The Proper Shooting Position

By Kellene Bishop
While far too much emphasis is put into which caliber a person should carry, an issue significantly more important is the one that deals with the shooting stance. This article isn’t intended to be an exploration of all of the various stances that have been put out there by one camp or another, instead it’s written with the intent to ensure you put everything to your advantage as possible should you ever need to defend yourself. Continue reading

The Win Before the Fight

by Kellene Bishop

I’ve been reading a great book over the last couple of weeks, Molon Labe. In it the author reminds the reader several times that all fights are decided before the battle begins. The point being that it’s the level of preparation which takes place before a battle which determines the victor.  In the case of the self-defense of women, I advocate consistent, challenging practice which will ensure successful self-defense. While the attacker may have life-long experience as a bully or a law breaker, it doesn’t make him/her fully prepared for their battle with you directly. However, through consistent mental and physical rehearsal to apply to multiple “what if” scenarios, you are leagues ahead of any assailant. And thus your battles are already won before they even begin.

Even better, confidence, calm, presence of mind, necessary tools, and a clear conscience are the fruits of such preparation—even if you are ever called upon to defend yourself. There is simply no price of time or money that can be put upon such fruits, in my opinion.

This past Saturday I took a couple of my girlfriend’s children to the dollar theater to see “Shrek 4.” Both children were under 12, with the youngest being only 9 and who also has Asperger Syndrome. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to get into the theater for seating, there were very few options left for 3 people to sit together. Thankfully one of the theater employees escorted us to a side row of 4 seats, with the outside seat being occupied by a hefty man. The movie had just begun and so the employee quietly leaned down and requested the man allow us to scoot by him and be seated.  As if he had just been asked to relinquish control over his own private remote, and give up a years worth of beer, and run a 5K marathon, he responded quite put out.  His only “effort” to allow us to pass was to spread his overstuffed sausage legs further apart. Yes, it was so attractive,–not—and a bit creepy. Because of his size, it was still a bit difficult for the kids to get past him, let alone myself, who is also quite chubby. It would have been so much easier if he had simply got up from his seat, and stepped into the aisle a moment.  I suppose that I’m a bit spoiled nowadays with this expectation, as my husband certainly would have done the same thing for us and any stranger. Needless to say, it was irritating to have an example of such rudeness displayed to the kids.  Well, being the somewhat sassy person that I am, I just couldn’t hold it in and it had to be heard. I just had to say it. And say it I did. “Well, I guess chivalry is dead”, I quietly demurred.

I didn’t have any anger when I made this statement, nor did I shout. I suppose that a kinder person would have just kept quiet and tolerated his rudeness, but I guess I’m not very good at keeping some of my thoughts to myself. Having said my two cents, I realized that such an inconsiderate man would have been compelled to say something in return, but I suppose I had simply expected an apathetic “whatever” from the sweating, heavy breathing mammoth.  Not that I expected an apology in response to my comment, but I was a bit startled with what did come out of his mouth. “Why don’t you just shut your mouth or I’ll punch you in the face!”

Wait a minute.  Did you really just threaten to physically assault a woman with two kids simply because she called you out?  Really? This was your very first instinct, to threaten physical violence in a packed movie theater without a care in the world as to the consequences?  This was your knee jerk, comfortable, standard response?  Folks, that’s saying a whole heck of a lot right there!  Now ladies, understand what I’m about to share with you here.  I’m only 5’2 ½”—yes, you’ve got to count the ½ inch. *grin* And I’m just over 200 pounds. So no, I’m not an imposing person to deal with physically. In fact, I suspect that I’m looked at as an “easy mark” by some fools due to me being out of shape.  This man was approximately 6 feet and weighed probably about 300 pounds.  In spite of these physical factors, combined with his revealing physical threat right off the bat, , I was not frightened. In fact, it’s probably my lack of fear of any repercussions which I thought I could handle, that I uttered my initial sentence within earshot of him. I was calm and confident. In fact, my only concern at the time was that I didn’t want to cause the kids to feel uncomfortable—especially the youngest. So I simply replied, “I’m not trying to fight with you. You could have simply been nice and let us in. It was two kids for crying out loud.” His response, “Shut the hell up or else.” I must say, I was a bit shocked at his angry behavior in response to such a small incident and in spite of there being plenty of people surrounding him, he seemed to posses no shame, no modicum of morality, and certainly no care in the world about anyone else. It was easy to see that he was comfortable with his rage and his attitude against others who inconvenienced him. Since I would be sitting beside him during the course of the movie, I decided that I would make clear to him that I wasn’t quite who he thought I was. While it may seem overly dramatic, given his “first impression” I saw the faces of various women in my minds eye, who may have been the brunt of his societal standards. I’ll be honest. There was a point when I asked myself if the opportunity would present itself for me to use my Asp on this guy. I know. I know, just a titch warped. As such, I looked right at him and said very clearly “Sir. I’m definitely not the woman you want to mess with.” He turned his head to me for a moment as if to size me up.  He then sarcastically replied, “Oh. I’m really scared.”

