Folks, it is no secret I love guns. I love shooting them. I love learning about them. I love talking about them. That being said, I also recognize their limitations in the hands of the untrained and the overzealous. However, I came across this article while perusing my emails this morning and it has me FIRED UP! That's right. I'm pretty upset with this.
I'll address a few points made in the article:
- The author attributes a quote a female professional boxer and concealed carry holder, Christy Salter Martin made in an article in The Atlantic. She says, “Just putting a weapon in the woman’s hand is not going to reduce the number of fatalities or gunshot victims that we have. Too many times, their male counterpart or spouse will be able to overpower them and take that gun away.” It is no big secret as well that I was a police officer in the military for a number of years and am now a criminal defense investigator currently. My stepfather successfully defended a woman who used a gun against an abusive husband in 1992(?). She had no trouble leveling the gun at her husband who was facing her and pulling the trigger. I have known several women also engage their husbands and strangers with guns with great efficacy. Women have had guns for quite some time and a many of men who thought they could overpower them and take their guns are now six-feet deep wishing they hadn't tried.
- The author claims to be a lifelong shooter and has since changed her former stance on believing having a gun could help her defend herself because a professional boxer told her and the rest of the world how she got shot with her own gun. Let's get something straight. Being a professional boxer is a difficult occupation and I'm taking nothing away from that. Ms. Martin was stabbed and shot in a brutal attack by her then-husband. The details are pretty gruesome. In no way am I disputing Ms. Martin's claims of her attack and why she feels the way she does. She has earned the right to have such an opinion. However, I would suggest her attack supports my supposition her attacker may have had an advantage over her because he had a knife. Contrary to what you've heard, bringing a knife to a gun fight against an under-trained gunslinger is not a bad idea. Ask any police officer how long they keep their gun out before actually pulling the trigger in any lethal situation and you will be amazed by how staggeringly short the time is. If I recall from training I received as a military law enforcement officer, your reaction time with someone wielding a knife is very short. This article explains it better than I can. However, being a professional boxer and a concealed carry permit holder does not in any way make you an expert on whether all women should have guns in their home.
- The author provides no source for a quote about data she uses to substantiate her point. When I mean she used "no source", I mean she didn't bother to cite a single source of where this report came from. She didn't bother to say the quote came from the article Ms. Martin had written. Read for yourself: "A recent study found that women with access to firearms become homicide victims at significantly higher rates than men, and 84% of all U.S. females account for all the firearm victims in the developed world. Chilling stats, wouldn’t you say?" No, ma'am. What's chilling is your seeming lack of integrity. Since grade school, all writers have had it planted in their brains to cite sources. Yet, you can't name one for your reader to check your facts except Ms. Martin's article? You even quote the President of National Rifle Association without giving us one place where he is seen saying it. At best, this is just laziness. At worst, this is an industry website doing very dangerous fact-checking. Chilling, indeed.
- Both articles fail to acknowledge the impact which proper training could have. Seriously, not one mention from someone who had successfully completed a weapons retention course who used the techniques taught was cited. How about the reluctance of some female victims who may have been afraid to pull the trigger? How about a report on the totality of circumstances? What other tactical advantage did the attacker have? I'm not victim-blaming. I'm just asking for more factual data which provides more context than just numbers.
Here are my thoughts:
- Having just a gun as your means to defend yourself is foolhardy. Seriously, if you own a gun, you should also be equipped with knowing how to retain it in any confrontation just like any police officer would. Cops don't lose guns in fights for a few reasons - good holsters, good training, and a proper survival mindset. I have long felt concealed carry holders can be quite irresponsible in this way. Many of us are good people who just want to protect our homes, families, and our neighbors. As I have also said in the past, good guys are terrible for thinking how bad guys think. They believe just drawing the gun will make any person stop the action of attacking them or others. They fail to equate for the determined bad guy who doesn't care. In that situation, good guys often fail to pull the trigger for a variety of bad reasons. I also believe this lack of competence in weapons retention has contributed to many high profile shootings to include the shooting of Trayvon Martin. I firmly believe had George Zimmerman been better trained to hold on to his weapon and knew how to adequately defend himself with other tools than a gun, perhaps (and that's a big "perhaps") Trayvon Martin would still be alive.
- If you're the publisher of an industry magazine or newsletter, particularly one in security, you have a duty to ensure you report all of the facts and to properly cite them. Doing so, ensures your readers who are supposed to be professionals in the field can check your references and dig further into the material. I do it here. Am I perfect? No, I get it wrong sometimes. I sure did when I first started this blog. Then again, I'm not being paid to cite facts. You are, though. Doing this lets us readers know if you are a source we can trust. Based on what I have seen thus far in both the article and credentials of its staff, I will no longer trust Security Today.