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Wow! Women and guns! Who’d a thunk it! Anyone with a half a brain, really. Common sense suggests that women are inherently more likely to be a target for assault, rape and murder than men. Oh wait. Did I say common sense? I meant to say statistical evidence. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has a handy chart based on data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports listing the gender of victims of violent crimes (rape, robbery, simple and aggravated assault) from 1973 to 2008. While the gap has narrowed considerably (and the overall rate has declined dramatically), women have been more at risk than men for the last 35 years. Anyway, this post isn’t another tired retread of the idea of women taking control of their own armed self-defense. This is about you forcing her to take control of your mutual self-defense . . .

I wish I had a case of .45s for every guy who’s told me that they’d keep a self-defense gun in the house—if their wife would let them. Through my exclusive “Grow a Pair Pistol Program,” I’ve helped dozens of hubbies break through the spousal barrier. But none of them—not one—has been able to draft-in their better half and convince the Mrs. to adopt the practice of bearing arms.

That’s a bit worrying for perpetually paranoid husbands; their wives spend a large amount of their time away from their armed significant others. Of course, there are non-firearm things a concerned spouse can do to increase his wife’s ability to defend herself and the kids: situational awareness haranguing, a can of pepper spray, rape whistle, knife, etc.

Here’s another one: give her a gun.

What? No training? No permitting process? No nothing? Nope. But here’s the catch: only give her a gun immediately before or during a life-threatening situation. If you get the sense that the shit’s about to hit the fan, or there’s excrement everywhere, slip the Mrs. a gun. Et voila! You’ve doubled your defense.

Remember that virulent anti-gun perspective? Gone. When the survival instinct kicks in, the moral positioning goes out. In other words, when she says “Over my dead body,” she doesn’t mean it. Even if she thinks she does.

Caveats? Lots. First, make sure a heat-of-the-moment weapons transfer is legal in your state or local jurisdiction. No matter how desperate or dire the situation, we don’t want to fall afoul of gun laws. It’s better to be dead and legal than alive and facing gun charges.

Second, if your wife is completely useless with a gun, maybe not. Then again, maybe yes. I suppose that depends on the surrounding environment (i.e. the odds of hitting an innocent bystander) and what kind of bad shit is going down.

Third, you can’t give her a gun if you don’t have one; carry a spare.

Fourth, choose an appropriate gun. As we’ve discussed here many times, small revolvers are the newbie weapon of choice—and the worst guns for a novice who wants to hit what they’re aiming at. Selecting the “correct” weapon for this application is a decidedly difficult challenge.

But it’s worth accepting. At the very least you’ll have a back-up gun. (As the rabbi reminds us, it’s a lot easier to grab a second gun than it is to perform a combat reload—especially in combat.) At best, well, the wife you save may be your own.





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  1. I agree with everything you just said except for one line – “Better to be dead and legal than alive and facing gun charges.” Although , I can see the sarcasm, and I know you can’t advocate doing anything illegal.

    The following comment is no reflection of the original poster or TTAG blog.

    My mantra is – “I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.”

  2. I tried to get a new gun for my first wife, but my FFL insisted that I throw in some cash or he wouldn’t make the trade.

  3. Get serious and consider that unless you teach “her” one handed combat point shooting, you will be setting her up to be killed just as most trainers set up their students to be shot and killed by teaching them aimed shooting, two handed holding, and all the rest of stuff that a military manuals specify for marksmanship and which most all trainers dutfully fall into lockstep with if for no other reason than to avoid being sued for teaching something the Military may not approve of. The only exception is two handed Isso for shooting at less than 15 feet or night firing per the US Army.

    And no big honking 18 round 44’s either.

    Here’s a thought. How about a 22 to start with.

    How about a Ruger 10/22 with the (“Charger”) pistol grip stock. Add a front grip to it and you have a nice little semi auto. Shootem or beat them over the head with it. Even better, it has a built in index finger rest for accurately and naturally aiming it. And shooting it with the middle finger should be easy, since she probably never was brought up and brainwashed to think and believe that the only finger to use to shoot with is the index finger.

  4. My lady already has her first-a stainless 642 snubbie, downloaded with .38 special Magsafe rounds and a Crimson Trace laser grip set up. She knows how to shoot aimed fire, laser only and to point shoot. I’ve been teaching for a few decades and have real life experience. The heavier stainless model soaks up the recoil for her as she is a small lady. She also knows how to use pepper spray, her kimber pepper gun and a knife. I think I have it covered!

  5. Hey Robert! How about some automatic weapons fired by bikini clad babes! That sounds motivating!

  6. Cudos to you Cujo. The way I read the article was that the lady or most women are not gun folk. Your wife sounds like a person who is comfortable with guns and knows how to shoot.

    I also noticed that the pic above shows a two-handed grip, which likely won’t be used in a real SD CQ life threat situation per the studies and Videos of CQ shootings.

  7. Wow! Did I really see all of the students muzzling each other in the Pittsburgh class?! Indeed, I’m pretty sure I saw the Instructor pointing his gun at a student and another student pointing her (real) revolver at him!

    If this guy is really an NRA Instructor he should be decertified.

    I’ve bookmarked the Youtube site so that I can show this video in my next pistol instructors class as a perfect example of what NOT to do in an NRA class.

  8. You mention giving your wife or girlfriend a gun to help bring her around to the society of gun owners. That’s an admirable and laudable act, but it’s putting the cart before the horse and let me tell you why.

    Oftentimes, female opposition to guns is rooted in fears. Either fear of the unknown or fear of something they have had bad experiences with in the past.

    I’d suggest before dropping a gun in her lap, instead seek out a good introduction to handgun shooting class, taught by experienced instructors who are skilled and patient with new shooters. Good instructors will help your significant other overcome any anxieties she may have about handling or shooting guns. She’ll learn how they work, safe gun handling and effective shooting skills.

    You may not know it, but she may have had a previous boyfriend who ruined her on guns by handing her a .44 mag or .357 loaded with full-tilt magnum loads and telling her to have at it. This is where the former boyfriend, otherwise known as “Jackass”, turns to his buddies and says “hey, watch this!”. She fires off the first shot and piddles herself, wanting nothing to do with guns ever again.

    Or maybe she’s just a city girl who has never heard anything positive about guns or gun ownership.

    NRA Basic Pistol, or NRA Personal Protection in the Home are great classes when taught by good instructors – and they make a *great* couples weekend, guys. Yes, that’s right. Even if you’ve been shooting for a decade or two and your man-card is current, joining your wife or girlfriend in a good class will give her some support if she needs it, and at the same time you will enhance your own skill sets. Again, these low-intensity, introductory pistol shooting classes are great couples weekends.

    Ideally, you’ll find a class where they have no shortage of loaner guns so your wife or girlfriend (or daughter) can find a make and model of handgun that fits her well, is easy for her to manipulate and one that she finds enjoyable to shoot.

    Once she’s found a gun that she’s compatible with, good instructors will help her trade her nervous anxiety about guns for confidence using guns and the feelings of empowerment that this confidence instills.

    Fair warning though, she’s liable to want her own gun(s) after taking a good class. She’ll be excited about her new skills and want to go out and practice them.

    She will understand there’s no need to be nervous or anxious at home alone as she can take care of herself with a gun. And she makes a fine backup for you when the chips are down.

    Go out and give the gift of knowledge about guns.

    That’s the easiest and quickest way to infect her with the shooting virus.

    John Boch

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