I feel compelled to write this because of what happened to my very best friend. She asked I not use her real name, so I will call her Josie. Josie and I live about 2800 miles apart but we are, nonetheless, the best of friends. Our friendship has survived the distance for over two years now and I don’t know a more compassionate and loving woman. We align politically and talk on the phone at least twice a week. We have even joked together about me being a “gun freak” and the fact that she’s never fired a gun. Ever. But about a month ago, that joke was no longer funny to either of us . . .
Josie was going through a separation from her abusive husband. He hurt her physically, sexually, and emotionaly. She was in tears daily because of what she was suffering. She would send me photos of some of the abuse inflicted on her and I would cry for her. I wanted her away from her abuser, but she was married to him. How could I ask my best friend to divorce her husband when she still loved him? I was as supportive as I could be of my friend who was in a relationship with a man who felt it necessary to slash all four of her tires.
In mid-March she was home alone in a house she shares with her 11-year old daughter. Her estranged husband broke in and attacked her while her daughter was at school. He violently assaulted and attempted to rape her. He duct taped her mouth and slammed her head into the floor repeatedly. He strangled her with his bare hands until she passed out.
While she was unconscious, he stole her phone and her computer and left her there injured and alone. I still remember how scratchy her voice was from being strangled when she called me from the hospital. I remember thinking, “how could this happen to the kindest woman on the planet?”
Josie was obviously scared. And it made me wonder, “What would have happened had she been armed? Could she have prevented herself from being hurt?” And the answer, of course, was yes. Her attacker was unarmed. A gun would have leveled the playing field. She would have been hurt, but drawing a gun may have been enough to make her abuser think twice. She might not have even needed to fire the gun. Just seeing it, knowing he was unarmed, could have been enough. It could have saved her from the injuries she sustained during the attack.
This is an incident that obviously hit too close to home for me. This is why women should be armed. This is why I’m always armed. Josie could have been killed in this attack and her abuser has threatened to kill her since because she called the police. Do I recommend she get a gun? Hell yes. This is why women should be armed.