“Good! That’s just where I like ‘em. Overconfident and unaware,” I said, still looking directly at him.

He then turned his head back to the movie and said “just shut up and watch the movie. That’s what you paid for.”

I decided that I had said enough at this point and ran the risk of upsetting the kids if our voices got any more elevated so that they could hear.

Now, there’s a reason I’m telling you all of this and it’s not for a purpose of self-aggrandizing. It’s because there are two important things for you to learn from this scenario. First of all, I was told by one of my friends that I should have said “Let’s see how scared you are with a forty caliber pointed at you.”  I suspect that my friend was just getting in to the mood of things in this comment, but if I had said something to that effect, I actually could have gotten myself in a whole lot of trouble. I would have easily been accused of inciting a riot, “brandishing a weapon”—even though I wasn’t literally showing my firearm, disturbing the peace, and lastly I’m creating a threat. More importantly, if a person ever truly does feel threatened in such a situation, you certainly would not want to show your cards like that. If you truly feel threatened, then do something about it. Act, not react.  In this case, I felt that for the time being this guy was just full of himself and didn’t like being called out by a girl.  If I had truly felt threatened, then it would have been within my legal right to have physically assaulted him with non-deadly force.  Yes, in such an instance I, being out manned in weight and height, would have been legally within my rights to have “thrown the first punch” so to speak. As women, it’s not necessary for us to get hit, shoved, beaten, etc. by a man first before we respond. I realize for some of you, that may be hard to conceptualize. But after Mr. Sausage made his first physical threat of punching me in the face, I would easily have been in the right with a solid punch to his wind pipes, or whatever other physical maneuver I would have felt necessary—enough to minimize the physical threat of this man. However, that’s only the case if it was me, short and chubby, against him.  Had a 6 year old boy said that to me, then I would not be permitted to proactively defend myself. It all boils down to the level of threat and the weight of advantages, vs. disadvantages. For example, if it had been my husband who was being talked to that way, he would not have gotten away with a first strike because of his training, physique, and the fact that he was armed. In order for a well-trained man to have responded to this threat, Mr. Sausage would have had to make a physical threat imminent.

So, did I just sit there and watch the cute movie and not give this anymore thought? No, that would have been foolish on my part. I was strategizing, actually, in the event that my leg bounced just the wrong way to make him mad, or one of the kids aggravated him if they had to squeeze out to go to the bathroom.  So, I made sure that my Asp was in my grasp, my pepper spray was ready to spray, and I discreetly removed my knife from my purse and put it in my pants pocket. I was ready if I had to defend myself.  But, I also recognized that the two kids were a liability to me if there was an altercation. So, I texted my husband and invited him to join me at the dollar theater. Through a series of texts he was brought up to par on the scenario, and secured a seat right behind Mr. Sausage in the theater.  I casually made it obvious to Mr. Sausage that I knew the man sitting right behind him. When the movie was getting ready to wrap up, Mr. Sausage decided to exit before all of the mushy, happily ever after took place in the film. All he left behind was the stench of his body odor and a lesson learned. No regrets. No fear. No rattled children. All was well.  As the children and I exited the movie theater, all they talked about was how cute the movie was. They were impervious to the problem, didn’t notice that my husband had joined us or that I had additional contents in my various pants pockets. We were able to keep everyone else safe without any stress or concern.

