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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

“We don’t have to feel like prey”

Fair play to the Guardian for running (sorry) this article, which will have gone against the preconceptions of many of its readers:

‘We don’t have to feel like prey’: the female joggers running with guns

Jamie, a 40-year-old runner who prefers to withhold her last name for privacy, says, “Women who carry while running are not monolithic, but we are often characterized as such in the media. We are characterized as right-wing, aggressive, backwards-thinking, and ignorant of the risks of gun ownership. I am none of these. I am educated, politically moderate, and sane.”

Jamie goes on to describe her own experiences. “I was followed around a popular lake trail by a man who exposed himself to me … about a half mile later, I heard steps behind me and it was him.” It was getting dark, and Jamie realized she was alone with the man, who she assumed was strong enough to overpower her. He came closer and closer, ignoring her entreaties to leave her alone, and backed her into some trees. Finally, “I put my hand on my [up until then concealed] pistol like I was about to draw and I told him to get away from me.” Suddenly, Jamie’s aggressor completely changed his demeanor, telling her to, “stay safe”, and running away.

21 comments to “We don’t have to feel like prey”

  • Exasperated

    The great equalizer. In the days when people could debate topics on radio talk shows, many of the pro 2A callers were women who worked second shift in urban areas.

  • 2A. Keeping American society polite since 1776.

  • Deep Lurker

    My gloss on “An armed society is a polite society” is “It isn’t an armed society unless the old men and young women are armed too.”

    And there’s an old quote in my files (From the Steve Jackson Games BBS, prior to the Secret Service raid):

    Ever notice that the rise of the status of women in western culture parallels the rise in efficiency and accessibility of personal firearms?

    Finally, there’s an argument that the availability of small cheap handguns gave traction to the women’s suffrage movement. Socially, this allowed women to move from “Childlike beings who needed a man’s protection” to “Big girls who could take care of themselves.”

  • Steven R

    Too bad she didn’t just kill him right then and there. He’s still out there to attack some other woman.

  • bobby b

    But, he didn’t actually attack her. He sounds weird, and intrusive, but you don’t shoot someone for that.

    She did it right. She brandished. She showed him her power. That’s usually all you need to do.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Some years ago, near here just outside Chicago, a would-be rapist ended up on the wrong end of a woman’s concealed handgun. The intended victim said afterwards “Nobody rapes a .38.”

  • Plamus

    This morning I saw a video about a series of armed robberies in a neighborhood about a mile from where our office is. All kinds of resident are shocked that this can be happening to them. Someone commented “How about arm yourselves? A robber isn’t looking for a fight; he is looking for a victim.”

  • Steven R

    “He came closer and closer, ignoring her entreaties to leave her alone, and backed her into some trees.”

    “I was in fear for my life at that point.”

  • Steven R

    Also, the story title alone makes me weep for humanity: ”

    For US women who run, fear of assault is shockingly common – but the solution remains unclear”

    It’s not that hard. Put rapists in prison or in the ground. Get good training, not just the basic NRA CCW course. Practice at the range regularly.

    And vote in good district attorneys who don’t catch and release violent criminals, like so many in America’s large cities tend to do.

    Problem solved, problem staying solved.

  • Ever notice that the rise of the status of women in western culture parallels the rise in efficiency and accessibility of personal firearms? (Deep Lurker, September 23, 2022 at 3:38 pm)

    As regards the very start of the western culture’s change from its past and from typical others, the cult of chivalry begins (in its Atlantic-bordering homelands) well before the year 1200, and William the Breton’s part of ‘The Romance of the Rose’ (in which all the action takes place within the heroine’s mind) was begun in 1230. Cannon appear after 1300, and portable firearms (that did not require non-trivial upper body strength to carry and use) in the 1600s if not 1700s. Handguns, when they arrive, matter greatly, but some centuries of slow yet relevant western social evolution had already occurred.

  • John

    It certainly goes against my preconceptions of the guardians default position that victims of mugging/home invasion etc should do nothing which might harm the perpetrator.

    Maybe potential rape is the Rubicon.

    However later in the article normal service is resumed:-

    Taylor advocates for people doing whatever works for them, but, “in general I’m in favor of using things you have on you all the time, such as your voice, brain, elbows, feet and hands. Weapons as weapons can be picked up and used against us, whereas your hands, feet and voice can’t … I also know people who were relying on a weapon and in the moment, couldn’t get to that weapon.”
    ………….…..NCVS data evidence that guns used in self-defense don’t reduce a victim’s likelihood of injury.

    I suggest that not using a gun in self-defence will almost certainly increase a victims likelihood of injury (plus I’m a nasty bugger who doesn’t give a **** about what happens to the attacker).

  • Steven R

    Regardless of what TV and movies and Girl Power!!! advocates tell us, physics is not trumped by feelings. A rapist who has 100 pounds and an extra foot on his victim still has the mass and reach and while some girl might get in a lucky shot with a fist to the wedding tackle or a claw to the eyes, I dare say most wont.

  • Exasperated

    Yes, Steven R, you are right to point this out. Media and entertainment have done women a huge disservice by perpetuating the illusion that any average woman can overpower even a small frail man.
    These women take risks that women a generation ago would know better than to take. Years ago self defense experts advised women to avoid risky environments and wear shoes you can run in. Sorry, it makes me crazy to see women confront dinosaurs wearing pencil skirts and stilettos.

  • NCVS data evidence that guns used in self-defense don’t reduce a victim’s likelihood of injury.

