Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Self defense for women

I know I shouldn’t have (mistakes happen), I watched the local Orlando Fox News last night. Not to be confused with the cable Fox News which I believe is “fair and balanced”. The local Fox news is just like any other local news station and just as addenda driven. One of the big stories last night had to do with women and self protection.

Before I get into the story, please take this little quiz; A 95 pound woman is about to be attacked by a 200 pound man. Which one of these self defense tools will give her the best chance to survive the impending attack? A) pepper spray, B) a whistle, C) a stun gun, or D) a 32 semi-auto hand gun.

The news opened this story discussing how the story's central female citizen did not currently feel safe in her new neighborhood because very recently another lady in her neighborhood was robbed at gun point. The first woman felt that she needed some self protection to help her feel safe. The story then transitioned into all of the various methods of self protection available to women. Their list included: pepper spray, personal alarms, stun guns, stun guns made to look like cell phones, cane stun sticks, etc.

The only item missing from their report, the white elephant in the room if you will, was not only the device used by the attacker that was the basis of this story but also the answer to my quiz question above, a hand gun.

I factitiously ask, why was a hand gun not mentioned as a viable self defense option for women? Could it be that most of the media have a bias against guns and as such, they only appear in stories where they can be shown in the roll of a villainous devices? It is indeed a rare local or national news story where a gun used for self defense is highlighted. This is Florida for goodness sakes! Practically any legal resident can get a concealed carry permit.

In the hands of a person that takes the time to get familiar with it and trained in its use a hand gun it is extremely effective for self defense and unlike a stun gun; there are a number of places where you can go to practice with it. I have yet to see a single place where a person can go with a stun gun and actually get practice using it. I don’t mean just pressing the button and hear it go click-click-click and watch the sparks, I mean actually using it and knowing how to use it. It is one thing to stand there and press the stun button and saying “gee, that was easy, I can do this” it is another to actually use it in a self protection event. I would be interested to know how many women purchase a stun gun, put it in their purse and never really touch it again. I actually have a female friend that owns 3 stun guns, none of them charged. That is also why, if you own a gun, you should make it a point to go to a range on a regular basis to target shoot. First, this ensures that you are familiar with the care and operation of your gun and second it ensures that you are comfortable with holding and shooting it. One hopes that you never ever have to use a gun in self defense but if the need arises, you should not have to think about the process. You will need all of your concentration for the event, to have to think about how your gun works and how to use it are distractions you may not be able to afford.

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