There’s one other thing that I want to share with you. While I was sitting there, enjoying the movie, I thought about you. Yes, you.  You; who may lack the sufficient confidence necessary to handle such a situation. You; who may be lacking in the appropriate tools of leverage necessary to handle such a situation.  While a firearm would not have been appropriate self-defense tool for this particular level of threat, nor was the environment appropriate; would you have been essentially unarmed otherwise? I decided that this man had obviously pushed around, without challenge, too many women in his life thus far. I want to do my best to ensure that you are not one of them in the future. So, I decided to share this little story with you. I hope it provides you with some food for thought and that you will see that occasions for vital mental and physical self-defense capabilities self-defense are not limited to robbery, rape, or a home invasion. And they are not all solved with one particular tool each time.  The great benefit of really internalizing and learning self-defense though, is that you can walk away from such circumstances without any regrets, and with your confidence still in tact.

Become a fan of WOC on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

Visit our website at: www.womenofcaliber.com

Click here to see our upcoming schedule

For any questions or comments on this article, please leave a comment on the blog site so that everyone can benefit!

Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

Media Hype or Firearm Facts—You Decide

by Kellene Bishop 

Everyone has the right to defend themselves.

Fact:

100% of ALL firearm “accidents” occur as a result of someone violating one of the four most critical safety rules in the ownership and use of a firearm.  Firearms don’t kill people as the media would have us believe, any more than pencils are responsible for making spelling mistakes.  Your ability to STOP an firearm accident is strengthened by your knowledge of a firearm.  In contrast, if you are not familiar with the workings of a firearm, you may actually encourage a deadly accident if you encounter one in the hands of an unauthorized person.  That said, why don’t we ever hear a news report that says something like “There are over 80,000,000 gun owners in the nation today, and only 5 accidents were caused as the result of error on the part of the gun owner”?

  

Fact: Every person in the U.S. has the right to defend themselves, their family, and their property.  Fit or fat.  Blonde or brunette.  When a drug-crazed criminal has a gun point at you, your political affiliations do not lessen the impact on your body or your mind.  A bullet will sufficiently kill you.  So how you supposed to fight back under such circumstances? 

  

Fact: According to FBI statistics, over 5,500 violent crimes are PREVENTED EVERY DAY by the mere presence of a firearm.  So why are our newspapers and television screens only reporting the horrific scenes of crime and bloodshed at the hands of “crazed gunmen”?  All we ever hear about are the terrible and criminal uses of firearms – school shootings, gunmen clipping off innocent bystanders one by one in a mall or a neighborhood, or gangs who murder and plunder with guns.  Why aren’t we being given a clear picture of the use and importance of firearms in America?  Why aren’t we hearing the real stories from the media – like the 83-year-old woman who shot a would-be rapist in her home.  Or the woman who was raped, then given a rifle by a friend, and when the rapist RETURNED to her home she was able to defend herself and killed the rapist.  Or about the female convenience store employee that was able to save her fellow co-workers from abominable acts at the hand of a robber by grabbing for the gun, and shot him.  Or when a concealed-carry permit holder was able to thwart a massive shootout between police and a liquor store robber because he was willing to draw his gun and shoot the body-armored gunman squarely in the skull.  Violent crime rates have fallen dramatically in right-to-carry states.  

Why do we only hear about the terrible encounters with firearms?  Because blood and sex sells.  And it can’t simply be just anybody’s blood.  No, it needs to be the blood of an innocent person, not a violent criminal.  Yes, the so-called education of the facts of gun use for self-defense in America is being steered by money and mindless sheep, plain and simple.  

The media often fail to portray good examples of self-defense photo c/o abovethelaw.com

Why aren’t we hearing about the real firearm stories from the media?  Follow the same money that goes abundantly to the media and you will see that many members of our government fear the legal possession of guns by its citizens.  Why?  Because the government has committed acts in violation of the U.S. Constitution and thus have reason to fear reprisals from its citizens.  The majority of the media act as mindless minions to our government.  And since the government has trampled mercilessly on the freedoms and liberties guaranteed to us through the U.S. Constitution, left to their own designs with no accountability required from the media, it is clear that the media is a willing accomplice in these acts.  Violation after violation have occurred at the hands of each administration that have stripped many of our Constitutional freedoms in a clandestine manner, and yet the media and entertainment industry have failed to produce any headline which even questions such acts.  Do the media even know what’s it like to actually be courageous Americans anymore?  Or do they merely write about it in hopes that it earns them lauds of glory from their peers? 

