by Major Van Harl USAF Ret [republished with permission from Ammoland.com]
Whether we like to admit it or not, women have always been and always will be the victims of violence, in most cases at the hands of males. The sad history of warfare is the destruction of the enemy and the subjugation of their women. Size has a lot to do with it. Men are larger than women and even smaller men tend to be stronger than women. There is an old western saying, “God did not make all men equal, Colonel Colt did,” Colonel Colt as in Colt handguns. The smallest person can stop the largest person with a well placed shot from a firearm, male or female . . .
I received a book entitled Staying Alive – Armed and Female in an Unsafe World written by Paxton Quigley. By her own admission, Miss Quigley was a liberal thinking woman with a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her attitude changed after a friend was viciously raped. This change of attitude towards gun ownership after experiencing personal violence is not uncommon in both sexes. Prior to my military career I worked in a large gun shop forty miles north of down town Chicago.
As far back as the early 1970’s the State of Illinois had strict gun laws that included a waiting period from time of gun purchase, to the time you could actually take the gun home. People would come charging into the gun shop right after a robbery, assault, or rape and want a gun that very minute. They did not want to learn to shoot the firearm on our range; “just sell me the gun now” was what we heard.
It amazed me how many people did not want to even buy a complete box of ammunition. If the revolver held six rounds of ammo why did they need to buy an entire box of 50 shells? These are not the people, in that state of mind, who should be walking out of a gun store with a new purchase.
Miss Quigley’s book is about being prepared to meet and properly react to the dangers a woman faces in this unsafe world. Nothing says “no” to an assailant more forcefully than a loaded firearm in the hands of a well-trained female shooter, who is prepared physically and psychologically to escalate the violence, in the defense of herself or her family.
Let me state up front, from both Miss Quigley’s position in her book and my position from years in law enforcement, do nothing illegal with a firearm. If you plan to own one, buy it legally, transport & shoot it legally, and defend yourself & family in a legally prescribed manner. Proper training is the key to a woman correctly and effectively learning how to shoot and carry a firearm for protection.
From my experience in firearms training women tend to be easier to teach how to shoot. They don’t come to this new activity in their life with the pre-conceived ideas about firearms that men tend to. Every male knows if you have seen a John Wayne movie, then by-thunder you know how to use a manly firearm. Praise the Load women do not approach first time exposure to firearms the same way men do.
Find a firearms range with a qualified instructor and take a class. Shooting is not a cheap activity, but then your life comes at a very high value to you and your loved ones. You are lucky if you live in a state that allows law abiding citizens to qualify to carry a concealed firearm. It is only this year (2013) that the State of Illinois, “the last hold-out state” has enacted a concealed carry law. Remember all State’s concealed carry laws are not created equal.
My daughter turns 21 in a few short weeks. She will have her concealed carry training class finished prior to her birthday. On the 21st anniversary of her birth she will mail in her application to the State of Wisconsin to carry a firearm concealed. The Colonel and I mailed in our concealed carry application the same day shortly after moving to Wisconsin.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret. is a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” firstname.lastname@example.org