use a Katana.

      • Bingo – tons of privileged “black belt” suburban kids freak out the second someone actually hits them, tackles them, or doesn’t fight by the rules. Just compare this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnjGQMHs2LA) to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMogt6ZThdE).

        Tae Kwan Do is particularly useless against anyone who is going to be on top of you / punch you / tackle you. As for the ancient weapon stuff – (1) tonfas and the other weapons you mentioned / collapsible batons are illegal in most states that ban or heavily regulate concealed carry (2) they are silly and no one is going to carry them (3) they aren’t effective, which is why you don’t see them outside of martial arts schools.

        • Ahhhhhh, Yes and no.

          Tae Quan Do, being a Do style, isn’t the best martial art out there, but any martial art
          can teach someone how to move, and teach body
          awareness, both of which are important.

          A good martial art also gives an oppurtunity to
          earn confidence, and learn to take a punch in a
          safer environment.

          Learning ancient weapons is fun, and can
          translate into being able to use every day objects
          as weapons.

          Collapsible batons are anything but silly.
          If you live in an area that bans them, well,
          sorry about that. I love mine.

          The tonfa is anything but silly, and is an
          excellent impact weapon, better than the
          collapsible baton mentioned above.
          It’s very hard to conceal one, though.
          But I do love my Pr-24.

          Can anyone argue with the utility of keeping an
          entrenching tool or matchete in the trunk
          of your car? Axe and sword, right there.

          So many ancient weapons are illegal.
          We can change that after we get the gun laws
          where they need to be. The second amendment
          should cover swords as well.

          Learning a martial art, or a non firearm weapon
          gives you options you would otherwise not
          have, and options are a good thing.

          I’d consider a sword as a part of my EDC, but
          swordcanes are prohibited weapons around here, as well as being insanely expensive if you
          want a good one.

          That being said, I carry a firearm or two on
          my person, and do not carry a sword.
          You have to choose your options based on
          how effective they are.

        • Right, a tonfa or sai only hurts if you have it to use and last time I checked, neither carry IWB all that well.

    • I’m sorry, but every time someone talks about taking Tae Kwan Do for self -defense purposes I’m reminded of what happened to the 20 year-old son of some acquaintances of ours. He had a multi-degree black belt in TKD and was an instructor. One late night he came out of a house and happened upon two men trying to break into his car. He tried to let them have the car and run away, but they chased him down and killed him with a screwdriver. I rarely hear of people using martial arts to fend off attackers.

  2. Hey, where are the women readers? For that matter, where are the women writers? I’d like to hear their perspective.

      • I’m a woman, and I read this site several times a week. I’m sometimes a day or so late (like now), so I rarely comment because it seems that once a story rolls of the front page, its comments are not revisited. I read most of the content, and I find myself wanting to comment sometimes, but usually by the time I’ve finished reading the other existing comments, I figure, “Why bother?” Either because my points are already covered by previous, well-composed comments, or because the conversation, when related to women, has devolved to the point where I don’t care to pop in and appear like some ball-busting feminist, because let’s face it, those broads are rarely any fun for anyone.

        This site has great, useful content, but make no mistake – when navigating the comments section, it’s very clearly a men’s club. I’m sure there are lots of silent, non-commenting women taking it all in.

  3. I am a student of Shotokan Karate and I have a state CWP.

    Martial arts is useful for managing close situations where drawing the firearm is either not appropriate or not possible. It is NO substitute for carrying a firearm by any stretch of the imagination for anyone male or female.

    Half my class in the dojo is composed of women, and the reality of the situation is that the concept of martial arts making up for lack of physical stature is bullshit.One woman in my class is so short she cannot even reach her opponent in 3 step sparring without being what would be called “danger close”. In a dojo for practice its OK. On the street she’d be on the ground with a broken nose or a shattered rib.

    This of course assumes the bad guy just uses his hands. In the real world bad guys have and use knives and guns in which case your only salvation is pulling a weapon of your own.

    Raoul Moat in England famously shot & killed his ex wife’s boyfriend who was a martial arts instructor with a double barrel shotgun he bought two days out of prison. ( I just don’t get how that could have possibly happened in the gun-free UK…) .Cases like what happened in Chicago with the uninjured MMA fighter taking down the perp with the gun are events of blessed luck, because the headline could easily have been ” MMA fighter shot dead by drug addicted perp.”

    • Unless you’re in the Mikey B bunch, in which case that Chicago incident was the freakin’ gospel on why people don’t need firearms.