Fact: Having a firearm and knowing how to use it does not make you a violent person.  In fact, you will find that responsible gun owners are peaceful, law abiding individuals because they are able to function without fear hanging over them.  Yet firearm owners are never portrayed such an image in the national news.  

Instead we hear the irresponsible and oppressive mantra of, “Don’t resist.” “Don’t fight back.”  “Just give them the money, it’s not worth your life.”   What they forget it that while money may not be worth your life, the freedom to be free IS worth your life.  Ironically, what Thomas Paine and his associates did to the king of England to protect free speech (particularly of the media)  is actually being used to give us a false education and thus strip us of other freedoms because of the false and criminalized picture of gun owners that we are confronted with every day. 

According to Thomas Jefferson, history has proven time and time again that the option for citizens to arm themselves is what ensures protection against a “tyrannical government.” 

  

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)   

You see, not only can this type of “preservation of property” give you peace in your ability to defend yourself against violent acts, but it also gives you peace in defending your nation against the loss of freedoms as well.  

 

  

Firearm training gives you peace of mind

Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised… to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia…” (In Virginia’s Ratifying Convention, Elliot p.3:379-380) 


• “The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless – by disarming them.” (Elliot, p. 3:379-80)
  

The men and women of America are not only the sole stewards over their own lives and that of their families – they are also the sole guardians of the Constitution.  In the ultimate act of freedom, specifically for the women of our nation, I say that we must take on a more proactive stance in order to fulfill our roles appropriately.  With the increasing numbers of women raising families single-handedly, the extended hours our husbands are forced to work to sustain us, the increasing threat of brazen crimes being committed against women and children in broad daylight, the consistent attacks which are made on our freedom, for all of these reasons, women need to become informed and skilled in the use of a firearm—not just in matters of self-defense use and safety, but also as a Constitutional right.  We cannot relinquish our safety, our lives, or our freedom to the hands of strangers who may or may not be available to defend us when the need arises.  We must take this responsibility for ourselves.  After all, when all of our liberties are gone, there will be nothing left to protect. 

 Copyright 2010 Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. 

My Wish – 100,000 Women Strong

By Kellene Bishop

Owning a handgun does not offer women any benefit for self-defense.  KNOWLEDGE, on the other hand, of how to use a firearm for self-defense is the ultimate equalizer.  And to me it’s the ultimate sign of freedom and liberty. 

There are a great many female gun owners in the U.S. at present.  Unfortunately the fact that these same women don’t actually use their firearm for self-defense merely gives fodder for the anti-gun crowd who claim, “See?  Firearms don’t help women prevent rape.”  Now that’s a shame. 

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

My Wish - 100,000 Women Strong! Photo c/o nytimes.com/

If I had my wish come true, it would be that an additional 100,000 women not only possess firearms in the U.S. this year, but also get expertly trained in handling them and carrying them on their person.  While my wish may sound a little far fetched, I firmly believe it’s a worthwhile one.  Imagine the hesitation in a violent criminal’s mind: “Geesh.  (Censored, of course)  Is THIS one of those 100,000 armed women who know how to use it against me?” or “Am I really ready to go up against a skillfully armed woman?”  I believe that the number 100,000 is sufficient to thwart millions of crimes all over the U.S. and make criminals think twice before assuming a woman is a vulnerable target.  I believe that that impact of 100,000 confidently armed women will alter the wrongfully perpetuated societal stigmas that many have about armed citizens.  And I believe that 100,000 armed women will make children more safe, not only against firearm accidents, but against perpetrators who target them.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have my wish granted and see 100,000 women competently quick-draw their weapon, shoot accurately, and reholster it.  It nearly gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!

