Many women today feel personal and family safety are important yet are afraid to own a gun, carry a gun or even to obtain a concealed handgun permit. This may stem from having children or grandchildren, maybe from having little experience with firearms or maybe they simply don’t want the weight of a firearm in their purse. For whatever reason, there are many alternatives to carrying a firearm.
As discussed in a previous column, a basic, simple, and effective means to stay safe is to 1) avoid, 2) escape, and 3) defend, but only as a last resort.
Plan where you will park, choosing well lighted and secure areas. If possible, plan when you will go to your car and walk with co-workers or friends or even request the security guard escort you to the car. Avoiding a problem is the simplest form of defense.
Plan ahead. Be aware at all times by scanning the area you approach, especially being cognizant of about a 25-foot circle around you. Look for people who could be a problem and even cross the street to avoid them. The last thing you want to do is pay attention to your cell phone and not see problems coming. Escaping a problem is still much better than defending yourself from a problem.
Be ready to defend by having a loud whistle in your purse. A perpetrator never wants to have attention drawn to the scene. Besides the whistle, have a can of pepper spray handy. Not all pepper spray is created equal, so ensure it is the spray police officers carry. A typical brand is “FREEZE +P” which contains both CS & OC agents. Tasers are also very effective. A Taser C2 shoots two steel darts about 20 feet, ensuring a nice distance between you and the problem person when the unit discharges. If you miss, you are still able to touch the person and discharge the impulse with the unit itself—in either case the person will be incapacitated. The C2 has a built-in laser and light to assist in aiming.
Lastly, do consider a small handgun. Handguns are required by law to come with a trigger lock. You can safely store the handgun with the lock attached. Many are very small, very light and in keeping with the old adage, “What’s the first rule of a gunfight? Have a gun.” If you decide to take the handgun outside of your home, applying for and obtaining a concealed handgun permit is very simple and easy—much more than even a driver’s license.