Not long ago, I was in a taxi with several female friends who are pro-Second Amendment. Our cab driver was friendly and laughing and started making some light conversation with us. But the laid-back atmosphere suddenly changed when one of the ladies shared a small piece of terrible trauma that occurred in her life. She then ended her testimony by saying she wished she could have shot her attacker … in the face.
I squirmed uncomfortably, not sure what to do or say. For one thing, I wanted to address the speaker and work through the idea of wishing to shoot someone. That’s not an OK thing. That’s not what the responsibly armed are all about! For another, I felt very odd about the stranger among us, who was now noticeably quiet and distant after hearing the details of the conversation. The ride was relatively short, so I decided to keep my mouth shut. But it disturbed and disheartened me when we got ready to exit and the driver casually and cautiously mentioned to me, “Man, I would never want to make that lady mad!”
I detest that kind of statement. I’ve heard it spoken so many times when people learn that someone — usually a woman — has a firearm for self-protection. Non-gun-owners automatically throw out that supposedly funny comment — they would hate to make a female with a firearm upset. Why? A lady with a gun can’t be trusted? Or a woman with a gun has a temper (or is just too emotional) and will wave that gun around, make idle threats or use her firearm for no good reason? Or perhaps they think a woman with a gun is a loose cannon, mentally disturbed and lacking good judgment?
Ludicrous. And this is exactly the kind of terrible misunderstanding and misrepresentation that 2A supporters are trying to erase.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to use my gun in self-defense. Ever. I don’t want to find myself in a situation in which I have to use deadly force. Of course, bad things can happen to anyone at any time, and the fact that evil exists in the world is one reason I train with a gun. But it’s still something I treat as a last resort — the final option if I need to protect myself or the life of someone I love. And that’s exactly what we teach as defensive firearms instructors and what the USCCA believes and supports.
Granted, I am certain that this Second Amendment advocate was just verbally expressing the immense humiliation and terrible pain she experienced when she was brutally attacked and raped. But responsibly armed gun owners must be cautious of how we share this kind of fear or trauma. Anti-gun folks already dislike and distrust us. We don’t need to give them any “ammunition” to use against us so they can claim that we would jump at the chance to use our guns or that we have the desire to hurt other people. They’ll spin that out of control!
The fact of the matter is: We want to be ready to face danger, and we desire to protect life. And that’s the kind of statement we need to send to people … even random taxi drivers. Gun owners are not scary. And we’re not scared either! We are regular, ordinary people who seek to be trained, confident, responsible and prepared! Let’s make sure we share that message everywhere we go.
About Beth Alcazar
Boasting several training certifications including TWAW, SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute and I.C.E. Training, Beth Alcazar is enthusiastic about safe and responsible firearms ownership. She has nearly two decades in the firearms industry and is a Certified Training Instructor and Senior Training Counselor for the USCCA and Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer and Certified Instructor for the NRA. The associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, Beth also uses her experience and degrees in language arts, education and communication management to author the Pacifiers & Peacemakers column as well as Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals.