Guns aren’t the solution…except when they are.

Opponents of firearms for effective self-defense tell others to run away from danger, to learn martial arts, or to “give the bad guy what he wants”. Not everyone can follow that advice…in fact, almost no one can. Least of all, the kind of people who are visibly vulnerable already, such as pregnant women or the elderly.

Cute and defenseless? Not so fast!

Ashley is a beautiful woman. She is currently three weeks away from delivering a child and one of the most fit looking expecting mothers I’ve seen. However fit and athletic she is, has little capability for hand-to-hand combat. It’s difficult to fight while carrying a heavy, fragile load within your own body.

Why might a woman like her have to fight? Pregnant women are easy prey for both human criminals and animal predators, especially dogs. They can’t fight effectively, nor can they flee quickly. Look up news headlines in your area and you will see examples of both kinds of attacks. Some women also face a threat from the future father who is not happy about having to support an unwanted child.

What factors mitigate the risks? Not starting trouble, avoiding known dangerous locations, having a spouse or another capable person available as a bodyguard. Knowledge of martial arts helps mostly through improved coordination for avoiding damage from accidental falls, blocking minor threats. Ashley gained only 15 pounds at three weeks from delivery. Another friend nearly doubled her body weight from 96 to 180, becoming bedridden the last couple of months of the pregnancy. Even though she had considerable martial arts skills, her personal safety depended mostly on her husband and on her own ability with pistol.

Keltec PF9 in a Comp-tac paddle holster is light and easy to carry.

Some people say that a pregnant person shouldn’t shoot because noise and lead exposure would harm the child. Compared to falling prey to a dog or getting beaten or gang-raped, the damage from almost non-existent exposure to lead is negligible. Lead-free primers and fully jacketed or lead-free bullets are available, but even with the most conventional cartridges, the exposure from firing several rounds in a defensive situation is close to zero. Likewise with the noise: the amniotic fluid around the fetus attenuates noise very effectively, which is why many ear muffs are filled with liquid. The theoretical problems aren’t significant, while the security provided by being able to stop determined threats is worth having.

The weight of the pistol seems like a problem at first glance, but is it really? Ashley, one of the most efficient pregnant women I’ve seen, is carrying about 15 pounds extra, the equivalent of over half a dozen loaded full-size .45 pistols. One more compact handgun weighing a pound would hardly be noticed, provided a good holster is used. If the waistband doesn’t support a holster or the belly makes such carry uncomfortable, shoulder rigs are always an option. They add the advantage of easier draw when seated.  In short, if there’s a will to go armed for self-defense, there’s a way to wear the weapon comfortably.

Those who oppose armed self-defense won’t be happy. Even though pregnant women are almost unknown to become violent criminals, the prohibitionists are against anyone other than the special people — the high-ranking politicians — having the benefit of effective protection. But they shouldn’t dictate how the rest of us take care of our own lives.

vz58 is light, powerful, yet can be handles and fired with one hand if necessary.

While carrying a sidearms while pregnant isn’t a problem, getting trained is much better done in advance. If you plan on having kids, learn how to defend yourself and the child ahead of the actual pregnancy. Handguns work great for wearing full-time, at home long guns are substantially more effective in stopping intruders. Again, the much-maligned intermediate power defensive carbines (called “assault rifles” by our enemies) are a good choice: they have adequate performance without excessive weight or recoil, can be operated with one hand in a pinch.

Writer Julia Chochrane wrote about her experience with self-defense while pregnant:

I’m 5’2″ and after taking martial arts for 3 years (after being raped, as a way of preventing it happening again) I learned that a 5’2″ female martial artist is no match for a 6’2″ male martial artist, and other assorted real limitations of martial arts. So I got a gun and learned to shoot and got my concealed carry permit. And was damned glad to have that gun when a thug tried to follow me up the stairs into my apartment one afternoon when, due to a holiday, I was home early and the place was otherwise deserted. I didn’t have to actually draw on him, confronting him verbally got him to go away, but I was 7 months pregnant and it was a very near thing and as a result of my “delicate condition” martial arts wouldn’t have done me a damned bit of good.

