An Open Letter

But not from me.

As for the fear, I will face that head on. I will not allow the victim mentality to win.

You see, living in fear is a choice. You can choose to tremble in the dark, or you can choose to face it head on. Also, making the decision to equip yourself with a lethal weapon does not come from a place of hate. Sometimes you even pray for the bad guys. Go read the whole thing.

“Today I Chose My Skinny Jeans Over My Firearm”

The title of this post comes from a story a friend shared on Facebook. It’s an excellent reminder, and I have gotten her permission to share her story here. Please, read it all.

I’m sure most woman who have a CHL constantly struggle with how they are going to carry.
Today I chose my skinny jeans over my firearm.
Little did I know it was the day that I’d be saying to myself in a dead sweat “is this how I’m going to die?” with visions of me huddled behind my engine block of my car.
This morning when I got dressed I had that conversation with myself of what to wear and did I want to be frumpy or feel good?
My favorite jeans were clean so I chose the feel good about my fashion option which meant no room for a firearm.
Don’t get me wrong I have every which way to carry. Waist holster, back holster, underwear holster, bra holster, and purse holster but none of them I have ever liked so they sit in a drawer waiting for me to give them another chance.
Today I spent most of my day at my home which sets almost 300 yards from the road. My driveway is a long rocks little road. I live next to the Lone Star Gun Range which I own. Richard had been at the barn rewiring a tractor and had just come home looking very tired and in need of a shower.
At that time we see a red car drive down the driveway and we expect that they are headed to the range and made a wrong turn. We see them turn a round and then stop halfway down the driveway. A man and woman get out and looked like they were inspecting their small 4 door car. We assumed that they had a flat. The car doors were open along with the trunk.
Richard is cleaning up from his dirty day and I let him know I’m going to the car to see if they need anything.
I take the Tahoe the 150 yards down the muddy driveway to assist.
I stop the car and get out and I immediately notice the woman (maybe in her 20’s) is standing in from of the car and she notices me but just looks down and never diverting her eyes from the man she is with who is on the ground looking at his bumper he looks to be in his 20’s. I ask ” can I help you” he responds is a very angry amped up voice “I NEED A PHILLIPS” because of how angry he was I was thrown off and I said said “excuse me, what can I help you with” I NEED A PHILLIPS” he was so angry. I responded with “let me go get my husband” and slowly started backing away. I immediately realized that I just walked up on a person that was red hot angry over his bumper jarring loose that I didn’t need to be there.
Two steps or so into my backing away he stands up and says “and you call the FING POLICE NOW” at that point he’s walking towards me beside his car and lifts up his shirt and exposes a holstered pistol. He started doing that chest pumping sign for come at me. I had parked my car 15 yards away from his car. At that point I see the woman run from the hood of the car to the front seat of the car and slam her door shut. She knew there was about something to go down.
He kept walking towards me daring me with his chest pumping stuff.
I never turned my back and I had never run backwards that fast in my life. I got to the car and he started walking towards me. I had my phone called 911 and got the car started at the same time. The call dropped. At that moment I got my car in reverse I looked up and in his eyes and I knew he was in a zone that no one in their right mind would be in over a bumper on a car.
Driving as fast I could in reverse I was able to get Richard on the phone and told him to call police.
I got upstairs and waited the 20 minutes that this man and his girl stayed on my driveway pumping his chest at my house daring up to come out.
I called the range and told them if a red car drives up to shut the door and lock it.
Before the sheriffs officers get there the angry chest pumping man drives to the range and wants to come in the locked door.
At that point the officers show up and he gives them some excuse that his car was immobilized on my property and he told me to call the cops because he needed help with his car (for a loose bumper).
I not going to get into on the response from there because I am truly disappointed that I was never questioned on my side of the story until I insisted that I tell my side AND I had to insist that he be removed from my place of business. This is something that I am seeking answers on now.
This person who decided to show up on MY property and threaten me taught me a couple huge lessons.
1. There are people in this world that get so angry over things they can’t control like their cars bumper jarring loose.
2. There are actually men that care more about that anger and their car than the living breathing girl sitting beside him that she was scared enough to practically launch herself in that car. Let alone the lady that drives up offering to help. I would almost bet he’s taking that anger out on her right now.
3. Plain and simple be prepared at all times to defend yourself. Don’t choose skinny jeans over your tools
4. Trust you instincts. I should have noticed when I drove up that the girl wouldn’t look at me. Because I WANT to believe that this world is a safe place does not make it one.
Being a mother I don’t want to believe that it could end like this. I’m not coming to that conclusion because I’m sheltered. I know all too well that your time on this earth can be cut short early. As I was driving backwards toward my house all I could think of was that my child was about to loose the only surviving biological parent she has left.
I know that as people read this that will say she got away without a gun. It’s true yes I did but I feel that If I didn’t literally back out when I did I would have been shot. If I had told him to just leave my property it probably would have sent him over the edge.
I sure that some people will say she would be the first person to understand that she needs to carry at all times and I walked into a sticky situation. I admit, it was dumb. But it didn’t feel dumb until I got there.
I was just trying to help the guy out so we could get to dinner later that night.
Tomorrow I wear my fat jeans and my 1911.

