America’s 1st Freedom | Self-defense: a women’s movement

SShortly after her 21st birthday, new mother Jessica Royal (then Cothon) got her Concealed Transport License (CCW) in Nashville, Tenn. She prayed that she would never have to pull a trigger to defend her life. But after enduring years of abuse from her partner, including being beaten to death, strangled to the verge of unconsciousness, and even set on fire, this frightening moment came two days after Christmas in 2013.

It was a freezing but indescribable night that opened a new chapter in Jessica’s so far traumatic young life.

“That night he decided to kill me,” Jessica recalled, speaking in staccato as she remembered her hands clasped around her neck, the fuzzy room, and her life parading past her. eyes, while her three young children slept nearby.

Despite the fog that surrounds the painful memory, certain moments remain crystal clear. Jessica, then 29, yelled at her mother to call 911. But she knew it would take several minutes for law enforcement to arrive, and she saw something more deadly in her eyes. addicted to her ex that night – something she had never seen before, even on those nights of relentless pain and abuse.

“And then something took hold of me. He was playing over and over again what my babies would do without me,” Jessica said. “I knew I had to fight with everything I had.”

Jessica tripped to her feet and grabbed her gun from a nearby drawer. As her ex’s bossy body rushed towards her, she pulled the trigger and a bullet went through the thigh of the man she once loved.

“It was like something out of the matrix; everything was floating, ”Jessica said. “I had gone into survival mode. It was his life or mine. And I chose mine.

Jessica’s assailant lost blood, still threatening to kill her as he lay injured on the hard floor. She was worried, but when the police finally arrived, they treated her with the utmost respect, like the victim she had long been. Today, Jessica does not regret her decision. There is no guilt, only immense appreciation for his new lease of life.

“My children gave me the strength to go through this ordeal, but what I tell other women is whether you have children or not, you are worth it. Your life is worth it, ”she said. “I am very happily remarried and pregnant with my fourth child, but I still have my portering license. And I still wear.

Jessica is not the only woman to have taken control of her life by arming herself.

MP Lauren Boebert

“I’m five feet and a hundred pounds, I need an equalizer to protect me from more powerful attackers.” —Congress Lauren Boebert (R)

Weeks earlier, on that same bleak December, some 500 miles away in Ohio, Marica Phipps fell naked in the snow – her body and soul crushed – after suffering another round of serious violence at the hands of of her former partner and the father of her young children. .

It had to be the last straw. Although she grew up in a strong family supporting the Second Amendment, Marica admitted that she had always felt somewhat intimidated by guns, until she realized that it might be her only hope. to stay alive long enough to watch her daughter grow up. After getting a CCW emergency license, Marica took classes, bought her first small gun, and breathed a sigh of relief.

“It is only when you have almost lost your life that you realize that you will do everything in your power to protect your life and the lives of your children,” she said. “But having a license comes with a huge responsibility, and I make sure that others [survivors] are comfortable at the beach first. As women we have to uplift each other.

And in the wake of cataclysmic 2020 – defined by a global health pandemic, protracted civil unrest, and an election in favor of pro-gun control politicians – it’s hardly surprising that there has been an increase in both arms sales and concealed transport permits nationwide.

According to FBI data, the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system received 39,695,315 background check requests throughout last year, up from 28,369,750 in 2019. Some of those checks involved people seeking concealed transport permits.

Meanwhile, a study by Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting estimates U.S. gun sales in October at 1.9 million units, a 65% jump from the previous year. Sales of single handguns increased 81% year over year, and sales of single long guns increased 48% from a year ago, according to the report; however, at least 17 states no longer publish specific information on concealed transport, as citizens of a growing number of states benefit from “unlicensed” or constitutional transport. So the real numbers are probably underestimated. The Crime Prevention Research Center (CCRP), a firearms and public safety research group, has also pointed out in previous reports that the number of women with concealed carry permits has increased by 207 % between 2012 and 2018.

The strangely controversial notion of a woman wearing emerged in the limelight earlier this year when Colorado MP Lauren Boebert (R) pledged to “wear her Glock to Congress,” noting that crime rates are high in Washington. increasing contingency of the American woman, committing to what she “refuses[s] waive his rights, especially his Second Amendment rights.

