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The New York Times reports that police in northwestern Pakistan are “offering firearms instruction to schoolteachers and university lecturers” in response to the Taliban’s massacre of nearly 150 people at a Peshawar school in December. Reporter Ismail Khan writes, “Gunfire rang out as Fatima Bibi squeezed off three shots, hitting her target every time. Then she lowered her Glock pistol, turned to her fellow academics and smiled. Her instructor was smiling, too.” . . .

“These ladies are better shots than some of our men,” said Abdul Latif, a police firearms instructor. “They learned to handle a gun in just two days. Their confidence level is remarkable.” …

“The December 16 tragedy showed us that we need to learn to be able to take care of ourselves and our students,” said Naheed Hussain, an assistant professor, who took the course while still wearing her black teaching robe. “We will not replace our pens with guns. But the situation could arise where we are required to serve our country.”

All the usual groups that line up against any civilians availing themselves of their right to armed self defense are aghast at the idea of teachers — female teachers! — training to defend themselves and their students against terrorists.

The notion of armed female teachers, in particular, has provoked consternation across conservative Pashtun society, raising a storm of protest that officials say could call the entire plan into doubt….

Abaseen Yusufzai, head of the Pashto department at Islamic College University, said, “This is the stupidest and most illogical thing that has happened in Pashtun society in living memory.”

“Women provide moral support, food and water to our warriors,” Mr. Yusufzai continued. “But never in our history have they been required to take up arms. It suggests that the men have lost their nerve, and the courage to fight.”

For their part, the teachers appear to be, well, empowered by the training.

“As I gripped the gun and opened fire I started to sweat, thinking I should have a pen in my hand and not a gun,” said Akhtar Nagina, a physics lecturer at the Frontier College for Women. “But then I remembered what the terrorists had done. And I figured I should at least have a gun in my purse, for my own protection.”

Huh. A real mom demanding taking action. Stay safe out there, Professor Nagina.

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    • Give them several years of gun ownership, and I bet they’ll stop wearing clothing that relegates them to second-class citizenship. And then they’ll start doing radical things like driving cars, owning property, and walking alone in public.

      • The clothing does not relegate them to 2nd class citizens. The lack of a choice in wearing the clothing does.

        Many women in middle eastern society appreciate the anonymity and protection offered by the various coverings, and if given the choice would continue to wear them. The crime is in men forcing them to wear the garb and dis-empowering the women from having a say in the matter.

      • And shooting dead any rat-bastard that dares to rape them, too, like women should already be doing in India.

        I keep telling people that gun control is a sexist (not to mention classist and racist) policy. The apprehension of Pashtun men over arming their women only confirms this, full-stop, and places it beyond doubt.

        It is not now, never was, and never will be just about the guns. It’s about control.

      • Pakistan has no laws requiring women to wear a hijab. Also, women can drive and have had suffrage for nearly 70 years (essentially since their existence as an sovereign country ). There are also plenty of women police and soldiers, and they’ve even had a female prime minister.

        Still, it is a different world there when it comes to gender roles, and there are some rural areas where religious fundamentalism is quite widespread.

    • Nope, this is almost a perfect corollary.

      Many women, when confronted with a strong argument for learning to defend themselves or those whom they care for, have discovered that they truly DO have the ability to take up arms and do what is right. These women in Pakistan have had their mental confrontation, and they are rising to their reality.

      Here in America, for the most part, people have always had relatively safe lives, we do not have mass terrorism, constant war, or severe economic strife. Over the last years there have been several tragic massacres, and many people took them as the sign that they DO need to be prepared, much more so than we, as a nation, have become. But far too many others, those that are in the safest of areas, or the most heavily protected, or lived far enough away from any of these tragedies, that they were unable to have the personal and important intervention, have decided that putting on a theater of their misinformed beliefs is the right way to deal with the problem.

      Some quote about freedom, and constant vigilance.

      • “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.” — John Philpot Curran

    • What’s actually sad is that people in America who think disarmament is the answer are what is allowing the circumstances in which massacres tend to happen wherever their policies are applied in first place.

      It is indeed they, along with the perpetrator(s) of the crime, that have the blood of innocents on their hands.

      That is what’s backwards. Gun control is backwards.

      • It’s like making holes in your boat’s hull while underway. Someone eventually realizes that you are taking on water but decides that the hull needs more holes to let the water out. The proposed solution begets the problem. It’s a positive feedback system; the product drives production.

        Of course, antis would say that guns are the holes in the boat whereas I say forced helplessness are the holes.

        • “The proposed solution begets the problem. It’s a positive feedback system; the product drives production.”

          The real question is “Is that an accident of poor thinking, or by design to purposefully perpetuate the problem?”

  1. Wonderful story! Truly inspiring to see these women empowered to take charge of their own safety. Now if they can just take ownership of the rest of their lives as well.

  2. Armed women?!? How will we then repress them?!?

    Sounds like certain more conservative denominations in this part of the world, actually.

    That said, yeah; Pakistan is doing better ‘ us in this area. Ah, well…

    • And Mr. Yusufzai? One reason these women are better off defending themselves and especially their female students is that far too many Pakistani men sympathise with the Taliban and turn a blind eye when some maniac (yes, I chose that word with care) acts against “uppity” females.

      Since they don’t wear their Taliban class rings, they are hard to identify until they act – or fail to. Trust of your menfolk ain’t all that high these days – anywhere in the world.