Photo care of

Photo c/o northshorejournal.org

Can’t you just hear the beautiful symphony made by the sound of the action after the slide is released all over the nation?  Ch-chang!  (I LOVE that sound!)  The patriotic sight and sound of “the rockets red glare; the bombs bursting in air” would be akin to the sound of double-taps all over the practice ranges in the U.S.  Can’t you just imagine the new level of confidence as women walk and talk strong and powerful knowing that they no longer will play the role of a helpless victim?  While my wish of 100,000 women is barely a dent in the number of the population of adult women in our nation, I believe that it’s sufficient to suitably rally against the crimes against women and their children and to accomplish what our law enforcement and government officials simply can’t or won’t do.

Independence isn’t just a benign word to be associated with our nation.  It should be a state of being that we women embrace every day.  We can be independent in our own effective protection and security and in doing so, literally impact the protection of women all over the nation.  This is my wish. 

Will you be one of the 100,000?

Will you be one of the 100,000?  

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

ASKing for the Ridiculous

By Kellene Bishop

ASK Campaign

ASK Campaign

In yet another ridiculous move by the anti-self-defense camp, a national “ASK” day was established about ten years ago.  Its purpose was to remind parents to be proactive about protecting their children from firearm accidents simply by asking their friends and neighbors about the use of guns in their respective homes.  Its intent was to remind parents to inquire of friends and neighbors that their children are associating with whether or not they have firearms in the home and whether or not they are stored “properly.”

Here’s the huge problem with this campaign.  It’s putting the majority of the safety of your child in the hands of someone else.  Just because you ask if there is a firearm and the answer is “no” doesn’t mean that will remain the case perpetually.  Another adult could enter the home with a firearm.  Another child could bring a firearm to the home as well.  Are you planning on asking your neighbor this series of questions every time your child goes to visit, or even on a monthly basis?  Are you prepared to track down and research every other child that may also come to visit the same home?  How does this line of questioning completely protect your child from a firearm accident?

Photo c/o iacop.org

Photo c/o iacop.org

What if a mother was sending her child over to a policeman’s house?  Would it be acceptable that a law enforcement officer have a gun in the home?  If not, then are you teaching your child that police officers are bad or that they should be avoided?  The same goes for a concealed carry permit holder.  Several of the books I’ve read by Ayoob and Lott Jr. over the last year point out that fewer accidents occur among concealed carry permit holders than do police officers.  (just a little sampling: http://www.ktvu.com/news/5441146/detail.html)  In fact, a police officer’s gun is used against them in significantly more incidences than a private owner’s firearm.  What does your questioning do to protect your child in these circumstances? 

Additionally, you are relying on your questions being answered truthfully.  Don’t you think there might be some hesitation on the part of your neighbor when you ask someone if they have a firearm in their home?  Do they want to publish its existence to the world?  I know I don’t go around telling people what kinds of firearms and how many I own, under any circumstances.  Frankly, if you don’t know someone well enough to know about their stance on firearms and firearm safety, your child shouldn’t be spending time over there anyway, in my opinion.

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

Ultimately, the only way to truly protect your children from a firearm accident is to educate them continually—not talk to them a little bit.  Every gun scene you see on television or in a movie is cause for education.  Every time you say “no” to particular video game, it’s an occasion to educate.  Ultimately your child’s education is their prime defense against any firearm accidents.  Properly educating your children on safety around firearms is not a one-time conversation.  It must be a consistent and congruent process of education.  Oh, and by the way.  Questioning your friends and neighbors about their beliefs in gun possession is no more effective in promoting the safety of your children than trying to do crowd control at a “Day After Thanksgiving Sale” at Wal-Mart.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

The Safest Place to Keep Your Firearm

By Kellene Bishop

concealed-carry-womenWhile this may not be interpreted as the best fashion advice, in truth the safest place to keep your firearm is on your person—literally.  

I realize that this suggestion may really push the envelope with the comfort zone of women, but before you discount what I have to say, consider the reasons why you’re even in the possession of a firearm.

To protect your life and the life of others

We don’t usually get much notice when it comes to handling life and death decisions.  Our decisions of self-defense must be made at a moments notice.  In many instances, the smallest delay can change our life dramatically, for the worst.  I, for one, don’t ever want to live with the “if only” doubts and thoughts.  I want to make sure that I’m ready when the unexpected arises.  That’s the only thing that truly makes me prepared and thus confident and competent.  Being ready for whatever happens is exactly why I teach emphatically that the safest place to keep your firearm is on your body.  

