Every human being, by virtue of being born a human being, has a God-given, unalienable right to preserve their life. Life is, in fact, God’s greatest gift. To fail, or worse, to refuse to protect it is a sin. Surely, some think terms like “sin” to be quaint and old-fashioned, but they remain useful because morality and equally old-fashioned terms like “honor” and “personal responsibility” remain useful, and hopefully, always will. Whether one believes the right is bestowed by the Creator, or simply by virtue of being born human, if there is no unalienable right to life and to defend that life, what other right matters? So, my advice to women . . .
Buy an appropriate firearm–perhaps two. Get training. Gain situational awareness. Women not prevented by ideology and/or cult of personality politician worship from engaging in rational thought, should consider the sole, truly effective means of self defense: firearms.
This concept is so fundamental, so important, that the Second Amendment to the Constitution acknowledges and affirms it. The Second Amendment does not establish a right to self-defense and the means to affect it; no law or government can do that. If the Second Amendment did not exist, the unalienable right to self-defense would still exist; government cannot take it away, at least not legitimately.
Every woman is valuable to their family, their spouse, their children. They are certainly more valuable to society than any thuggish predator cruel enough to beat and rape them or take their life. But above all remember this: you and only you are ultimately responsible for protecting and preserving your life.
Even if you are not interested in evil, evil is interested in you. For some, evil is only an abstraction, a debating topic, a means of making fun of the supposedly less-sophisticated and enlightened who aren’t capable of the nuanced thinking that can so blithely deny evil’s existence. In nearly two decades of police service, I have seen evil. I’ve chased it down dark alleys, fought it hand to hand, held it at gunpoint and verbally battled it across tables in interviewing rooms.
There are more sociopaths out there than most are capable of imagining. They walk among us every day. You have stood behind them in checkout lines and waiting for movies. They have passed you on sidewalks. You’ve been lucky so far. The survivors of the Malaysian flight shot down over Ukraine, and the villagers deluged with falling bodies, now have no doubt about the existence of evil. Nor do the thousands murdered by terrorists around the globe. Nor do the survivors of school shootings and random criminal attacks of all kinds.
Living a virtuous life, thinking politically correct thoughts, donating time and money to politically correct causes is no protection against evil. In fact, it is only encouraged by such ineffectual gestures. However, evil can be deterred, and when it attacks, beaten, but it will never be deterred or beaten by those who deny its existence.
One may spend a lifetime without being directly confronted by evil, but there is nothing preventing such a confrontation with anyone at any time or place. Evil is always waiting its chance. It is always prepared. Are you?
WOMEN ARE THE WEAKER SEX
Physically, that is. Women are generally smaller, shorter and substantially weaker in upper body strength and overall strength than men. In amateur and professional competitions, 150 pound men do not fight 170 pound men because the difference in weight and size is so great as to render the outcome a foregone conclusion. Size, weight and strength matter, as the average woman quickly discovers in unarmed combat with the average man. The difference is shocking, paralyzing and potentially deadly.
In pursuits where absolute size and strength aren’t disqualifying—such as flying fighter aircraft–women can compete with men on equal footing. Go here for one such stirring example. But in any unarmed encounter, women are virtually always at a substantial and usually deadly physical disadvantage.
Fortunately, in terms of intellect, determination, courage, strength of character and perseverance, women can counter, even best men. While it is surely true that women tend, for genetic and cultural reasons, not to be as aggressive as men, they can learn how to successfully channel aggression and how to focus their anger into effective attack or defense.
WOMEN ARE UNIQUELY VULNERABLE
Because women are not naturally as aggressive as men, because they are generally smaller and weaker than men, and because few women think tactically to the extent that they have reasonable situational awareness, predators tend to target women more than men. They reasonably assume that women—even women in groups—will be easy targets. As unpleasant as thinking about this might be, refusing to think about it only plays into the hands of predators.
NON-LETHAL WEAPONS ARE DANGEROUS–TO WOMEN
Predators find things like whistles, “safe zones,” “gun free zones,” pepper spray, air horns, Tasers, and a variety of other similar items hilarious. Not only are such things ineffective, they do not in any way intimidate predators, and even if used as intended, will generally only annoy or anger predators—at best. People who are so enraged, deranged, drugged, or simply determined to harm others are commonly impervious to such weapons.
If these weapons and related toys don’t work–and one may be reasonably assured they will not–anyone employing them has just convinced their attacker they are out of options and therefore, helpless. And, of course, they have likely enraged the brute they have just sprayed with pepper spray who will proceed to beat and rape them with abandon while sniffling and sneezing a bit.
There is no doubt: any woman being attacked, particularly by a stranger, must assume they are in danger of serious bodily injury or death. Believing “if I give him what he wants, he’ll leave me unharmed,” is a foolish and potentially deadly gamble. Anyone making that assumption is actually betting their life. It’s a sucker’s bet (take the next link to see exactly what I mean. The woman in that deadly battle had the skill to win, but ultimately lacked the aggression).
