I taught a women’s firearms class not long ago. At end of the day, one of the ladies came over to me to share some of her experiences and ask my advice. She was bothered and frustrated that some women at work had found out about her attending a training class. Her co-workers began to dig at her and ask questions. They ridiculed this student for having a gun, possessing a permit to carry and keeping a round in the chamber.
My student felt targeted and pressured and didn’t know how to answer or deal with the naysayers. She started to doubt her gun and carry choice. She wondered how she would be able to stand up for herself and handle the scrutiny of these women or any others who would belittle her for her choices.
Ask a Question
Granted, I don’t have all the solutions. However, I have been in these types of situations before. And I do have a few strategies that I tend to use when others attempt to back me into a corner because I choose to have a firearm for self-defense. One effective tactic I prefer is to turn the questions around on whoever is demeaning me. I simply and calmly ask the person, “Do you believe your life is valuable? Are you and your loved ones worth protecting?”
The person may want to start an argument about context, situation, intent or justification. I ask them to simply answer my questions — yes or no. To date, I have never had someone say, “NO, my life is not valuable” or “NO, my kids are not worth protecting.” And that’s the main idea here. Forget the what ifs or the hypotheticals; forget the gun or the knife or the attacker or the reason. Just answer the questions. Most folks will eventually acknowledge — and admit — that their lives are most certainly worthwhile.
Make a Statement
If the argument continues after that, I may turn the tables a little more. I’ll tell the cynic that ultimately, it’s my body and my choice. And I can use the method of self-defense and protection that I feel best works for me and my family. This tactic may not always work, but it certainly brings up a powerful point. It also usually strikes a chord. And often, the person will leave the discussion at that rather than attempt to dispute my remarks. Or, he or she will huff and sigh and mumble that it doesn’t work like that, but I’ll just repeat my thoughts and shrug my shoulders. My body … my choice.
Of course, when it all comes down to it, I don’t think anyone should have to defend their choices for self-defense. But this is the world we live in. And many people who disagree with you will get in your business … and in your face. I just remind gun owners that we likely won’t change the minds of those who are adamantly against us. So just remain calm and speak your truth. Maybe use some of their own phraseology now and then. And always be a good role model of the responsibly armed lifestyle.