Photo c/o jaxknives.com

Photo c/o jaxknives.com

If you keep your firearm in your purse, you need to constantly be mindful of it even when you’re visiting friends and family.  While I do carry a spare, it’s in a hidden compartment in my purse.  But I still find myself aware and even concerned when visiting at friends’ homes.

If you keep your firearm in your safe, and with a trigger lock, then it defeats any purpose you had of being prepared.  Remember, when the opportunity presents itself, the time for preparation is over.  Getting to your safe—even the most high-tech device—opening it, and removing the trigger lock takes precious SECONDS and in some instances even MINUTES.  In life or death we simply don’t have that luxury.  It’s no use to you in the event of a crime or assault in action.

What about the scenarios in which you’re out in public, at a restaurant, at a bank, or a park and something happens?  How much good does that firearm at home in your safe do for you then?  Come on.  Most women won’t leave the house with at least SOME makeup on, so why would you leave the house without your lifesaving protection?

When I say that the safest place to keep your firearm is literally on your person, I do so from a dual safety consideration.

1) Away for unauthorized use

2) Its nearness ensures YOUR safety by having it accessible

When I carry my firearm on my person, when there are children around, I don’t have to wonder whether or not they’ll find the gun.  I know right where it is at all times.  (Yes, the “extras” should be kept in a suitable safe, with a combination.  I also highly recommend a Bio-Vault*.  That safe only allows my fingerprint for access.)

Blackhawk CQC c/o rockysupply.com

Blackhawk CQC c/o rockysupply.com

I keep my firearm in a safety latched holster (Blackhawk Serpa, Close Quarters Concealment).  The only way my firearm will come out of that holster is if I take it out.  I simply push a button with my index finger when withdrawing it straight up for the holster.  My firearm cannot be stolen from me from behind, the side, etc.  And the button isn’t obvious either, so anyone attempting to take it from me is going to have a difficult time.  Plus, I practice with it which is an advantage.  This is yet one more reason why I say your body is the safest place for a firearm.  It cannot easily be stolen and it is available when I may need it most.  Sure the hugs you get at family reunions are interesting, but usually I’m received with a look of surprise and then an accepting nod, almost like they are relieved to know someone’s ready in the event of an emergency. 

The holster type you select is key to making your body the safest place to keep your firearm.  Be sure that the firearm can’t easily be removed from anyone else besides you.  A side holster or a belly holster would be my two most favorable recommendations for a woman followed by an ankle holster.  However, if you can fit the firearm in an ankle holster, it’s not likely that it will give you as much protection as you may need.  So consider the efficacy of such a firearm as well.  Also, while thigh holsters appear sexy in James Bond movies, they aren’t made for real women’s thighs.  I’d say pass on those

Also, consider how your body NATURALLY responds when threatened or surprised.  You draw into yourself, right?  This is why I’m not fond of holsters on the side of my torso or at the small of my back.  We tend to draw ourselves into our body for protection when we are afraid or surprised.  I can’t think of a single instance in which I was surprised and immediately grabbed for my back, my ankle, high up on my torso, safe, trigger lock, or my purse.  But, drawing into my belly is a natural reaction as is my hip.  These two positions play on my body’s natural movements and instincts.  I also find that these two places do not interfere with most of my other activities. 

Remember that under a “fight or flight” mentality, your fine motor skills will be depleted and you will be left solely with the use of gross motor skills.  So having to rummage in your purse or figure out the combination of a lock or even the simply operation of a key will be severely challenged.  This is yet another reason why the safest place to keep your firearm is on your person.  Having a firearm should be coupled with practice, so that you don’t have to rely on your fine motor skills to stop a criminal target.  Keep it on your body and you’ll always be ready for a “what if” situation.

