I know, I know... the Jeanie Bueller thing again... I just can't help myself.
Mike's sister over at Another Gun Blog needed advice about her boyfriend being able to protect himself. I got all whipped up and started to step on my self-defense soap box, then I realized the question was about the boyfriend, not the sister. Mike, I hope you get her boyfriend to the range.
Since I got all whirling-dervish-nuts on the subject of self-defense, I figured I would give my two cents anyway. This is my point of view. I am not a professional. I'm just speaking from my own experience.
Bottom line - as women, we all need to know how to protect ourselves. But first, we have to want to learn.
I had a creepy encounter at the coffee shop I visit every morning. Creep said to me one morning in a creepy voice "Hi, I've been watching you for a couple of weeks now... I love your car." Uh-oh. Creep knows what I drive. A couple of days later... same place, same Creep:
Creep: "I saw you in here Saturday with your sister."
Me: "I was not here with my sister."
Creep: "Yes, you were! You were! You're lying! I saw you!"
Creep's emotional reaction to my "not me" comment sent chills down my spine. Why did this random guy get all emotional? Instantly, I wanted to learn how to protect myself. After telling John about my two Creep encounters I was enrolled in a self-defense class the next weekend.
John found a great self-defense class for me. The biggest lesson I learned was how to be aware of my surroundings. I've always perceived myself to be very observant and careful... clearly, not so much. I left that class wide-eyed and very educated about what I've been missing. If you are aware of your surroundings, you can appropriately react to them. Come to find out, Creep sat in the same seat every morning at that coffee shop for months. I never noticed him.
In the self-defense class I also learned about the typical techniques predators use to grab their victim. Again, shocking and eye opening! I have not parked next to a van with a sliding door since taking that class. And, I haven't left the gym at night with a pony tail. There were so many of these tips I could not possibly list them all. The lessons on predatory behavior were rather insightful.
There was a lot of learning how to kick, poke, and jab. It was great and confidence building, but the awareness piece for me is something I now use everyday. If you are clueless about what is happening around you, you will have much less time to react to it.
So many people want to give a chick a can of pepper spray and call the job done. Pepper spray is a nifty device, but it can douse the victim while it slows down the predator. Throw away your small can hanging on your key ring, and get a Kimber Guardian Angel. It has two pepper spray blasts that sprays up to 13 feet. You can spray this in your car, stop the predator and manage to get away yourself without getting a face full of pepper spray. Stock up... one for the handbag, the coat, the car, the gym bag.
And finally, get to the range and learn how to use a firearm.
If there is a gun in your house and you don't want anything to do with it... bad idea. I know several women where the husband has a gun in his sock drawer and it terrifies her with it just being there. If this is your situation, what would you do if someone breaks into the house and you are all alone? I bet you would head for the sock drawer and call 911. Then what are you going to do? You are going to wait like a sitting duck. Learn how to use it and hope you'll never need to.
All right, chicks. Here's a recap:
If you want more than this, you may be able to apply for a CCW permit. This depends on the state in which you live. But, please remember, carrying a firearm is a very big responsibility. You need to practice and take your new responsibility seriously.