I confess, sometimes I get complacent and comfortable. Sometimes I forget that although most people mean well and only a few wish to harm. There are those few.

 

Men Don’t Rape

Rapists rape. Some rapists happen to be male and others happen to be female. Most of them understand that what they are doing is wrong. They’ve been told that they have no right to another person’s body and they don’t care. They are beyond education.

Treating men as if they are all rapists is disgusting and wrong. The vast majority of men don’t need to be taught not to rape because they aren’t rapists. And rapists can’t be taught.

Rapists can only be avoided, resisted, and punished. That is not blaming the victim. Doing otherwise is enabling the perpetrator.

You want to teach rapists not to rape? Great! Let’s start by promoting an environment where we respect each other as autonomous human beings with rights and privileges to our own bodies. Oh but you can’t stop there. Let’s talk about consent and how it’s not really consent where there is coercion. See? No victim blaming here. For the vast majority of people, we’re done. In a perfect world, that’s all we’d need.

You’re right, I should be able to take a nap in a dark alley while naked. It’s not fair that I can’t and it’s not my fault either. But that’s not the world we will in. We share our lives with a subset of monsters. Not the kind we imagine live under the bed, but those that look just like the rest of us. Why not go chat with Peter about rape culture? Hmm

So let’s continue our education of the rapists, shall we?

Now, let’s teach them that there are dire consequences for violating another human being. Consequences up to and including death to the perpetrator of such actions.

Court systems and law enforcement can only play a small role here. No, the consequences must happen as an immediate effect when warranted. In order to do that, people must be willing and able to protect their own body autonomy with force sufficient to overwhelm the attacker. The rapist has already failed to learn the lesson of respect for their fellow human beings so let’s appeal to a more primitive drive: fear.

I don’t want to live in fear of rapists. I want them to live in fear of a victim that will fight back and deliver swift justice for their crimes. I want them afraid for their very lives.

And here ends the lesson.

Michael Z Williamson has an excellent piece on the matter.

Defensive Gun Use

I may have told this story before, but today’s entry over at Hell in a Handbasket got me thinking about it again. I think I might just have more words about it or at least some lessons learned. And hey! Content! I am ostensibly a blogger, after all.

James shares a story of his recent defensive gun use, and it has several things in common with the one and only time I have ever gone for my handgun for anything other than training or practice. Go read it.

Like his encounter, mine was with a dog and ultimately, no shots were fired. Unlike his story, mine does not include injury and medical treatment. Good for me, bad for James, but he’s going to be alright.

A couple of dogs had gotten loose in my neighborhood. I had successfully wrangled one of them and put it in the backyard and was very carefully attempting to corral the other. I’ve done this countless times with many different dogs without issue and assumed the chocolate lab would be no different. For those playing along at home, this is what we call the first mistake, and thankfully the only one. Unfamiliar animals have a tendency to act in unpredictable ways.

I held out my left hand in a non-threatening way and encouraged the dog to approach me, which she did very cautiously. (Left hand because I am right-handed and that allowed me easy access to the snub nosed revolver holstered on my hip that day. I may have been overly assuming, but I was not stupid or unprepared.) The dog sniffed my hand and visibly relaxed. She even allowed me to pet her head. This seemed like my opportunity to slowly crouch down to inspect her collar for identification.

It was at that point that her demeanor did a complete 180. She went from frightened but calm to a mass of teeth and snarls. I jumped back and shouted something forceful (I have no idea what I said). I made multiple observations, calculations, and decisions in that moment. I observed that there were no kids playing in the street that day. I decided that should she lunge at me, my choices would be to shoot her or be attacked. I pivoted on my left foot ever so slightly so as to have a solid backstop if it came to that (down into the yard). I raised my left arm so it was between the dog and my face. I’d far prefer to be bitten on the arm than the face and the corduroy jacket would have mitigated some injury . I swept my right hand back brushing aside my jacket and gaining a solid grip on my handgun. James noted about how time compresses, and I found that to be true. All of that happened in a matter of seconds.

And lunge she did. She raised up on her hind legs and just as I was beginning to draw, she dropped back down and ran away. It was over. I pushed the revolver back into the holster and made certain she was really gone before taking a deep breath and assessing the situation. I don’t know if she just sensed that my aggression was bigger than hers and decided to back down or if she heard her owner arrive home. Her behavior was more erratic than any dog I’ve dealt with before or since. All I knew is that thankfully, I didn’t have to shoot a dog in my own front yard that day.