*For those of you who aren’t legally able to keep a firearm on your person, I highly recommend that you put your firearms in a well hidden, but ACCESSIBLE place in your home.  If you have children, then a Bio-Vault would be my first recommendation as it opens with a swipe of YOUR finger—no fine motor skills necessary. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

What It Really Means to be “Anti-Gun”

By Kellene Bishop

Photo c/o katrinabrownelondon.com

Photo c/o katrinabrownelondon.com

A few days ago I sent an e-mail to a list of my family and friends who subscribe to my emergency preparedness blog, Preparedness Pro.  The most recent blog posted was on the necessity of firearms and ammo (along with necessary skill and practice) for a properly prepared state.  Unfortunately, my message was not well received by one of my friends.  He sent me back a message that simply stated “I’m anti-gun.  Please take me off of your list.”  While I can perfectly understand why a person is not comfortable with the subject of firearms for self-defense, I was certain that my friend was not fully aware of the ramifications that invoking such a vow as being “anti-gun” truly entailed.  In my work I find that the majority of individuals who are “anti-gun” are women.  And thus I felt that addressing this topic was appropriate for our Women of Caliber audience today.

What does it really mean to be “Anti-Gun?” I’m convinced that a person who makes such claims does so based on the following misinformed or incomplete reasons.

1-     Fear of the power behind the tool.  Yes, a firearm is deadly.  Thank goodness.  Because I do not know of any other tool I can reasonably employ to defend myself against a alcohol and drug-crazed, 6’4”, 280 pound man who’s intent on harming me.  I can’t run fast enough.  The police can’t respond fast enough.  I can’t talk my way out of an encounter.  And I can’t rely on my physical strength and skill to properly combat them.   Self-defense is an equal opportunity freedom.  We all should be entitled to defending ourselves regardless of our medical history, weight, physical fitness, etc.  That’s why I often refer to my firearm as the ultimate equalizer.  What I do know is that I can have easy access to my firearm, pull, point, and shoot to effectively stop a would-be attacker. 

Photo c/o bebo.com

Photo c/o bebo.com

There are plenty of other valuable tools in our world that are dangerous if used incorrectly.  Medicine, exercise, transportation, food and farming equipment to name a few.  All are very powerful for good.  Yet all of these can be misused to even cause death to ourselves and others.  Fortunately for us though, the media, Hollywood, and our government don’t typically have agendas to vilify these types of tools.  And yet there are many others who occasionally promote misinformation on these tools as well.  Nothing is without some controversy or a difference of opinion.  But differences of opinion never alter the truth.  Only statisticians do that.  

2-    Belief that only criminals (thugs, drug dealers, bad guys, etc.) have guns.  Just because criminals have guns does not mean that those who have guns are criminals, anymore than the fact that a plane has crashed means that all planes will crash, or that 500 high school students killed per year playing football means that football should be banned.  For every thug out there who carries a firearm, there are hundreds of thousands of guns owned by law-abiding citizens.  Out of over 4.7 million crimes committed in the U.S. in 2005, less than 10% of them involved the use of a firearm.  Even among homicides, where one would assume a firearm was always used, less than 67% of them involve the use of a gun.  (http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/guns.htm)  Consider the opposite side of things.  Over 2.5 million crimes per year are STOPPED by the use of a firearm in the hands of citizen.  (John Lott, More Guns, Less Crime)  You’ve got less than 6% of 4.7 million crimes involved a gun, and yet you have over 50% more of those same kinds of crimes being prevented BY a gun.  Sounds like there’s a skewed perception there, folks.  Don’t you think?

Photo c/o zimbio.com

Photo c/o zimbio.com

3-    Fear of the safety for our children.  This is a very strategic propaganda put out by the anti-gun supporters, knowing full well that no parent in their right mind would put their children in danger.  And then of course, on those rare circumstances when a child is tragically killed by a gun, the media runs the story over and over again as if it was an announcement of Armageddon.  It’s a highly emotional, and unfortunately successful angle used by our national manipulators.  But the real facts don’t lie.  Children are less likely to be killed by one of over 300,000,000 million guns held by 94 million gun owners than they are to be killed by an automobile, drowned (in a bathtub or a pool), burned in a fire, or suffocate on plastic!  In fact they are at least 6 times more likely to die from any of these causes, and in some cases as much as 40 times more likely.  (Kids and Guns, 2000, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)  Now think about this.  Out of all of the crimes that were stopped as the result of a firearm, how many children’s lives were saved as a result, or better yet, allowed to remain normal with a loving parent still alive as the result of the use of a firearm.  If someone is “anti-gun” do they really realize that they may just as well be stating that they are against protecting their children, loved ones, friends or communities at all costs?  Do they realize that they might as well be saying that they are “Pro-Crime?”  While you may think this is an audacious leap of logic, the statistics are there to support such a claim.  Unfortunately, those who truly are “anti-gun and to heck with the consequences” really don’t care about the truth.