    It’s an interesting example of how, even when a Grauniad writer tries to escape the constraints of their narrative, false facts the narrative has fed them drag them back. Since before Bellisles, opponents of the 2nd amendment have generated fake history and fake stats. One cause was mentioned by Larry Correia in November 2014.

    In ten years of studying violent encounters and learning everything I could about every shooting I could, I never once found a newspaper article that got all the facts right. Usually they weren’t even close. In that same time period I offered free training in Use of Force to reporters or detractors, and never once had any of them take me up on it.

    As for the stats, well ‘Guns and Self-Defense’ (Robert and Sim Waters) describes 23 self-defense uses of guns by ordinary citizens.

    Only one of these twenty-three incidents made it to the national media, it was one of two in the book that involved armed citizens coming to the aid of police officers who were being beaten to death by a crazed criminal. (Review of Waters’ book.)

    Understandable therefore that the Graniad writer has not heard of the others, let alone thought that

    Looking at the other twenty-one stories, it’s easy to see patterns that might be of use to the average citizen contemplating self-defense or to those involved in the gun control debate.

    And if one book of examples are not enough for the Grauniad, well there are more – and evidence of their being undercounted.

  • Exasperated (September 24, 2022 at 6:21 pm) while it’s true films and TV have an agenda against reality, mere entertainment accounts for much – and so also protects many from idiocy because they know it is entertainment. I’ve seen many a James Bond film in my life. Range practice has made me more aware that I cannot shoot as accurately as 007, but I would have suspected it without. Sometimes the recent Jane Bonds are even more unrealistic (grant that at other times it’s a real contest), but I suspect many women know these creatures are not them. Authorities in Rotherham suppressed the short film they’d (finally!!) got round to creating, warning girls against grooming, because it was islamophobic – replacing it with one warning against a more acceptable hate-object villain. That kind of thing does more to endanger girls than ‘superwomen’ action movies.

    THAT SAID, I have personally witnessed a target of DIE training teaching his own daughter that yes, these pictures of what girls can do are realistic and it is prejudice to question it, then defending themselves by saying it would be so wrong of him to “teach their daughter there was anything she couldn’t do”. It’s very true there are things you can do because you don’t know you can’t – from the 1930s and earlier, many a female athlete has said her father’s belief in her made a huge difference – but that’s not the only side on which mistakes can be made.

  • Steven R

    There is a huge difference between encouraging one’s children to succeed and telling them they can do the physically impossible just because they can put their mind to it. Why some parents don’t see the difference is beyond me.

  • bobby b

    Interesting parenting technique. Don’t ever tell your daughter that she might be limited in any way – and let her bear the brunt of your negligent advice when she puts herself in positions that daughters just can’t handle as well as can sons. That way she won’t associate the pain with you! It won’t be your fault! She’ll still love you!

    But you’ll have failed her.

  • bobby b

    No one in the history of firearms calls the police to report that they drew their weapon to scare away threatening people. You’re just happy the incident ended. Why call the cops simply to initiate an investigation into . . . you?

    So, yeah, there might be some underreporting.

    And even with that, the numbers are telling.

  • Paul Marks

    Over the lifetime of my father, born in 1913, the British attitude to firearms totally changed.

    It went from it being the right, and the duty, of every free person (the view in 1913 – when the British National Rifle Association was much bigger than the American one) – to being something that some people did and some did not (basically the view from the 1920s to the 1960s) to being something terrible and “American” (this being considered bad by definition).

    London had a much lower murder rate than New York in 1913 – even though it was New York (not London) that had “Gun Control” (the Sullivan Act). But I doubt that more than one in a hundred British people know this. The fact that their ancestors owned weapons and considered it the basic mark of a “freeman” (as it is both in Classical custom, Ancient Greece and Republican Rome, and Germanic law) has been shoved down the Memory Hole. And nor is it just a matter of firearms – there is now a massive campaign against knives, in my own lifetime carrying a knife was considered quite normal (including by boy scouts) – now it is considered an outrage, something that only a beast would do. Again, it is not just customs that have changed – it is memories. If I were to say that I carried a knife as a child, it would now be assumed that I was a criminal – the memory of what society used to be like has been changed.

    Has the murder rate dropped? I suspect it has not – but I am open to correction on this matter.

  • Steven R

    If the murder rate has dropped it is because so many people who were doomed to die in 1913 would easily be kept alive in 2022 thanks to modern medicine.

    When I was in woodshop in jr. high school (way back in the ancient past of 1988), our shop teacher would occasionally ask to see our pocket knives in class. Woe betide any boy who could not produce a knife for his grade was dinged. Fast forward a generation and that same junior high student would be arrested for possession of a weapon on campus.

    The hoplophobes have certainly changed the attitudes of the civilized world in regards to free men carrying weapons in public. Thankfully, it seems that they are losing ground in floyover country, at least, with the number of states with Constitutional Carry laws on the books and a handful of 2nd Amendment cases coming out of the Supreme Court.

    Personally, I’m a fan of the carry what you want, where you want, when you want, how you want until such time as you demonstration through action that you cannot be trusted to responsibly exercise your right, after which you will spend a significant amount of time in one of this nation’s fine correctional or mental health facilities. The only people who shouldn’t be trusted with firearms should be convicted felon (we’ll save s, those adjudicated as mentally incapable of understanding right from wrong. (I’ll leave the arguments about convicted felons having their rights restored at the completion of their sentence and the Soviet abuse of the mental health system to oppress dissidents for another time).

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