MARTIAL ARTS AREN’T THE ANSWER
There is nothing wrong with studying a martial art such as karate–the martial arts provide many physical and psychological benefits–but the simple fact is that even if one attains a very high level of proficiency, size and weight still matter very much and in most circumstances, will overwhelm any advantage in skill. Studying a martial art may help one to radiate confidence and perhaps even situational awareness, which can cause some of the more wary predators to avoid them, but this cannot be counted upon.
Hand to hand fighting is brutal, dirty, brief, bloody and ugly and consists of breaking the will and body of an opponent to whatever ends the winner desires. Both fighters usually end up on the ground. The kind of “fighting” one sees on TV and in the movies is choreography, not fighting. There are no rules other than that there are no rules, and only winning by any means necessary matters.
There may be a handful of women in the world so highly skilled in martial arts as to be capable of defeating a larger and stronger man. A handful. One–not more–men. And of course, if a predator is armed with a knife or gun, as they often are…
THE POLICE ARE NOT AN OPTION
Not only are the police not able to protect you, they have no legal obligation to protect you, as I noted in “Self Defense and the Realities of Police Response Times” on July 16th. In any attack by a predator, two factors matter greatly (the overwhelming factor of difference in size, weight and strength is always present): time and distance. Given sufficient time and distance, one might be able to run or even make a cell phone call, but predators do their best to leave their victims no space and no time.
Even if a woman under attack were able to call and connect with 911, it would certainly take many minutes for the police to respond, even if they knew exactly where she was. Remember that at Newtown, Connecticut, despite the fact that the police were responding to an easy to find school building, it took nearly 15 minutes for the first officer to enter the school. The killer murdered everyone he intended to kill, and killed himself, nearly five minutes earlier. Even if it took the police only five minutes to respond to your call for help, would you still be alive by the time they arrived?
Anyone depending upon the police to protect their lives simply doesn’t understand the reality of policing, the law and the physics of time and distance. Consider too that police forces around the nation, under serious budget crunches like never before, are laying off, or not replacing, officers and are cutting back on even emergency call response. Some of the more honest public safety officials are actually advising the public to arm and train themselves. It would be wise to listen to them.
MY BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND WILL PROTECT ME
Perhaps, if he is tactically trained, armed and brave. Biology is on your side–at least in some men. Men are programmed, by biology and culture, to want to protect women because they are smaller, weaker and less aggressive, or at least an older generation of men were so programmed. I wouldn’t bet on the current generation of metrosexuals and video game warriors.
While I would give my life to protect my wife, or any woman, I would do everything possible to make those trying to harm them pay dearly first, and I have the training, weaponry, and mindset necessary to act on that resolve. Even so, I cannot be with her every minute of every day. We are often apart, so she is also trained, armed and capable. When we are together, we are able to deal with threats as a team, which greatly increases our odds of success.
GUNS ARE DANGEROUS
Yes they are: to predators. Supposed supporters of women constantly engage in fear mongering, telling women that guns in the home kill children and those who live there and that any woman carrying a gun will either shoot herself, those she loves, innocent bystanders, or will have the gun taken away by a predator and used against her.
The best research clearly reveals exactly the opposite of the dangerous lies those who supposedly care for the rights of women espouse. Dr. John Lott notes:
“The probability of serious injury from a criminal confrontation is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than for those resisting with a gun.
Men also benefit, but the benefit is smaller because there is, on average, a smaller difference in strength between violent criminals, who are almost always men, and male victims than for female victims. For men, passive behavior is 1.4 times more likely to result in serious injury than resisting with a gun.
In my own research, I examine county crime rates for the entire United States from 1977 to 1998. Murder rates decline when either sex carries a concealed handgun, but the effect is particularly pronounced for women.
An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by three to four times more than an additional armed man reduces the murder rate for men.”
My police experience supports Lott’s research I have, on many occasions, investigated cases where predators, unexpectedly confronted by the smallest women with guns and the obvious will to use them, ran the fastest, most panicky sprints in their lives to get away. I also investigated cases where predators didn’t run. In those cases, it was the predators who were carried away in ambulances or boxes while the woman they hoped to harm or kill lived to make life that much better for us all.
Anyone that wants to make women “feel safe” is not their friend and does not care about women, except in the abstract. They care about policy, not persons, not individual women. One need not be paranoid and see danger behind every tree. Not only is that unnecessary, it’s psychologically debilitating.
Every woman should learn to be aware of her surroundings, to avoid trouble if possible. And every woman should, if trouble is unavoidable, in the home or on the street, be able to protect her life and the lives of those she loves.
Shooting is not only a worthy physical and mental discipline, it is a great deal of fun. The women I’ve had the pleasure to teach have, uniformly, found it not only satisfying, but relaxing, even liberating. And thanks, in no small part to Mr. Obama, the greatest firearm salesman in American history, women, in enormous numbers, are arming themselves and learning not only to shoot, but to develop real situational awareness.
Still, it’s not as simple as merely buying a gun or taking a few trips to a range. Competent training is available everywhere, through the NRA, and via the ubiquitous Google. The beginning, however, remains always the same. As the venerable saying goes: “God made man and woman, but Samuel Colt made them equal.”
Who is really warring against women? Those that want them to feel safe, to think others will care for all their needs, or those that want to help them take responsibility for themselves, those that want them to be safe?
Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.