There is no need for discussion. The fact is, we must protect ourselves from violent crime and our homes from invasion. Do you need a gun for self-defense? I believe this is a question that every woman needs to ask herself and answer. Do you need help figuring this question out?
Follow my 5 part series starting with Making The Decision Part 1: Do I Need a Gun? You may decide that a gun is not right for your self-defense but you will begin to take responsibility for your own personal safety and find ways to defend yourself.
The statistics are seen daily on the news and the tragic stories just never seem to end. Perhaps violent crime has touched your life personally. If not, it likely has in the lives of women you know.
Should You Carry A Gun For Your Self Defense?
As intelligent women, we instinctively know that we need to protect ourselves in the world we live in. However, should you carry a gun for
your self-defense? The decision to carry a gun for your self-protection or not, must be made with complete information and not made based on emotion only. As women, many of us were raised to believe that that was the man’s job, that of the police or others. Sadly the world today requires us to always be aware of our surroundings and know that there are some very bad people out there that will do us harm.
I don’t want to dwell on the gruesome, painful realities and statistics of the violent crimes against women as The Well Armed Women, LLC is focused on empowerment. However, it is important to be informed. Here are just a few to remind us briefly of the need to protect ourselves, whether our personal plan includes carrying a firearm or other methods of self defense.
Read my blog about the challenge for many women regarding women’s armed self defenseStats
- This means Every 90 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. There were 393,980 rapes/sexual assaults in the United States in 2017, more than 1,079 per day, up from 298,410 in 2016. Women were more likely than men to be victims. National Crime Victimization Survey: Criminal Victimization, 2017(1).
- 7 out of 10 stalking victims knew their offender. The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 3.3 million persons said they were victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2012 (2).
- 64% of female homicide cases were by a family member or intimate partner. In 2007, among all female murder victims in the U.S., 45% were slain by their husbands or boyfriends. While 36% were strangers (3).
Lifetime rate of rape/attempted rape for women by race
- All women: 17.6%
- White women: 17.7%
- Black women: 18.8%
- Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%
- American Indian/Alaskan women: 34.1%
- Mixed race women: 24.4%
“If a woman can protect herself, it’s the first line of defense. She is 30 to 40 percent more likely to be attacked than a man,” says a police firearms instructor, a Philadelphia police officer for 30 years.
There are options as to how you will protect yourself. Perhaps you will utilize a combination of them; self defense courses, alarm systems, pepper spray, tasers and/or purchasing and carrying a firearm.
Could You Really Use A Gun For Self Defense?
This is likely the toughest question of all and one you must fully consider. You must decide if protecting your life, that of your children and/or others would allow you to shoot another human being. Could you really use a gun for your self-defense? Only you can answer this question and there is nothing I can say and no link I can provide that will answer it for you.
It may be helpful perhaps to imagine yourself in a situation in which you or the lives of your children is seriously threatened. A home invasion perhaps, or having your car break down in the middle of nowhere and a violent attacker threatening your lives and asking yourself, would you shoot the attacker if you could? There certainly are enough nightmare-worthy examples of horrific violent attacks in the news to place yourself. If you cannot honestly say you would use a gun if you could, carrying a firearm for self defense is not the right solution for you.
Full Article: Could you use a Gun? – Making The Decision
THE LAW AND GUNS FOR SELF DEFENSE
If you choose to carry and own a gun it is very important that you explore your local and state laws so you fully understand your rights and the laws that govern gun ownership. It is also important to know your local and state laws governing the use of “lethal deadly force”. If someone breaks into your home, can you shoot them even if they are not visibly armed? If someone attacks you in public, do you have a duty to retreat? Under what circumstances can you legally display your gun? Are there places where you cannot carry a gun? Can you travel across state lines with your gun? These are just a few of the questions you want to answer as you make the decision to own a gun.
Neglecting to understand the legal issues including your rights and your risks is careless. You put others and yourself at risk, put the 2nd Amendment Rights of others in jeopardy and do not fit the definition or description of The Well Armed Woman. Also, the better you understand the laws the better equipped you will be to make quick decisions when under great stress.
There are some basic defensive tips every women should know and make part of their daily lives whether or not you carry a firearm.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Self-defense begins before you even know you need it. Always and in all situations, from going to the grocery store to finding your car in a dark parking lot – scan and be aware of what and who is around you and know where you are. Observe and think “what if?”.
What if someone jumped out at you from behind that car? What would you do?
Part of what makes women vulnerable to attack is the appearance of not paying attention or appearing uncomfortable. Projecting a confident attentive presence can be a powerful deterrent. We are creatures of habit. It is far too easy to be lax in familiar surroundings and we lose the edge of really checking our surroundings and looking for anything unusual – especially in and around our own neighborhoods, homes, workplaces, and cars. Many women are stalked and their habits watched over a period of time to take advantage of when their guard is likely down.
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
We as women have powerful instincts – trust them and use them to your advantage. If something or someone does not “feel” safe – you are probably right and should take steps to avoid them. Do not concern yourself with what other’s will think that it is a silly, paranoid thought. Listen to your gut and act accordingly.
