Get a Gun. Learn How to Use it.

FYI. This is NOT a valid strategy for dealing with potential assault.
FYI. This is NOT a valid strategy for dealing with potential assault.

My wife has a friend who used to enjoy walking alone around Stone Mountain Park, back in her single days. She would take her little dog out and walk for hours, simply because she didn’t like being home alone.

“What if something happened?”

“I wasn’t worried about it,” she said. “There was a phone box.”

In other words, she was confident that if something happened along a deserted stretch of the trail, she would be able to make it to one of the phone boxes that they station every hundred feet or so, and activate it, before things got ugly.

In other words, she didn’t have a plan. Just a vague sense of security.

Nothing happened to her, by the way. Most of the times nothing does.

I have another friend who recounted how she was followed around Decatur during her nightly jog by two creepy guys in a car. They did a couple of slow passes, and then, at one point, they crept behind her for a long time. Eventually she found a well-lit, crowded place and called a friend to pick her up. The two creeps stayed out there, almost until her friend arrived.

These are two intelligent, capable women, but they hadn’t really thought about it. IT. The great, unforeseen Oh Shit moment. And they weren’t prepared.

Get a gun. Get a license to carry it. Learn how to use it.

It’s funny how that little bit of advise can be so controversial. The following is based on a conversation on Facebook.

Someone asks, “How can you carry it while you’re jogging?”

I can’t answer that. I don’t know what she wears when she jogs. I also don’t know what kind of gun this hypothetical firearm is. Finally, I am not a professional trainer or firearms salesman or bra holster maker guy.

I can’t answer that, but there is an answer.

But maybe I should have said, “Get a gun. Get the right method of carry. Learn to use it. Get a license to carry.”

“But someone will take it from her! If she has a gun, they’ll use it against her.”

Maybe…  Below is a list of other suggestions for the jogger, should the creeps resurface.

  • Nunchuckas (really)
  • Perfume, to spray in the eyes. (They could track the guys down from the sweet smell trailing behind them)
  • Pepper spray
  • A long knife
  • A big flashlight
  • Rape whistle
  • Rip cord activated alarm
  • Jogging partner (good idea)
  • Borrow a friend’s dog
  • Self defense classes

The only items on that list that can’t be used against her by an attacker are the borrowed dog, the self-defense classes and the jogging buddy. In fact, so many weapons can be taken and used against you that maybe we should be thankful that bad guys are considerate enough to bring their own weapons.

You can either give up and cloak yourself in prayer and positive thinking, or arm yourself and then prepare yourself as thoroughly as possible. Which still isn’t a guarantee.

Should I have said, “Get a gun, get a license to carry it, get a proper method of carry that fits your lifestyle and activities, and get professional training that will give you a tools and tactics for a variety of different scenarios while building on your situational awareness. Also, get a variety of training in both lethal and non lethal options so that the firearm is part of broad but pragmatic matrix of tactical possibilities.”

I thought that was implied. Evidently it wasn’t.

Get a gun. Get training. Get legal.  Photo from Fort Apache: The Bronx
Get a gun. Get training. Get legal.
Photo from Fort Apache: The Bronx

She could do all of the above. Krav Maga, a borrowed Doberman and a guitar case full of weapons.

But do something. Preferably something that won’t get you put into prison. Walking out of the house with a dagger strapped to her ankle would be wrong. And illegal. Nunchuckas? Very wrong. You might as well carry a broadsword. Perfume? Legal but wrong, on a whole lot of levels.

And all of the right answers come with obligations and risks of their own. There is no scenario with a fool-proof answer. Sorry. Even armed people get robbed, and trained martial artists get trounced on the street with alarming regularity. That’s life.

Also, guns aren’t for everyone. Another friend of my wife’s was car-jacked for her Benz last year. I said, “Get a gun.” She said, “They scare me.”

“Have you gotten training?”

“Yes, and a piece of hot brass popped down my shirt. It hurt like hell.”

Case closed. She isn’t going back. I asked her. Until she gets past her fear, a gun would be a liability.

But someone might take it from her and use it against her... Maybe, but I doubt it. Hamer woman with HKS rifle. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.
But someone might take it from her and use it against her… Maybe, but I doubt it.
Hamer woman with HKS rifle. Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

But I’m sticking to my original statement. Get a gun, get legal and get qualified training. (Not your uncle who was in the Army back in the 80’s.) And while you’re at it, take everything that you read on Facebook with a grain of salt. Including this.