    • Martial Art is any fighting method, with the main idea of stopping the fight. I spent 10 yrs, learning to get my butt kicked(that was after I got out of service). Luckily, I did have actual street/bar fighting experience. The street is not movie/TV stunts. The best martial art to take up is boxing, you will train harder, take hits and learn to hit. I started out with Shotokan as well, but the fancy stuff was just for exercise and flexibility training. When it comes to fight, stick with the basics. At 5’4″ and, during my “fighting” years, I weighed maybe 130#, if I had to fight, it was just long enough to get an opening to get the hell out of there. Main thing to remember, Do Not Ever Think that training in a martial art of any style makes you invulnerable. Do not assume you are safer. Always be aware, and looking for a way out, should stuff happen. If you are in a situation where you need to protect others, then, you have to take the heat, try not to panic, Keep It Simple. Use any weapon you can get your hands on.

  4. There are some actual fighting arts, but unfortunately karate and it’s ilk are more like dancing arts. There’s the old story about the two guys in a bar (stop me if you heard it) who get into an argument. Guy Number One gets off his stool and assumes a fighting stance, saying “Karate!” The other guy gets off his stool and hits the first guy over the head with it, saying “Stool!”

    Okay, vaudeville may be dead, but the fact is that most women, smaller guys, older folks and the physically infirm have about as much chance of beating a big, young, tough, bad guy in hand to hand combat as Rhode Island does of kicking Russia’s ass in a war. It took Samuel Colt to make all men equal. Women and old people, too.

  5. “We felt it is imperative to alert the public that deciding to meet unknown persons via the Internet can be extremely dangerous.” Gee, ya think?

    One of my strongly recommended books is “Real World Survival: What Has Worked For Me” by Walt Rauch, who served as a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service and an Investigator with the Philadelphia, PA, Fugitive Squad where he made over 2,000 felony arrests. He points out that violent criminals do not mind taking a few hits to achieve their goals of rape/robbery/murder. Pain is part of their “cost of doing business”, and if they are hopped up on meth or something similar, they won’t even notice a smaller man or woman who is black belting them. A .38 Smith and Wesson fired several times into their center of mass is far more difficult to ignore, since it does not inflict merely surface damage. You are at least on a more equal basis if you have a handgun and are willing and able to use it. “God created men and women, but Sam Colt made then equal.”

  6. A 300 pound MMA fighter versus a little old lady is a wildly imbalanced fight. If the little old lady has a firearm and the capacity to use it, the imbalance is mitigated quite a bit, if not tilting in her favor. If both parties have a firearm – they are still fairly well balanced.

    This essential reality is somehow lost on gun grabbers.

  7. I had an argument once with a guy who was saying that gun control was okay because “guns do not equal self defense” because you can use martial arts, knives, batons, pepper spray, dogs, alarms, and various other means to defend yourself. While each of these might have its place, none of them can provide the same protection as having a gun and learning how to use it. A lot of those other self defense tools require strength and coordination to use effectively, which some of the people who most need protection lack. A lot of them require physical proximity, which increases risk. Some of them, like alarms and dogs, aren’t really defense at all, just a veneer of deterrence or intimidation that may or may not work.

    Comparatively, a gun requires very little from the user. As long as they can pull the trigger and manage the recoil, anyone can effectively use a gun to defend themselves, whether they’re a veteran of the Special Forces, a 90 pound soccer mom, or a wheelchair bound grandparent. A gun isn’t a guaranteed, but it’s at least a decent chance.

    • “A gun isn’t a guarantee, but it’s at least a decent chance.”

      Best answer to “why carry a gun?” I’ve read in years.

  8. This coversation came up at christmas dinner, my cousin whos a few years older then me said upon hearing that I got some ammo for my AR-15 “why do you need that, and why do you need any gun for that matter? Guns kill tons of people” I looked her dead in the face and said “arent you a feminist, why arent you ok for women to protect themselves? every women needs to learn how to use a firearm to defend not only herself and her kids. What if some one decides to rape you? But you dont’t have a gun to defend your self?” i felt kinda bad about talking about rape at the dinner table but it was the only way i could get her to shut up

  9. Heck yeah I have a gun. I have several. My main carry gun holds 17 +1. My walking gun holds 6 +1 and I have to extra magazines. My nightstand gun holds 8. Shotgun holds 5, it’s in the closet loaded. The world has gotten so dangerous there are two times I almost had to pull my gun. I have been asked if I’m paranoid. After I get done laughing I say, Nope, not anymore.

  10. I’m all for any sane person – either sex – who is responsible and law abiding to own and carry a gun for self defense. I am against using the misleading and agenda-driven propaganda published by the mass media, politicians and their government agencies such as Eric Holder’s Justice Department, and the anti-gun err I mean pro radical feminist universities that misrepresent guns err again I meant issues and statistics on rape, domestic violence, men, and women.

