Understanding Women (in regards to guns)


February 27, 2007, 02:48 PM

Probably a 10-year old repost, but what the heck.

Why a woman buys a gun: understanding her motivation - Arms and the Woman
Shooting Industry, April, 1994 by Lisa Parsons

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The reason a woman buys a gun can be very different from a man's. Men are often shown how to use a gun at an early age and society has been more willing to accept the idea of a man having a gun for recreation purposes or defense. Most women are not exposed to guns as youths and rarely make a firearms purchase because guns are fun to shoot. Usually she thinks long and hard about what it will mean to her to own whether a firearm is her best self-defense option.

The most common reason a woman puchases a firearm is because she feels her safety is threatened This month's "Arms and the Woman" is a true account of one woman's experience and the thought process that led to her purchasing a gun. SI hopes this story will help dealers better understand and assist their female customers.

It's a cool December evening in a quiet upscale neighborhood in San Diego, Calif. Two women stroll casually home, walking slowly in their high heels as the leave a Christmas party. It's only two blocks home, and they feel comfortable walking in the neighborhood, even though it is a particularly dark street. Three people approach them on the sidewalk, a woman and two men. One of the ladies, Karen, sensing trouble, drops back a bit. Because there is a woman in the group, Rebecca walks on, feeling no fear.

As the two women pass the threesome the men drop back and grab Karen, demanding her money and jewelry. She quickly complies.

The woman stops Rebecca saying, "Gimme your money."

Rebecca, confused by the situation, doesn't respond quickly enough for her assailant. The woman places a gun to Rebecca's temple and repeats, "Gimme your money."

At this point, pure instinct takes over. Rebecca's only thought is if she gets shot, she doesn't want it to be in the head. She moves as if to go for her purse, but instead grab's her assailant's wrist and points the gun in the air. With her other hand she hits the woman in the face and pushes her back onto a fence, falling on top of her. They wrestle on the ground for a few minutes, but her assailant manages to scramble up and run away.

The two men quickly grab Rebecca's purse and run.

In taking Rebecca's purse the only things of value her assailants obtained were her identification and her keys. Now they know who she is and where she lives.

Crimes like this are common, and the results could have been much worse if the gun had fired or the men chose to take revenge on Rebecca and Karen. These two women were very lucky, but now they live in fear that their assailants will attack again, this time in their home.

"I want a gun," Rebeccca says now. "I thought about getting one before, but I wasn't ready. Now I am. I want to be able to protect myself in my home."

She goes on to say that people's reaction to her fight-back tactics have been mixed, "One person said, What else could you do? You were fighting for your life.' Another said, "That was a really stupid thing to do."' Rebecca admits that if the woman hadn't held the gun to her head, she would have probably just given her everything. She confesses that she was not as cautious as usual because there was a woman in the group. Had it been three men approaching, she says, she probably would have crossed the street.

After the attack, Rebecca went through bouts of being terrified in her own home and being too scared to leave it. She decided that taking a self defense course and purchasing a gun would be positive steps that would make her feel less like a victim. In conjunction with buying a firearm, she plans to take a handgun class at her local police range to gain confidence with her new firearm.

People may view this as "closing the barn door after the cow gets loose," but for many women it takes an event like this to open their eyes.

If a woman like Rebecca walks into your store to purchase a self-defense weapon, don't make her feel like an idiot for not doing it sooner. Just telling you her story will probably be enough to bring tears to her eyes. All she wants from you is reassurance that she's doing the right thing. Assist her in whatever way you can, and encourage her to explore non-lethal self-defense options as well. She may want a pepper-spray device to carry in her purse or, where state laws allow, a stunning device.

The point is, when a woman like Rebecca walks into your store, she is determined to never be a victim again. If you provide her with good service and advice, she will come back to you in the future.

In the coming months we'll chronicle Rebecca's gun purchase and schooling. We'll let you know how the gun dealer she purchases her gun from helped her choose a gun and what kind of advice he gave her.

COPYRIGHT 1994 Publishers' Development Corporation
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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