Thursday, November 17, 2011

D.I.Y. Self Defense.

There is nothing more empowering than the ability to defend yourself from an attacker.
This year when I wrote my New Years Goals, Self Defense was on my list.  I've always been aware of my safety in situations and ever since I was younger, made sure I had some way to defend myself.

As an adolescent I had a rape whistle, pepper spray, brass knuckles, knives, anything and everything that would even the playing field.  I also made sure to wear clothes that were easy to get away in, shoes I could run in and outfits that wouldn't slow me down.  I'm not sure where my awareness of the necessity came from... maybe it was watching too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  But I knew early on, that I would NOT be attacked.

Now, in my twenties, I've experienced only one serious situation I can think of that required a gun, and another while in France (which was avoided due to pure luck and quick walking).  Otherwise, I've been lucky or smart or maybe a combination of the two.  I say lucky because the rate at which women are raped in this culture is down right astonishing and disturbing (the numbers vary where you look, but here, here and here are all realistic rates).  I say smart because I am aware of my surroundings, I walk with purpose, make eye contact with those around me, and lock my doors immediately when entering my car or home.

For my birthday this year, a friend and I went to a ladies night at a local shooting range.  It felt good to refresh my skills and see that even after not shooting for a year, I was still a good shot.  I urge every woman reading this blog to do some research and find a similar event in your area.  The cost is FREE.  Our range will even rent you a gun for free (or at least they have in the past).  You can practice and try which guns fit best in your hands, which ones you shoot better, which ones are too heavy, too light, and then buy that gun.  Keep it with you all the time.  Keep it loaded with one in the chamber or one not in the chamber (that's how we do it with a baby around).  Make sure you can access it easily in your purse, make sure you can fire it when necessary.  Make sure you CAN STOP an attacker.

The situation I mentioned above was when my family was out to dinner and while walking back to our cars a group of drunk boys/men started yelling profanities and the women AND CHILDREN in our group.  When my husband made eye contact and tried to get a license plate the car full of assaultants swerved around the parking lot almost taking out members of our group.  One of the men emerged from the car, but before he could draw his hands from behind his back (we assumed he also had a weapon... turned out to be a cell phone, he was bluffing) we had barrels pointed at him.  EVEN WITH THE GUN in his face he continued to yell at me and my family, and so did the driver.  THEY JUST DIDN'T CARE.  My mom was crying and on the phone calling 911 and they were still getting out of their car trying to come at us, the Dads in the group made physical contact trying to get them to leave while I kept my gun out.  FINALLY, the less drunk guy in the back must have realized that his life was at risk because he pulled the other guy into the car and the driver took off.  I am shaking just writing this.  It was so scary.  and the story above doesn't do it justice, because nothing really happened.  Why? because we were armed.  If we hadn't shown the attackers we weren't going to be easy victims I know they would have assaulted us, of course the men in our group would have protected the women and children (does that sound sexist?) but because I have always been ready to defend myself that wasn't necessary.  The cops did eventually show up but it was 10 minutes later, and honestly that felt like a life time.  I know that generally cops will try to help in a situation like that, but they can take minutes to get there.  Ever heard the phrase, When seconds count the cops are minutes away?  That's because it's true, they don't prevent crime, they enforce laws.  After we had been assaulted they would have arrested the attackers, not before.  The GUN STOPPED THE ATTACK.  Read that again. the gun stopped the attack.  The cops interviewed all of us, told us we did the right thing and wished us a good night.  This happened at a nice mall, leaving a nice restaurant.  Bad situations can happen ANYWHERE.

PLEASE, learn how to defend yourself.
Learn how to run.
Learn how to spray pepper spray or mase correctly.
Learn how to hit, kick, punch, slap, tear, poke, rip, bite.
Learn how to shoot.
Learn how to STOP an attacker.



  1. I'm all for self-defense, but I'm also HUGELY against guns. After all I have learned from research studies, I just can not condone them. Ever.

    Here is the research study that has solidified my decision to stay away from guns:

    I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one!

  2. I think that research SUPPORTS the reason everyone should have a gun. If men are more likely to be aggressive because they have a gun, shouldn't you be more prepared to use one in defense?

    In a perfect world there would be no guns, I agree, but unless you have been in a situation where violence to you and your family is a real threat, i.e. someone in your home in the middle of the night, I don't think studies are a valid argument.

    But if you're scared of or anti guns I agree you shouldn't have one, you will probably not be comfortable using it in a deadly situation and therefore only put yourself at more risk. my mom is very anti gun yet in the situation described, she was thankful they were there to protect her, she was more thankful she didn't have to be the one using them. Best to stick with your alternatives like pepper spray, taser or other non bullet projecting tool!