Ivonne Michaels, a 42-year-old longtime gun fan, agreed with Boebert. “It’s all about safety,” she said. “I saw several friends buy guns and acquire their licenses. The indoor range we frequent has expanded their ladies-only classes. Despite what Hollywood and modern feminists tell us, we still feel vulnerable, so protecting ourselves and our families is a priority. Especially since “spend the police” policies started to take off in some cities. “

The most recent available research, conducted by Pew in 2017, shows that women are more likely than their male counterparts to cite protection rather than recreation as the main reason for owning a gun – 27% of women indicated safety as the main reason to buy. a gun, while only 8% of men cited this as justification.

In addition, the CPRC has documented a 34% increase in the demand for concealed transport over the past four years.

“The demand is so high that it has overwhelmed many jurisdictions this year, resulting in queues,” noted the November 2020 report from the CPrC. “Permits for women and minorities continue to increase at a much faster rate than for men or whites.”

Amanda Hardin, CEO and lead trainer at Lipstick Tactical, also believes the increased interest in women getting permits stems from a desire to protect themselves.

women shooting distance

“Some women have been victimized. Others just want to have an extra layer of protection so that they can defend themselves by any means necessary, should it become necessary, ”she said. “I have personally had three incidents where I was aggressively approached by a man and worried about having to defend myself, but all three times the event ended without escalation. This is another important thing about learning to carry: learning to defuse a situation. ”

But Amanda has some fervent advice for newcomers. “Train well beyond the demands of your state. Owning a firearm, having a valid concealed carry permit and knowing how to shoot safely on a controlled range from a ready-to-use position has nothing to do with shooting in a close-range self-defense situation, ”he said. she declared. “Find a course that focuses specifically on handgun self-defense and take it, then practice. Be ready.”

This view is also taken by Allyson Hottinger, an Arkansas-based domestic violence survivor and advocate, who urges other survivors to get their concealed transport permits if they are comfortable, and then to train continuously. so they can prepare for the worst.

In her case, after enduring years of horrific abuse, a police detective urged the frightened mother to wear hidden clothes.

“Many survivors, like me, have our homes set up as prisons: additional exterior lights, cameras, doorbell cameras… but in reality, if our attacker wants to kill us, there are no exterior precautions that will apply. Stop. him, ”Allyson said. “For me, making the decision to carry a weapon was not because I had in mind to kill my attacker, but it was because I had made the decision that if it was up to him or to me, I was no longer going to be a victim of his abuse.

In her personal experience, Allyson said years of prolonged abuse weakened her, but porterage gave her strength. On social networks, she made a point of stressing that she holds a concealed transport permit and that she has not heard from her attacker since. She is also a dedicated runner; thus, keeping a firearm only at home would not be enough.

“I am a great advocate for gun rights. It may not be an option for everyone, but for the majority of survivors it is, ”she said.

The rise in firearms licenses issued to women across the country has also reinvigorated a new female-friendly component of the firearms industry as a whole.

“I have a group of women at a local booth, and there are always only standing places. Once they find out they control the gun, feel the recoil and hit the target, they go home and talk to their friends about it and next time bring them with them, ”Dawn Hillyer said. , trainer and founder of the accessories line. “The other thing is that there is a camaraderie between the women who wear. There are groups and resources, people to answer questions, no bullying.

It was the Indiana native’s own scary brush with a stalker that sparked her first foray into the world of covert porterage several years ago, and she has never looked back. “I was a sitting duck. I finally decided it was time to stop curling up in the corner and take back control, ”said Dawn. “And it changed my life. I took it back.

Dawn also shed light on the relatively new phenomenon that women who wear no longer need to sacrifice their style for safety or risk the outline of their weapon sticking out of their clothing. The options these days are endless, from corsets, underwear, fanny packs and handbags, to hidden pockets in dresses, sweaters, jeans and boots. Options are available in almost any color, style, size, and price.

And there are other advantages as well.

“We love to shoot – distance therapy is real – and we’re not afraid to share photos, talk about guns and more. It’s becoming more and more normal with the help of social media, ”she said. “That there is an increase in the number of women who wear is an understatement. It’s more like a women’s movement.