I have no idea if I’d have been less confident in confronting him if I hadn’t known I had a gun concealed but in easy reach for a fast draw if needed. I’m “attracted to guns” because for a little tiny woman like me, my having a gun can mean the difference between my being raped and murdered, or my surviving an attack unscathed to go home to my family that night. Living through a rape was bad enough the first time. I don’t intend to let it happen again.

Gun control is advanced mainly by those who are rapists at heart. They want to force their will upon other people. That conforming to their dictates makes the rest of us more vulnerable to other forms of molestation, including sexual, not only doesn’t bother them, it’s the intended effect. Gun control is advanced by predators who do not care who is hurt by their restrictions or how much government force they have to use to enforce those restrictions. And if you think I am exaggerating, look at how much less time a convicted rapist would serve in New York City compared to a person who merely owns and peaceably carries a sidearm for self-defense there.

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38 Responses to Guns aren’t the solution…except when they are.

  1. Dave Willard says:

    At the core of the gun prohibitionist program is the demand for involuntary human sacrifice. They “love people”, but only in the abstract (i.e., as a group of victims) that they can use to advance their relentless assault on western civilization.

  2. Lisa Barnes says:

    As a 5’2″ woman who travels alone across state, and is on the road for 4 days to a week, I would feel foolish AND naked without my gun in the car and one concealed. I never thought about pregnant women and their vulnerabilities. Excellent article!!! I’m so glad the Well Armed Woman pointed us to it!

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  4. Rob says:

    That hoary old saying still applies: God* made people, Samuel Colt made them equal.

    *insert diety/process of your choice here.

  5. Adam says:

    Never considered the pregnant woman angle! Interesting read. Ashley looks stunning in the photos too!

  6. Matthew Keenan says:

    You forget the class of disabled persons. I was disabled after a medical accident. Not drunk driving or snow boarding. Negligence on the part of a local hospital disabled me for life…At least that is what they said after I woke up after a 2 1/2 month stint in a coma. I paid for my wife’s and my concealed weapons classes. She got hers, but because of Colorado’s funky new rules concerning persons who have been deemed “incapacitated”, I am still trying to get mine. May have to take the state to court. So much for the 2nd amendment for ALL people. They really narrowed it down in this Blue state! DO NOT MOVE HERE!

    • Horace says:

      I live in Colorado and have had a concealed carry permit for 10 years. After falling and breaking my L4 vertebra three months ago, my greatest fear is that they’ll take it from me and force me to pilot my Medicare electric scooter unarmed. Yeah, I wouldn’t move to Colorado again but it’s too late to leave.

      I seriously doubt that this sheriff will renew it when I show up in a wheelchair.

      • Paul Koning says:

        There’s a nice opportunity to make some liberals’ heads explode… bring an Americans with Disabilities act against those who would deny you the carry permit.
        Horace, another option might be to run against that sheriff if he turns you down.

        • Ted N says:

          Hadn’t heard of that chunk of their new laws.

          Disarming the disabled is disgusting, and damn them all to hell for trying it.

    • LarryArnold says:

      What on earth is the reason to deny someone like you? I’ve had several wheelchair folks in my Texas CHL classes, and they’ve all been exceptional.

      Not to speak of Trevor Baucom:

  7. Y. says:

    What about chemical weapons? Or stun batons and such?

    I’ve seen what a faceful of OC spray does, and it’s not pretty.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      OC works *sometimes*. It doesn’t always incapacitate, it can blow back to the defender, and aerosol canisters don’t work well in hot or very cold climates. Indoors, it’s almost certain to contaminate the defender as well. Some states restrict them anyway.

      Batons work *if* the defender is fit and coordinated and if the attacker is alone and untrained. Many states treat them as deadly weapons and regulate as much or more than guns.

      Guns allow engaging a threat from a standoff range. They are more effective and that’s why bodyguards and cops defend themselves and their clients with guns, not with pepper spray or sticks.

      • Y. says:

        Blow back in really stiff winds.
        And.. in very hot climates, it would actually work better, since the gas would eject the spray with more force.

        Maybe it wouldn’t work well in -40, if you left it out in the open. I tested what I use in winter, and it sprays out just fine.