      Y’all made yer bed; now toss an’ turn in it.

      • And the simple fact that, whether or not this is fair, Pakistani men failed to stop the horrific attack. These men freak out at how women are armed because it means they have failed as warriors (and thus as men). Well…. That does seem to be the case. Sounds to me like their opposition is a combination of the fact that armed women (which goes against their traditionally patriarchal culture) are a VERY clear indicator that these men have failed in their duties to protect their families and communities, and the fact that it’s a lot harder to oppress a woman who has the skill, the will, and the tools to stand up for herself.

        • Yup. Every teacher mentioned in the reporting on the attack was female. If the guys don’t want to teach (more likely, deal with kids all day), then don’t fuss when armed women are protecting your children.

  3. “But never in our history have they been required to take up arms.”

    That’s true. However, here just recently a bunch of them were required to die by the Taliban, not sure where the damn “warriors” were. The idea of taking care of your own business is just so HARD to conceive, I guess.

    • “But never in our history have they been required to take up arms.”

      More accurately, never in their history have the men allowed them to take up arms, or consider defending themselves against any evil intent a man might have toward them. No wonder this guy’s scared.

  4. You know those pictures that are worth a thousand words? That lead photo is one of them. It has some serious pro-gun propaganda value.

    • Yup.

      ‘Course the Bloombergians will ask “Do we want to be Pakistan?”

      No winning that battle, ‘cept by outliving the professional victims.

  5. “We will not replace our pens with guns. But the situation could arise where we are required to serve our country.”

    How different from “protecting students” is not a teachers responsibility. I submit that protecting children in a teachers presence is an obligation that serves the interest of the community. Administrative leadership requires that teachers will have the most effective tool known to man to accomplish this task.

  6. I’m a little confused about the type of grip the lady is using to fire the weapon, but glad to see them armoring up to protect themselves.

    • Yeah. Love the fact that they are exploring the tools needed to protect themselves and their students. Those teaching them on the other hand seem to be failing on safety and grip. Two fingers on the trigger in photo one. The woman in the center on the second photo has two fingers on the trigger, and one near the back of the slide.

      Okay, I’m sorry but I gotta……. Maybe over there they use two fingers when picking their nose so when the instructor said, “put your booger finger on the trigger”, they did just that. 🙂

    • The double trigger finger press allows you to fire twice as fast and twice as accurate! Couldnt even say this with a straight face if I tried 🙂

  7. Honestly, the most impressive thing about this is that it’s cops who are spearheading this effort to train and arm women. Given that law enforcement in that part of the world has a long history of supporting the traditional, male dominated society (even turning a blind eye to illegal but culturally acceptable actions such as honor killings), I’m truly surprised that they are the ones offering such a service to women. Good for them, and good for those women for spitting in the face of their oppressive society and learning to shoot.

    May this be the first step of a true Middle Eastern Women’s Rights Movement.

  8. I live in a school district in which our high school principal has subsidized the state fee for the concealed carry permit safety course and encouraged all his teachers and staff then to carry on the school campus.

    This is in direct opposition to what exists on most public school and college campuses around America, which are “No Gun Zones.” No Gun Zones make it clear that law abiding citizens are not to carry weapons on the premises but criminals, mentally unsound, and jihadists do not read nor obey the signs.

  9. “This is the stupidest and most illogical thing [armed teachers] that has happened in Pashtun society in living memory.”

    I see that gun grabbers around the world immediately default to ad hominem attacks. This is my surprised face.

  10. At least they learned and have reacted by implementing common sense (a term that has been pathetically adopted by the grabbers) measures to resist such attacks in the future. I wish we would do something similar here nation-wide.

  11. To traditional Pakistani Muslim culture this is anathema and isn’t it shameful it is also anathema to so many here in the U.S.? The Progressives MAKE the backward as we think Pakistan is in their prejudice, intolerance, hate-speak and wild-eyed obsession with controlling everyone’s lives and dictating what everyone else should or should not think, believe, say, write and do.

    The fact these Pakistani Ladies willingly embraced this opportunity speaks volumes about what kind of people actually live beneath those Berkas. I hope, for their sake and that of their Students, this program is permitted to continue.

  12. Wow, good for them. They recognized a problem and are responding by equipping those on the front line with the best means to protect themselves and their charges. Here in most of America, the powers that be are still insistent that a tersely-worded sign slapped on the entrances will be more than sufficient protection.

  13. It seems like they are more or less, damned if they do, damned if they dont.. were talking about a place where woman are flogged, executed, stoned to death for being victims! Ill be willing to bet the first woman to defend herself will be punished.

  14. I’d like to contribute to the discussion but cannot because my account at TTAG hasn’t been activated. I submitted the registration info about a week ago. To quote Gordon Lightfoot “Is there anyone home in this house made of stone, anyone here know my name?” Help a brother out by approving the account.

  15. Caption should read:

    Mijnari looks to her trainee, Ishnari, holding her new sidearm. Mijnari then looks at the target 25 yards away, with bullet holes where the groin and head would be. Mijnari can only state aloud, “That’s pretty f***in’ ninja.”

  16. USA hasn’t had a bad enough incident to turn the common-sense tables. Same as the hassle it is to get a stop light at a bad intersection. Not enough dead kids. Sounds sick, but it’s true.


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