Have your keys out and ready before starting for the parking lot or your front door. Don’t wait until you get in your car to begin the typically long search for your keys in your purse. Don’t organize your purchases or review your receipts in the car or do anything that keeps you from locking the doors, starting the engine and leaving immediately. Review your receipts before leaving the store and place your bags in the car quickly. Lock your doors and make sure your car windows are up immediately upon entering the car. Once you enter your home, shut the door and lock it immediately, even if it means making multiple trips to the car to unload your purchases. Take the time to lock the doors each trip. Know where you are going and be ready with keys or whatever you may need before you get there.
BE PREPARED FOR FLIGHT OR FIGHT
Being in the mindset that you will fight to protect yourself and knowing how you will do that ahead of time not only gives you greater confidence but increases your chance of successfully defending yourself. Escape is always the best option. Being aware and thinking defensively will help you to see “the possibilities” of flight or fight before anything happens. I would suggest that if you choose to carry a firearm, you take an armed personal defense course. If you do not carry a firearm, a basic self-defense course is highly recommended. These self-defense programs should include simulated realistic attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you’ve learned.
Just as we teach our children to stay away from strangers, we need to practice what we teach. Keep your distance when walking past strangers and be observant and mentally prepared. If a car pulls up and needs assistance, keep a very safe distance if you choose to offer help – or simply keep moving. With the internet becoming one of the most common ways we meet new people, extreme caution should be used when giving out any personal information or addresses. Everyone and anyone can look and seem “safe” online. Trust no one.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AT HOME
Home invasion crimes are on the rise. The best way to prevent a home invasion is to always keep your doors and windows locked with effective locks and to simply never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who’s on the other side or you can verify that they have a legitimate reason for being there. Many criminals will dress up as a repairman or even police officers. You can call the company or the police station to verify before opening your door. In the event that an intruder breaks in while you’re home, you should have a safe room in your house to which you can retreat. Such a room should be equipped with a strong door, deadbolt lock, phone (preferably cell phone), and a can of pepper spray, fire extinguisher or safely stored firearm.
The next area to think about is using a gun for home defense. What is the best for this scenario? Read the full article here: Armed Home Defense
13 thoughts on “Do You Need A Gun For Self Defense?”
I missed the section where you say you need to practice! A new gun is like a new puppy, if you dont incorporate it into your life, bad things will happen. If you detest guns,, dont get one, dont get one because someone says you NEED to. Its highly unlikely that you will go to your gun, and use it to protect yourself because you are too afraid. If you like guns, then get one, and regularly go to the range and use it. Use it and Use it and Use it. If you buy and gun, and then just stick it in a drawer, at best you will have wasted your money, at worst someone (and maybe not you), could hurt themselves or worse.
Loved your column, GREAT JOB!!!
I loved that you mentioned that you should listen to your feelings and your gut and act accordingly in order to stay safe and avoid situations that do not help you with this. I have a brother whose wife is thinking about getting a permit to be able to carry a concealed weapon because hse feels like their town is becoming more and more criminalized. She should be proud of herself for following her gut and getting this done as soon as possible.
Women should be allowed the Firearm in Self Defense after all its in our U.S. Constitution the 2nd Amendment says so
I’ve started considering carrying a gun since I just moved to an open carry state and also live alone. This article was a great read. There are just a few grammatical errors, such as using the plural of “woman” for singular context, but overall it’s a great read!
hi there I really like the blog you have set up here. Thanks and keep up the great work!
I was startled when you indicated that some stalker knows their victims and it could go for such a long period of time. My wife was attacked at our front door by some guy dressed as a mailman last month; gladly her father was home visiting. This article has opened my eyes to the safety of my family and I will suggest my wife sign up for self-defense classes.
Yes! Good idea! I was driving to work this morning and this guy in his car harassed me for miles and even at a stop light started swearing at me and threatening me to the point where I was shaking and getting sick to my stomach… I was about to pull out my camera to film him and get his license plate… all becuase he cut me off suddenly and I didn’t see him so he started slamming in his breaks and yelling at me… today really opened up my eyes… especially with all the crazies out looting and Elections going on there’s no telling who wants to provoke and attack victims. I will Be looking into this myself.
I think having a gun is only necessary when you have a threat on your life. It is also a necessity to have a gun over your home just in case of a burglary incident. Practicing some martial arts is the best way to protect your self and also being aware of your surroundings.
I was surprised to read that every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. This is so sad to know! I’ve always been scared of someone breaking into my house at night. I think that finding a place that will give me a rifle would be beneficial. I would feel a lot safer for sure.
I agree with you that it is important to choose a gun only if you are informed about it. It is important to understand how they work and how to operate them in order to avoid accidents. We need to get some training before getting a good gun.
I do agree that we must protect ourselves from violent crime so I might buy a gun from a store. Before I buy one, however, I’ll try to listen to my gut so that I can make the best decision possible. It would still be a good idea because the question “what if” makes me think that it would be best if I had one with me.
I really like how you said that the decision to carry a gun should be based on a well thought out decision versus an emotion. I think that a lot of women don’t correctly judge their reasons for carrying a weapon. I will have to think about this for myself and maybe consider carrying a gun.