Day by Day

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The other side of the du Toit family

Mrs. du Toit has written a damn fine essay regarding fear and gun ownership.

I never knew another way. I never knew there was any other option. I remember having scary moments like that with my mother—hearing a noise outside and cowering in fear, or holding the telephone, ready to dial 9-1-1. I remember putting a chair under the door handle of my apartment. I remember buying a baby’s toy, that rattled when it moved, and putting that by the door, too. It becomes normal, common, the way you deal with life. You don’t think about these things after they’ve happened. You just continue on, as if nothing happened. It just didn’t occur to me that all women didn’t go around dealing with all of this, but never actually thinking about it.

Until I became armed.

It happened, literally, the day I left the range for the first time. I knew how to fire my own gun. I knew how to defend myself—and was “equal” to the strength of any man with that gun. It didn’t matter that it was a small caliber. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t an expert marksman. I knew I had a better than fighting chance and it was a feeling I’d never had before.

Exactly. My girlfriend is one of the strongest women I know. We met in the SCA, and she has literally stood side by side with me, swinging a stick and fighting just as hard as I was. Female heavy fighters are few and far between. Fear to her is not a common occurance. I've seen her get tossed ass over teakettle, and then get right back up and into the fray. But as tough as she is, she knows that when it comes to physical strength, she's overmatched by many males. No amount of toughness or guts can save you when you're outweighed by 100 pounds or more and the person wants to do you harm.

The one thing that sets her apart from the majority of women in the Puget Sound area is the fact that she has the tools, and the knowledge to use them, in order to protect herself. She doesn't have to worry about where she goes, or at what time. She can protect herself from anyone who tries to hurt her. And the tool she uses to protect herself is a .38 Special revolver.

Having a Pit Bull mix dog who would chomp on anyone who attacks her doesn't hurt either.

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