        True about the legal restrictions, many countries treat it as guns.

        As to efficacy..Sometimes? It’s capsaicin, the only way it could not work would be if someone did not have nerves. Maybe it wouldn’t work on someone blissed out on some potent painkiller, however such people are usually stretched out an insensate..

        A tiny bit of capsaicin, such as they’d get from rubbing your eye with a finger that recently touched some spicy green peppers makes people break out in tears..

        I suspect the cases where it ‘did not work’ was simply where people, who probably use a form of OC that instead of spraying a cone spews out a stream of the stuff failed to get it into the eyes of the intended recipient.

        • Rob says:

          There are many people who can power through the effects of pepper spray. All it takes is will and determination. The stuff is an irritant, and doesn’t actually physically interfere with someone’s movement.

          Here’s a prime example:

          • Rob says:

            Here’s another guy. He’s a criminal justice student, not a descendant of the Vikings like the last guy was:


            Lots of these kind of clips on YouTube.

            • Y. says:

              Yeah. And in all of them I’ve seen they get a really brief spray, when they’re expecting it, of an unknown strength OC.

              a) no doubt they have their eyes closed, which only a really fast crim would manage if surprised

              b) they get a really brief spray

              c) try spraying some OC into a room and then breathing deeply. Not pleasant, is it? Actually inhaling it..

              For proper effect, you have to conceal the spray until the last moment and then spray into face from a small distance. Or have a really big can.

              It’s easier and less likely to be lethal than punching someone in the face.

              • Oleg Volk says:

                When deadly force is warranted, lethality is a bonus, not a bug.

                • No one says:

                  It’s not always warranted.

                  The mentally ill, drunks, etc – if you get attacked by those, lethal force should be the last resort, at least that ‘s what law says here.

              • Rob says:

                Did you even watch the first clip? It was of a combative person being confronted by police. They weren’t screwing around when they sprayed him. How is that scenario any different than what you might face in a self defense situation?

                Also, most OC sprays available to civilians aren’t large bottles (because they need to be small and easy to carry) and tend to be fairly weak compared to the stuff they sell to cops. There are very few companies that will sell full-strength OC sprays to non-cops, and you usually have to buy them over the internet at a premium.

                It just isn’t a good self-defense weapon except in a very narrow set of circumstances. Even cops use it more as a pain compliance tool than for genuine self defense; generally when their lives are on the line they go for their gun first.

                • No one says:

                  He didn’t get much of the gas, and it could’ve been expired.

                  Chemical weapons often degrade, for example US found hundreds or maybe thousands of tons of Iraqi chemical agents in artillery shells… but all of those have decayed to not useful state because of their age.

        • Lyle says:

          I’ve played with sprays, and it takes very little air movement in the wrong direction to get the “shooter”. In confined spaces they can get to just about anyone nearby. They’re very bad to rely on for self protection.

    • LarryArnold says:

      Also, whether you are using a baton, a “stun” baton, or pepper spray they all offer far less deterrence than even a small handgun. Pull a baton or stun gun and even a common street thug will make you prove you can stop him.

      A handgun sends a much stronger message, and is much more effective if you have to use it, which is why firearms work so much better for self-defense.

      “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

      • Y. says:

        Well, just trying to play devil’s advocate, since this blog often has very high levels of agreement and I find unsatisfactory..

        • Ted N says:

          So, show of hands who would rather get shot by anything than whacked by a baton?

          Any takers? 😀

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  9. Old NFO says:

    Well said, and VERY realistic answers, especially from the young lady about physical differences…

  10. Allen C Smith says:

    Being in the womb is only good for about 10 dB of attenuation, so there is some potential for hearing damage. One should probably avoid any significant range time during that period. Pregnant female LEOs are advised to do the minimum necessary to maintain qualification for this reason. Otherwise, you are spot on – the risks to the baby are negligible compared to the possible consequences of a violent attack.

    • Mark says:

      Hence the need for a suppressor. They are safety devices, not the mythical sure shot murder devices the media, hollywood and the .GOV would like us to believe.

      • Oleg Volk says:

        I agree. Suppressors do add some length, but they are hollow and usually fairly light. At least within a home, they are quite practical.

