Book Review: ‘#MeToo: Women Who Shot Men in Self-Defense’ by Robert Hodam

MeToo women who shoot men book

Courtesy Amazon

By Robert B. Young, MD

#MeToo: Women Who Shot Men in Self-Defense is a special book, just out in 2018. Special, not just in being another powerful tool against the prejudice against guns and individual self-defense so common in society, but in its development and focus, too.

It’s available on Amazon.com in paperback (in black & white, which makes the charts hard to interpret). It had been available in color paperback for a substantial premium, but doesn’t come up. I’d recommend the full color Kindle version. A PDF version may be downloaded at the ToBearArms website, comparable to the Kindle version.

Robert Hodam is a Stanford engineering graduate, recently retired as CEO of the International Center for Economic Growth, a network of economists in most of the countries in the world. He founded and funds ToBearArms.net, which collects documented reports of defensive gun uses (DGUs). He’s also been a fry cook, roustabout, a bartender and a U.S. Army captain, so he knows the world from all perspectives.

He writes about it as a novelist, but here decided to depict one of its aspects with reportorial objectivity. In fact, #MeToo is primarily comprised of 257 quoted news stories about women who saved themselves (and sometimes others) by shooting male attackers.

Hodam was apparently influenced by the tragic 2015 Bataclan massacre in France where terrorists executed 90 theatre-goers (while others killed 40 other people in bombings that day). It was obvious to many that the impossibility of self-defense by the audience due to France’s prohibition of carrying handguns (and other strictures) guaranteed such a high body count.

He responded to this, and to the co-occurring #MeToo movement of women protesting men’s assaults, by collecting true stories of women who successfully defend themselves against men. (This is not as one-sided as it sounds—women rarely have to defend themselves against deadly attacks by other women.) And he did it in a remarkably objective way.

In his words, “The project was financed entirely by the author; no outside funds were accepted. . . [T]he data collector was a [woman] who has never visited the US and has no relatives in the US. She is relatively unfamiliar with the US constitution or issues surrounding the right to bear arms. . . All reports were obtained through random keyword online searches . . . and were included in the database unedited . . . [and] included verbatim” in the book. Incidents were found in all 50 states.

It begins with a reference section, mostly of colored pie charts showing the distribution of data found. An initial comment notes that the greatest number of incidents per capita came from Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The fewest were from Vermont, Hawaii and Montana. Obviously, the incidence of DGUs does not correlate with state firearm cultures.

The charts begin with one showing that about 25% of DGUs are by women. This must come from an unattributed source, since the universe of 1,400 or so cases researched are said to be all about women. It does seem unlikely that all “these women made a conscious decision to buy a gun” since many DGUs occur using another family member’s gun.

The rest of the charts are clearly derived from the collected reports. “Crimes against Women” show that the predominant reasons for defense were, in order, home invasion, robbery and some form of personal assault. The “Good Guys” overwhelmingly used handguns (94%), followed by <3% shotguns and rifles each. From a subsequent not, less than 12% (161 of about 1,400) had carry permits, but no one was accused of illegal possession.

The “Bad Guys” were more eclectic in their choice of weapons: pistols, long guns, clubbing tools and, important to note, “none” in 16% of incidents. Men are dangerous to women with their bare hands—that is “disparity of force”, an important concept in judging necessary response.

Most DGUs were done by women 56+ years old, then 20-35, then 36-55. Youth 0-19 had to in only 8% of reports. How these distributions were affected by the differing number of years in the groups, by locations, and by activities that vary with age or other factors is unaddressed.

“Bad Guys” were “overwhelmingly . . . younger than their victims”. Most were 20-35 years old, then 36-55, then 13-19. None were under 13, and <3% were older than 55. When ethnicity/race were reported (it’s not said how consistently), 57% were white, 30% black, and about 6% each Hispanic or Asian.

The main purpose of the book is to see four big, popular “Myths Busted”:

  1. “That people, especially women, are not capable of defending themselves with a gun.” This is blatantly false, and highly sexist about women in particular.
  2. “People using a gun in self-defense . . . will more likely be killed by the bad guy rather than protecting themselves.” There was only one instance in over 1,400 reports of the bad guy killing the defender.
  3. “People . . . will end up accidentally shooting themselves, a family member, friend or other innocent person.” There were no incidents among the more than 1,400 in which any innocent party was shot by the defender.
  4. “Anyone shooting another person, even in self-defense, will end up in jail.” In almost every case, law enforcement cleared the defender, and in no cases were charges filed.

The next 230 pages contain 257 verbatim media reports of DGUs by women against men, all but very few occurring from 2015 through 2018 (the few earlier happening between 2005 and 2013). There is no point in quoting any here, since they are exactly what we find any day we look for them. The value of gathering them together is that too many ignorant Americans don’t know, want or care to find out how common such attacks are, and to highlight the importance and success of women defending themselves against them.

I highly recommend #MeToo: Women Who Shot Men in Self-Defense. It is an excellent companion to other pro-rights, self-defense advocacy work like John Lott’s The War on Guns.

