Sunday, March 08, 2009

Self-defense my aching arse...

I was heartened when I saw the title to this story...

Women learn self-defense in honor of Sabrina Pina
Abductions prompt them to protect themselves

...but by the time I got to the end of said story I was thoroughly disgusted. Call it youthful optimism, or even a remnant of naivete, but I honestly thought there would have at least been a mention of carrying a gun and training oneself to use it in a high-stress situation as a backup plan. I was reminded of one of the items from Michael Z. Williamson's brilliant piece on what one has to believe in order to believe gun control works (emphasis mine -- ed.): "That NASA, the military, physiologists, anatomists and trainers all agree and Olympic scores confirm that men on average have tremendously more upper body strength than women, but women should try to defend themselves with martial arts and not a gun." And even if a woman is lucky enough to encounter an abductor with upper body strength equivalent to hers, from what I understand it still takes a good amount of time and training to master those martial arts — time one might not have. I saw that the aim of buying potential victims a few seconds was mentioned, and that's great — but I still think it would be better if said potential victims were taught to use those few seconds to their fullest advantage by drawing their firearm of choice, putting the sights of said firearm on their pursuer and giving said pursuer anywhere from 8 to 19 rounds of quality hollow-point ammunition in his center of mass if he did not cease and desist right that millisecond. (We're assuming, of course, that she empties the gun, but of course it might take only two or three rounds to stop him.) As for disarming one's attacker — are these people serious? It's bad enough to spread the malicious lie that "the attacker will only take your gun and shoot you with it," but to make these women think they would be able to disarm anyone who tried to abduct them is, well...there really are no words. "Wrong" just barely scratches the surface here. One of the commenters pretty much nailed it right on the nose:
"To me, it smacks of a martial arts school capitalizing on all the publicity over the Pina murder....In the span of a few hours, you can hold an introductory seminar about personal awareness. That's a good start, but that's ALL you can accomplish. To pretend that any woman learned self-defense of any kind in a brief, mass course like this is completely misleading and, perhaps worse, may have left some of the women with a false sense of security and capability."
Yep. How many of them will it not work for? And what are they going to do when they don't have a Plan B?

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