  11. thebronze says:

    Excellent piece, Oleg!

  12. LarryArnold says:

    One of my female CHL students said, “Being pregnant is carrying a hostage” in the sense that giving up is no longer an option.

    The folks who believe you should just retreat from an attack unfortunately don’t understand criminals. You really think a competent rapist or robber is going to set up a situation where it’s “your money or run away?”

    And giving a rapist “what he wants” is a really bad idea for a number of reasons.

    Carried to extreme we have the pre 9-11 philosophy of “If he wants the airplane, give him the airplane, otherwise someone might get hurt.” No one buys that any more.

  13. Dave says:

    Sooo…let me jump into the OC conversation. I am a certified OC instructor, have been for some time, and as such I have been sprayed multiple times. It is a requirement that before being certified as an instructor, that you experience the effects of being sprayed. I have also been a police officer and have personally used OC “on the street,” and have witnessed its strengths and weakness in the real world.

    Is it painful? Yes. Is it a guaranteed fight-stopper? No. Not by the longest shot. It is a FACT that different people have different reactions to the spray, from total incapacitation to completely unaffected (even though they all do indeed have nerves). It is a FACT that a determined aggressor can fight through the effects of OC. We were required to do exactly that after being sprayed during instructor certification. I have done it, and a bad guy who wants to hurt you can, too.

    Is it a useful tool? Yes. I have some, and I carry it. Is it a replacement for a gun? Absolutely not…so I also carry a gun. I would not trust my life to OC unless I had no other options.

    OC spray while useful, has many limitations. If that’s all you can carry, fine…it’s more effective than a harsh scolding…but as Oleg said, when lethal force is warranted, there is no substitute for a gun and the training to use it.

  14. Matthew Carberry says:

    No one,

    Even where you are I would bet that the law on use of force in self-defense has no drunk or mentally challenged exceptions. If force is used against you you have the right to reply in kind, even lethally, pursuent to the law. You aren’t required to run a field sobriety test or psychoanalyze your attacker first. That said, lethal force is pretty much always the “last resort” by law everywhere, due to proportionality. It almost goes without saying.

    • Paul Koning says:

      Exactly. When in a self defense situation, how can you know whether the attacker is a nutcase? You can only defend yourself with force sufficient to the occasion. In a civilized place, that includes lethal force whenever a reasonable person in that situation would have a fear for her life or limb. (For example, having your head bashed against the pavement.)
      So what is this “last resort” or “proportionality” stuff? That’s not how the law reads. There are bound to be limitations on what sort of force is allowed when, for example in NH where deadly force is authorized to defend yourself or a third party against deadly force, rape, or arson.
      Then again, “last resort” might be words used to argue a duty to retreat. In more civilized states, there is no such duty. In somewhat less civilized states, there may be a duty but muted; for example NH specifies a duty to retreat, when outside the home, only if you know you can do so “with complete safety”.
      Then again, some (like L. Neil Smith) have made the argument that aggression by force is qualitatively different and authorizes defense by force including lethal force. There’s something to be said for that. I can’t really see a good reason why a burglar should be exempted from the risk of encountering deadly force.

  15. Lyle says:

    “Gun control is advanced mainly by those who are rapists at heart. They want to force their will upon other people.”

    You have a perfect understanding of the issue, which allows one to cut through all the myriad distractions and make the point.

  16. Will says:

    The only thing that can “expire” in pepper spray is the propellant gas.

    One of the problems with all these defensive items, like batons, sprays, and stun guns/Tasers, is that due to the perceived “less than lethal” effects, they get misused a lot, even by the cops. This brings about lots of laws restricting their carry/use.

    The way the law looks at this is that if you are threatened enough to use them, you are allowed to use a gun anyway. Any less of a situation leads the user to be arrested, typically. You would think they would occupy a middle ground, but they don’t, legally, for the most part.

    • Paul Koning says:

      Are they restricted because they are abused? I wonder. Massachusetts restricts almost everything, and as far as I can tell, the reason is that they want to restrict things and prevent self defense — not because there is a justifyable reason for the restriction. (Not even if you ignore the fact that the 2nd amendment prohibits justifyable restrictions.)

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