Anyone who writes about firearm use in the real world should have this reference. Instructors teaching armed self-defense, especially to women, will use its findings and examples again and again. It will empower women who intend to protect themselves and loved ones. Because it is available so inexpensively in digital format, there is no excuse not to have this resource at hand.

It’s on my bookshelf, and should be on yours.

 

Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

This article originally appeared at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar SwampDaddy says:

    Women and guns? Sacrilege! /sarc

  2. avatar Gun Apologist says:

    “fry cook, roustabout, a bartender and a U.S. Army captain, so he knows the world from all perspectives” is very pandering. Not saying his experiences aren’t valid or good. But if you think these four things give you “all perspectives” it’s pretty reachy.

    Also lmao that a man is writing a book with #metoo on it.

  3. avatar Pg2 says:

    So now we are to accept the PC mantra that guns are really good if women are using them to shoot white men. Got it.

    1. avatar D Y says:

      That 30% of the bad guys are black (as the author states), severely disproportionate based on the percentage of blacks in the general population, seems to indicate white males are in no danger of being slandered here.

      1. avatar Pg2 says:

        If the title alone doesn’t raise your suspicion, you’re completely unaware of your surroundings.

        1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          I’m guessing the title was used to grab attention and convince women on the other side of the political spectrum to pick it up.

  4. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Busting the counter-argument myths … and making the argument too: something like 500,000 to 2,500,000 DGUs a year in the US(*), one presumes a good chunk by women. Something like 500,000 to 2,500,000 women who stop the violence coming at them, using a gun.

    – It’s a woman’s choice what’s OK and not, for someone else to do to her.
    – It’s a woman’s choice to push back with force, agaisnt assault she doesn’t want.
    – It’s a woman’s choice how she chooses to push back; what’s the best (least bad) option for her.

    Actually, those are every human’s choices to make, and live with the consequences of what they chose. How about we don’t be taking those away from people?

    So, there’s a book of stories — examples of something that happens, women’s share of 500,000 to 2,500,000 times / year in the US. Whatever the weight of the counter-arguments, they weigh against the arguments in favor: 500,000 to 2,500,000 of them a year, in the US alone.

    (*) Referring once again to those lovely CDC studies from the 1990s that were buied for over a decade … one might infer because they came up with the wrong answers. Given their history, I will might fund the CDC doing research on violence, although I suspect the NIH might be a better place. Any “reserch” that includes the word “gun” is both off-point (Harm is the issue, maybe violence: don’t care how. Ask people about swimming poools for example, or ask England about knives…), and presumes the answer (“Guns” are one means; should they be the focus?)

  5. avatar billy-bob says:

    Most folks above the age of man bun or skinny jeans, read the symbol # as “pound”. Seems odd that those in the Me Too movement chose that symbol. Every time I see it I snicker, *he-he, Pound Me Too*.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      You’re correct, of course. The double entendre is no more a coincidence, than the trashy image for the cover of the book. #metoo was always a total fraud. Half of the “victims” are actually perpetrators, and the other half of the victims were casting-call rejects who ‘didn’t get the part’ after selling their virtue. All of the “perpetrators” are life-long democrats, to no one’s surprise.

      Conclusion? “Trump = Hitler”

  6. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I’m ordering this book!

    1. avatar Pg2 says:

      @MeToo!!!!!!

  7. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Yes, the left ALWAYS wants to have its cake and eat it too. They will kill defenseless babies yet be rabid about gun control. They prove they are interested only in controlling people. I’m not talking about abortion but the nonsense Vermont enacted the ignorant crap the excreted by the governor of Virginia, and the Diarrhea of the mouth from Cuomo which is becoming known as “post-birth abortion” or actually engaging in the baby killing they once accused the returning Nam vets of.

  8. avatar Straight says:

    I find it unfortunate that a woman appearing as a prostitute was chosen as the cover model.
    I would pass over it at first glance based on the sleaze factor.

    1. avatar Evey259 says:

      It’s an Asian woman with a gun. Nothing is visible below her shoulders. How exactly is she appearing as a prostitute?

      1. avatar #PoundMeToo says:

        A dolled-up woman in lingerie, not looking very ‘traumatized’, and holding a Beretta (Hollywood sign language for “why are you still wearing pants?”).

    2. avatar raptor jesus says:

      she has poor trigger discipline, this alone is sufficient for us to ask wtf were the publishers thinking?

  9. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    Fuck this sexist, misandrist bullshit! How about a companion book where men shoot women in self defense? Oh wait, is that the line beyond which the taboo exists? 🙄

    1. avatar AKM Sarah says:

      I did find the specification about killing men to be gratuitous.

  10. avatar Pg2 says:

    The book appears to be another anti-men, politically correct propaganda device wearing lip stick so as to disguise its real intention. Wake up.

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    On the one hand, winning is winning: if this tactic (showing the utility of firearms for women) gains public support and solidifies our unalienable right to self-defense, great!

    On the other hand, I am concerned that this tactic (showing the utility of firearms for women) diverts us from out ultimate argument: our right to self-defense is unalienable and is not dependent on public support.

    Anyone have any idea? Do we stand to achieve a net gain if we offer arguments based in utility AND arguments of our right which is independent of public support?

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