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.
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.
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.
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.