A couple of points I want to highlight. It’s important to be aware of all threats, not just the two legged variety. And also that this didn’t happen in the ‘bad’ part of town. It happened in my front yard. My castle, if you will. The place I should be able to let my guard down. Yes, I carry at home. Finally, I’ve been carrying a firearm on my hip for over 5 years. I’ve been in several heated arguments in that time (one with the owner of said dog. Now I know where the erratic behavior comes from), plenty of road rage incidents, and had some crazy woman get in my face threatening to ‘kick my ass’ even, and yet, the one and only time I’ve reached for it was when there was a clear and present threat of severe bodily harm. From a dog. I know, I totally fail at the whole trigger happy gun nut thing.

And again, no shots fired so it will never count as an official defensive gun use. I didn’t even get fully drawn, so it’s not even brandishing territory.

Andrew Branca on Stand Your Ground

This is perfect. Andrew Branca of Law of Self Defense recently debated Stand Your Ground at UC Berkeley. Here are his opening remarks.

Honestly, there is nothing more to be said here. He explained it clearly and succinctly, and in my opinion, won the debate before it even started.

If you care about self defense and the laws surrounding it*, you should be following Andrew Branca.

*This should include roughly 150% of my readership.

Not So Smart Gun

A Facebook friend brought this bit of tech to my attention.

The Armatix Smart System includes a watch and a gun, and the firearm will only work when it is within RFID range of the user’s watch. (Credit: Armatix).

 

Interesting? Sure, but I wouldn’t have one. Really, it brings up more questions than answers.

First off, I want to know what happens when the batteries die. Does the system lock up making your firearm a fancy looking club? What if there is some kind of interference?

And what is the range on that RFID? Anti-gun types often like to trot out the idea that a criminal will just take your gun and use it against you. I would assume that anyone that was close enough to snag your heater would still be within RFID range. Or is the range so short that I would have to be wearing the watch on the hand I was using to shoot the gun? I wear my watch on my left hand and generally shoot right-handed although I can shoot left-handed as well. What happens if I need to use the opposite hand?

I suppose if it works exactly as advertised, it would add a bit of security in the situation of a stolen gun, but that only lasts as long as it takes to hack the thing.

Or maybe it’s supposed to provide peace of mind when you leave a loaded gun on your nightstand. Bet Kendra St. Clair’s mom is glad she wasn’t using one of these. You can’t substitute technology for training. Teach your children to be safe around guns, and take the necessary precautions that fit your situation. No matter what 20/20 says, you probably know best how to keep your children safe. There is no one size fits all.

And finally, putting this technology out there does nothing to prevent crime of any sort. It’s just another marketing gimmick to separate naïve people from their money. Worse than that, it’s another place for some gung-ho legislator to hang their pet cause. Even if this worked perfectly, you can’t snap your fingers and make every firearm out there complaint any more than you can make all the icky guns disappear with a signature.

I wouldn’t want to live in a world where you could. You see, the world would be a far, far scarier place without firearms. Eliminating them would only serve to cripple the weak. Brute force would win the day. I do not want to live in a world where the most vulnerable among us are deprived of an equalizer against those bent on violence. You have to wonder about the true motivations of those calling for just that.

I Do So Love a Happy Ending

Man pulls gun on lady. Lady phones a friend. Man attempts to rob salon. Gets a beat down and finds himself naked and locked out of the salon looking like this

perp

That’s right. That’s how we roll in Oklahoma.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

*breathe*

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Read the story over at Kevin’s place. Looks like one of the intended victims had an ‘Awe hell no’ moment.

Quote of the Day

Ok, I’m actually stealing borrowing Daddy Bear’s quote of the day

It isn’t the weapon that’s the dangerous part of any equation.  It’s the person holding it.

I am not dangerous because I carry a gun.  Not to the standard, every-day, law-abiding schmuck.

I am dangerous to those who think that I am prey.  Because I am not, and have never been.

–Heroditus Huxley, “It’s Not The Weapon

Which goes right along with Tam’s conversation with a polite anti.

You see, I, and many others like me, pose no danger to anyone. Gun or no gun. In fact, I have never had cause to use my firearm against anyone. (Arguably, the wind did a little brandishing for me once.)

I will not hesitate to answer violence with violence, but I will never be the one to introduce it. Back in my daycare years, I did black an eye, possibly break a nose, and introduce a boy’s groin to my knee, but that was after he broke the little finger on my left hand. You introduce the violence; I am not inclined to fight fair. Thankfully, teachers were still allowed to apply common sense back then, and all I got out of the incident was sympathy, an ice pack, and a call to my parents so I could get medical attention. He got in trouble. My finger is still crooked, but he never messed with me again.

I carry a firearm because it is the most effective means of stopping violence, not to inflict it. I am not naive enough to believe that I could still answer an attack the way I could on the playground so many years ago. The bad guys and bullies are much bigger now. And there aren’t any teachers ready to intervene.