For more on children and guns, click here

4-    The absence of a passion and understanding of freedom.  During the monumental Revolutionary War, there were plenty of individuals who took up arms who were unskilled and uncomfortable in their use.  After the war, they recovered thousands of rifles in which multiple wads were found stuffed down the barrel, but never fired.  Why?  Because although these men believed in fighting for their freedom, they found it very difficult to actually aim and fire upon another human being.  They would go through the motions of loading the firearm, lifting it to point, but never pull the trigger. And then in their confused and panicked state they would go through the motions again and again until their lack of firing caused their death.  Harming another human being purposefully goes against our peaceful grain, of course.  And I thank God for that “sensitivity chip.”  It’s a mental fight that has been prevalent through the ages.  But going through the motions is also what gets people killed and no longer able to live their fulfilling life and provide for their family.  Even police officers struggle with firing on a human being.  They practice with silhouettes, not live targets, of course.  So the mental preparation to completely defend themselves is oft times missing.  (As a result, many police departments have begun using more realistic looking targets in order to help law enforcement with this vital mental preparation.) 

Photo c/o conservapedia.com

Photo c/o conservapedia.com

What does this have to do with freedom?  When I hear someone is “anti-gun” I cringe to think that they are the very persons who would have permitted the British, the Romans, the Japanese, the Germans, and any other enemy Freedom has experienced through the ages, to take everything—and I do mean everything—that they hold dear.  It nearly brings me to tears to hear that “anti-gunners” would hold the defenders of our freedom in the same light as criminals in our day.  Freedom is not fought just on a battle field.  It is fought every single day, even in the sanctity of our homes, restaurants, our parks, our streets.  The only reason why our Freedom has not been utterly destroyed is thanks to the 94 million gun owners who are still willing to lay claim to its merits.  Somehow it just doesn’t seem fair that those same 94 million gun owners are the very reason why anti-gunners have the freedom to attempt to lay neutral on this issue and still have some semblance of safety.  To put it plainly, “anti-gun” is clearly a member of the “anti-freedom” camp.  

5-    Naïveté.  I agree that life would be a whole lot better if I didn’t even have to consider the horrific “what-if’s” that exist out there.  I would much rather live in a community where I could leave my door unlocked, trust that my children and family members would never be violently harmed, and that the world was one solely of peace and happiness.  Unfortunately, the stark reality of the presence of sheer evil interrupts that fantasy.  It’s also naïve of me to believe that my husband will always be there to protect me.  Or that simply by owning a firearm, I will instinctively know what to do with it under threat of violence or death without any concerted practice.  It’s naïve of me to believe that in an earthquake all of the criminals will stay securely in their jail cells, or that the most well organized and violent gang in the U.S., MS-13, will never invade my peaceful neighborhood.  It’s naïve of me to believe that a 9-1-1 call will result in my immediate safety.  I could go on and on with the naïve thoughts I have entertained in my younger years.  Instead I choose to face reality.  And the reality isn’t so much the horrors that are out there as it is that I’m STRONG, CAPABLE, AND COMPETENT.  As such I can ensure my own safety and the safety of those who are important to me.  I need not be fearful.  I need not be paranoid.  I simply need to be armed with the proper tools and skills necessary.  I don’t walk around with a gun because I’m paranoid.  I walk around accompanied by real peace and practical awareness because I carry a firearm.  I’m friendly to those around me because I do not fear their violence.  I’m happy because I do not fear becoming a victim with no justice to balance.  I’m more confident because I know I am an active and beneficial participant in the safety of my community.   

To all you self-proclaimed anti-gunners, I implore you to forsake your fear, rekindle your patriotism, get knowledgeable in the facts, and eliminate naïveté from your life.  There are countless benefits in doing so that will last a lifetime.  In the meantime, you only make yourself more vulnerable to the harmful realities that inevitably await you as you leisurely bask in your ignorance.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.

You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.