You might read the title of this post and think that I have completely lost my mind. Double Negative? Direct Contradiction? Drugs? None of the above. It’s about the result of a certain mindset and behavior, and how that affects the people around you.
As concealed carriers, my wife and I both dread being in a situation where we would have to draw our pistol. Fortunately we have not ever had the need, not that we haven’t come close though. Particularly my wife. She is very short, and has many “assets” that men would find attractive. (I find them attractive. After all, I married her.) At first glance she looks like she would be easy to pick off for an assault. Nope. She has a mentality that she is not going to be a victim. She has absolutely no qualms about drawing a weapon, and taking a life if needed. (She is an avid hunter, and she field dresses her own kills.) That doesn’t mean that she wants to, just that she would not hesitate if the need arises, and she will try to ensure that the need doesn’t.
My wife’s mother had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. My wife and her aunt were visiting with her mother at the hospital, and her mother wanted to go outside and enjoy the evening. While they were outside, not in a bad part of town, but not a great one either, a man walked down the sidewalk, hunched over, muttering to himself, acting for all the world as though he were a lunatic. He turned the corner and started ambling towards my wife and her family. My wife closed the distance between herself and the guy, putting more distance between her and her family, and started in. “You need to leave.” He claimed he just wanted a cigarette, and kept moving towards them. My wife got more forceful. “I said, we can’t help you!” He kept coming. At this point my wife took “the stance.” She had one hand up towards him, palm facing him, feet planted with one slightly behind the other, and her other hand reaching into her pocket. “BACK OFF! YOU NEED TO LEAVE! WE CAN’T HELP YOU.” At this point the “crazy” individual stood upright, stopped muttering to himself, turned around, and left. Obviously he was not as crazy as he had put on. At the time, my wife was not armed and had, at the most, harsh language that she could use against this guy. But her body language said “You do not want to mess with me. It will go very poorly for you.” Her attitude told this guy she was armed, and not in any mood for any trouble. Her wheelchair bound mother and her aunt just stared in amazement. My wife’s behavior was all about armed self defense, even though she was not armed. Even if she had been, there would have been no need to draw her weapon, as there was no point at which her life, or the lives of her family were directly threatened. My wife had successfully managed to prevent a situation from escalating based on her behavior alone. This was a win that would not have been possible in a place where concealed carry is prohibited, like Chicago at the time, or Washington D.C., since the threat of someone armed to protect themselves cannot legally exist. Just the threat of an extremely violent response was a deterrent, at least for this individual. That may not always be the case, but in this instance, I’m glad it was.
My wife was hospitalized recently with the mother of all migraines. Even while she was heavily medicated, or her brain hurt so bad she couldn’t think straight, she still refused to be a victim. Her doctor had recommended that she get out of the hospital room as much as possible. So when she couldn’t rest, for whatever reason, she would wander. On one occasion when I was visiting her and we were both outside, a homeless person approached, and before I could say anything, my wife held out her hand like Diana Ross, and said "Stop! We can’t help you!" It was made all the more comical by the fact that she sounded like Juliet Lewis in the movie "The Other Sister." That person immediately turned and walked away, keeping his distance from me and my wife, going back the way he came. He obviously did not have somewhere to be that would cause his path to cross ours. It appeared that he had targeted my wife as a helpless individual. I attribute her "I refuse to be a victim" behavior to the armed self defense training class she took. All she had was her flashlight, a Streamlight ProTac2L, but it was enough. So even though she was medicated, and severely impaired, due to her training, she would be able to defend herself. And again, there was no need to produce a firearm. Later that same evening, a similar instance happened while I was at home taking care of our son. Same action on my wife’s part, and same response from the individual.
Sometimes just having the confidence of knowing that you are able to defend yourself changes your mindset enough so that you don’t advertise “I’m a victim! Take advantage of me!” I wish that everyone who had bad intentions had the presence of mind and instinct for self preservation that the idiots mentioned above had. That is not always the case, and there are some instances where an individual with bad intentions is determined and won’t be bluffed. I wish that everyone who would be the victim of a criminal act would do themselves the favor of arming themselves for self defense, and taking training classes to learn how to behave in situations like what I described. That is not always the case, and some people cannot be anything but a victim.
As for the title of the post, it was the act of training for armed self defense that gave my wife the tools for defending herself, whether armed or not. (Here’s a hint, don’t ever try to second guess whether she is armed or not, and try to make her a victim. You’ll lose that gamble.)