arma virumque cano (et alia)
Anyone who believes that simply having a gun makes you inherently safer is an idiot.In every case, what makes having that weapon useful - what actually makes you safer - is your awareness of threats, your training and ability to use that weapon properly, among other factors. There are some instances where a gun gives you no protection whatsoever.One of the risks against which, as a woman with a handgun permit, I found important in training was the importance of correctly identifying what that did and did not provide for protection. There was a strong emphasis put on c0rrectly identifying when it was appropriate to safely and responsibly use a handgun for self defense, and particularly emphasized how well trained police were trained and prepared for violence on the job - and still often failed to shoot their targets a large part of the time. They provided a long list of actual police shootings, with the numbers of bulles fired, compared to the number which hit the target individuals - and the number which hit other individuals, or other things, and in many of these cases they also provided the range of distance between police and their adversaries involved in those shootings.They were trying to prepare us to make very realisic assessments of not only when to use a firearm safely and properly, but also against unrealistic reliance on the protection it provided, so that we would make more sound judgements about our safety in a dangerous situation, both for use of a gun, but also assessing our other choices. And their stated goal in our training, was, without disrespect for the police, to make sure we did not become negative statistics, and to see us fire fewer rounds with greater accuracy in hitting the targets, because we lacked other advantages available to police.Too many of the people I read who identify themselves as pro-gun do not seem to have that realistic approach --- and believe me, no one is more pro-gun than the people from whom I took training.It is NOT safer if you have a mistaken or exaggerated sense of your safety or power carrying a gun; being safe and hubris over having a gun are two different things entirely.In conversations with police - including one of my first cousins is the chief detectives in a St. Paul, MN suburban metro PD, another is a federal firearms licensed dealer - they agree, emphatically, with that instruction.
It's a fair question. Much of the answer can be found by comparing crime rates before and after shall-issue concealed carry legislation. And I'd err on the side of individual liberty, and treat women as intelligent creatures who know what's best for their safety given their unique circumstances.
"What's your opinion? Do you think there is a difference between "feeling safer" and actually "being safer?" Isn't it possible to feel safer and actually be less safe, couldn't it all be an illusion of safety?"Yes. Just look at security theater at the airport.
As a female gun owner and in the past, carrier, I appreciate your discernment. Situations DO vary widely between women who own guns.FWM, my blogging partner travels often for business, nearly always flying (far more than most people, except maybe commercial pilots). Whatever you might think of the airport security, we are clearly safer with it than without it.That said - sheesh, but I do think Homeland security could do better cost / benefit assessments of all of their measures (so we might actually be in at least partial agreement on that one). I would have used the Patriot Act though as a better example of a misplaced sense of safety.
"Isn't it possible to feel safer and actually be less safe, couldn't it all be an illusion of safety?"You tell me. Gun controllers/banners are experts on the "illusion of safety".
For a woman, having a gun makes you less safe. Here's how. By far most rape and other abuse which women experience is done by spouses, boyfriends or acquaintances. Most of it takes place because of the nature of the relationship. The bullying, dominating, violent abusers, in most cases would be able to take the gun away and use it on the woman. I would expect that to be a more common result than that the woman uses the gun to save herself.In these bad relationships there's only one solution, the woman has to get out. Introducing guns into the scene, regardless of whose gun it is, adds up to bad news for the woman.The tiny percentage of random sexual and physical violence that women experience is just that, a tiny percentage. Depending on one's circumstances, gun ownership may be appropriate, just like for men. But, in most people's lives, the chances of random violence are not high enough to justify owning guns.
Mike B wrote: "By far most rape and other abuse which women experience is done by spouses, boyfriends or acquaintances. Most of it takes place because of the nature of the relationship. The bullying, dominating, violent abusers, in most cases would be able to take the gun away and use it on the woman. I would expect that to be a more common result than that the woman uses the gun to save herself."A gun isn't going to help a woman deal with an abusive personal romantic relationship; to believe that it is is a tragic misunderstanding of the nature of these relationships. Women need to empower themselves. It is not something done TO you, it is done by women, and it is not accomoplished by buying a gun.That said, what occurred to me in reading the above comment was that if someone - male OR female - who has a gun is allowing someone to get close enough to them to disarm them, they would seem to have profoundly and dangerously misunderstood the purpose of having a weapon that opperates at a ranger greater than a knife or fist.I also have a problem with the assumption that guns are primarily carried to use against men. I was surprised to find when I first applied that while men are more often convicted of violence, stalkers for example - the reason I acquired a gun - can just as easily or frequently be women as men.Random violence, especially rape, is distinctly less common than rape where a woman knonws her assailant to some degree.
@Mikeb, you wrote in the OP:" Isn't it possible to feel safer and actually be less safe, couldn't it all be an illusion of safety?"Yes, of course it is. That's what gun control is, after all, is just an ILLUSION of safety, as there is no proven consistent or significant increases in public safety anywhere in the world that any form of gun control has been tried.And, the statistics concerning armed self defense also show that overall, those victims of violent crime that resist their attacker with a firearm are LESS likely to be injured than those that fight back unarmed or that don't even fight back at all. (There is a National Crime Victimization Survey report that shows this and I'll be darned if I can find it right now).Are SOME operating under the illusion of security, sure. But somehow the majority of people that use firearms for self defense manage to scare off their attacker without any shots even being fired....Orygunner...