    In 50-70% of the cases among heterosexuals the person who starts the violence in (one-way attacks when the second-person victim does not fight back) is begun by the female against the male. About 15 – 20% of heterosexual couples know some degree of domestic abuse or violence. BTW, to cloud the numbers more, emotional interactions and game-playing are now increasingly considered part of the domestic violence numbers.

    Interestingly, one in three lesbian relationships (no man involved) are categorized abusive. Another one out of three lesbians report being physically forced to have had sex with another woman (not her primary partner) against her will. Women are obviously safer in a relationship with a man.

    The majority of real actual rapes and sexual assaults is somewhere in the area of 10 to 30% of all rape allegations. The stats feminists use to claim and report rape are creative to be diplomatic about it. Years ago at my university a feminist told me that anytime one person verbally convinces a second person to have sex when the second person is not 100% in the mood or willing is rape.

    Males are the victims of violence on the street at four times the rate of females.

    Slightly more heterosexual male teens report having been hit by a female teen they were dating than teen girls report being struck by their boyfriends.

    More children are killed (murdered) by their mothers than by their fathers or strangers. Sixty percent of the children killed by mothers are boys.

    Here are some great sites to visit:
    Angry Harry
    The False Rape Society
    A Voice for Men
    Man Woman Myth

  11. I would be very happy if my wife would carry. The wallet is open the minute she wants to take the class and carry. My brother’s wife got her CHL and carries a P229 in .40 S&W, it’s a load in a purse but very comforting in the hand should she be confronted.

    My carry options are pretty simple, I can wear what I want to work, and cargo pants (Duluth Trading FireHose are my current brand, highly recommended) cover a multitude of carry options. Women have a lot of clothing choices but they aren’t all amenable to on-person carry, and firearm-holding purses are often unattractive (to women) or subject to rifling by children. I agree completely that women should be armed, but I can see where it would be a more encompassing choice for them. The counter-argument is “What’s more important, your safety or fashion?” — but that’s a pretty male perspective on things. The likelihood that most of us is going to be involved in a DGU is exceptionally low, the likelihood that my wife is going to be in a DGU situation on her own, given where we live and where she goes, is very, very low. It becomes a Black Swan kind of problem — how do you prepare for a high-impact low-probability event?

    I think I can talk the wife into carrying a knife. It’s flat, can be carried on your person any time you’re dressed, is extremely unobtrusive in most cases and won’t get you into as much trouble as a firearm at school, etc. The funny thing is that it is far easier to secure firearm instruction than it is to get training in knife fighting in many places.

    • I hate to break it to you, but there isnt any such thing as knife fighting. There is stabbing some one, or getting stabbed by some one. The real world isnt a movie, and even a 4” blade is a very difficult weapon to stop some one with.

      • Still better than “nail-fu”, I get what you’re saying but the weapon you have, plus the demonstrated willingness to make an attacker pay for whatever they think they can take for free, may be the best deterrent available if you don’t have an 870 handy.

  12. Sure, you can have a black belt in what ever you want.

    But from ten yards away, my black riggers belt and GLOCK are a lot more effective.

    The same thing goes for the badguy who knows Hi-Point or Lorcin Fu.

    First rule of a gun fight is what, gentlemen?

  13. Robert,

    Thanks so much for this article… As you know I’m one of those women fighting for our 2nd Amendment but what you don’t know is that I’m a survivor of violence. Ironically my story ended better than some and led me to the big question … remain a victim or become a survivor… I chose survivor.

    I started with martial arts and have added many defensive layers to that since… but I always, always have a little something with me.

    Have a wonderful New Years,
    Kate Krueger

  14. Robert, You’re talking about rape and accusing the gun control folks of resorting to emotional appeals? Can you not see the humor in that?Here’s the deal with rape, which not one of your commenters cared to mention. It usually happens between acquaintances. In those cases, the vast majority, the friend or relative or partner is too close physically when his intentions become clear for the woman to use her gun. It’s useless.For stranger rape, we’re already talking about very rare instances, many of which the gun would be useless for the same reasons and always. The rapist gets the jump on the woman, game over.The extremely rare situations in which the woman is lucky enough to see it coming and gets the gun into play in time to save the day, are far outweighed by all the mis-uses of that same gun. There are accidents, negligence, sometimes an innocent man is shot and like all authors of questionable DGUs, the gal will insist he was attacking. Some of those guns will be stolen and do other damage.As always, guns do more harm than good. This is no different despite your drippingly emotional appeal to all of us who oppose rape.

  15. I am a strong woman who was a college athlete. I’m older now and still very physically strong. But even the strongest of women is no match for an average male criminal. I raised several sons to adulthood and saw how strong they were, even at a young age. Defense classes and physical prowess can give a women extra confidence, which in itself can thwart someone who is looking for a victim, but honey, there ain’t nothing that beats a gun that has been practiced with and is carried at all times.

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