A few weeks ago, I mentioned participating in a BERETTA speaker panel at the USCCA Concealed Carry Expo, as part of the APX A1 Carry launch. If you weren’t there, the panel was recorded and will be available to watch in full tomorrow (I’ll share!). In the meantime, I’m really excited to be able to show you this clip from it, because it covers two key concepts that I’ve hammered on over and over again here at On Her Own:
Part of preparing to defend yourself isn’t just about buying the tools and learning the skills. You also need to think now about what actions you are willing to take defend yourself against an attacker. If you are choosing a lethal force option like a gun or a knife or even a kubaton, you need to get okay with the idea that you might kill someone in the course of stopping them from trying to kill or seriously harm you. If you aren’t okay with that idea, or aren’t okay with it yet, knowing that today is better than figuring it out after you have to use one of those tools. If you believe at the moment that there is no world in which you are okay with hurting another human being, no matter how much they are trying to make you suffer, you need to be certain you don’t regret that stance in the middle of an attack and find yourself with no ability to defend yourself. If you consider anathema the idea that someone could try to hurt you and you don’t fight back with everything that is possible, then you also need to be honest with yourself about whether what you have is enough to truly save you from that attacker.
Wherever you land on that spectrum of the level of force you’re willing to use, the amount of harm you’re willing to suffer or impose on someone else….it’s all okay. It’s up to you. The decision is yours. You owe no explanations. You owe no justifications. You’ll just want to make sure you are fully aware of the implications of your conclusion, and be sure that you can live – or die – with the consequences.
But oh, oh I hope you decide that your life is worth defending. That your life – yours, and yours alone – is worth fighting for. That it doesn’t matter whether you are or are not someone’s mother or daughter or sister or wife. That maybe you are and you want to be a continuing presence in the lives of your children, your parents, your siblings, your partners, your friends. Or that maybe you aren’t, and still, you want to be part of the continuing world and your own continuing story. That the value you place on yourself and your place is enough to be worth the battle. That you will not gently accept when another wants to cut short your opportunity, your potential, your life. That you will bring to bear all of the skills and all of the tools that you can to stand up and say, “not today, because tomorrow awaits me.”