From time to time women ask me what to do about the possibility of sexual assault. While the prevalence of rape is greatly exaggerated by radical feminists, it happens. What can a woman do to avoid it?
Common sense is a good beginning, of course. Don’t walk on dark streets in questionable neighborhoods, for example. But sooner or later the meeting will last longer than expected and the car will be blocks away or in an empty parking garage. What then?
The answer probably is not one of the courses that purport to show a woman how to fend off an attacker by means of martial arts. I’ve watched these courses. The two I’ve seen involved demonstrations in which a small woman threw or disabled a cooperative large man to cheers from the participants. Unfortunately it doesn’t work in real life. The problem is that if the attacker doesn’t cooperate, the defender must be genuinely expert to have a prayer against even an average-sized man.
The fact, politically incorrect or not, is that on average men are not somewhat stronger than women, but vastly stronger. I don’t know whether women quite realize this. For example, if you are wrestling playfully with your husband or boyfriend, his chief concern won’t be winning but avoiding hurting you. Men don’t shake hands with women as they do with men. They could hurt a woman’s hand. Guys who have been in playground fights know that being eighty pounds lighter ends the fight in about the first three seconds.
Further, a rapist is likely to be perfectly willing to injure his victim. This gives him a near-absolute advantage.
So what to do?
A fair number of women of my acquaintance in Virginia have quietly come to the same conclusion: The most workable approach is to get a concealed-carry permit and a small revolver. The idea is shocking to the highly liberal. It is, however, remarkably effective. Being shot a half-dozen times usually causes the assailant to reconsider his priorities. Except through a miracle, a woman isn’t going to fight off a determined attacker, but a woman can pull a trigger as well as a man can.
Now, the anti-gun lobbies will object. A gun doesn’t really help, they will say, and have said. You can’t get to it fast enough. Rape happens unexpectedly. By the time you recognize the danger, it will be too late.
Not really, most of the time. You know when you are going into a deserted parking garage, or getting into an elevator late at night. The small concealed-carry weapons fit into a purse or coat pocket. They have covered hammers that won’t snag on clothing. You can have it in your hand, you don’t have to take out of your pocket, as it will fire through a coat easily enough. Nobody will know you have it, unless you need it.
You do have to be willing to use it. A lot of women are willing.
If you don’t know how to use a weapon, instruction is readily available. For example, in Virginia the National Rifle Association give a thorough two-day concealed-carry course. Call them.
The hostility to guns in the liberal press is such that you might easily believe the people at the NRA to be thugs or hard-eyed killers or, much to the point, contemptuous of those who don’t shoot or of women in general. It isn’t true. Many women shoot, and I mean ordinary, reasonable, sane women. Many are very good: Men do not have an advantage in shooting. The people at the NRA are perfectly helpful. When I took the carry course, some of the instructors were women.
If you live in Maryland or Washington, you have a problem. Practically speaking, these jurisdictions allow criminals to carry concealed. Citizens can’t. The wisdom of this is highly debatable, but the reality is that self-defense is discouraged.
A gun definitely offers the individual woman a personal advantage. Would the likelihood of being shot to death have a discouraging effect on assailants in general? Would rape rates go down? Well, would you want to attack someone who might have a gun? A somewhat parallel case is that of burglary. In countries in which people are permitted to have guns in their homes, few burglaries occur with the occupants in their houses. When guns are not permitted, burglars enter with little fear.
I can’t prove it, but I’ll give you good odds that the stats would plummet after a highly publicized dozen assailants ended up in the morgue.