Packing Heat and Trusting Providence: Why I Own a Handgun
It's not every Christmas morning you wake up with a Bersa .380 in your Christmas stocking.
The story started on an isolated stretch of road, escalated into flagging down a police car, and resolved with more calls to the police and their surprise visit at the home of a very dirty old man. The handgun was the epilogue.
But this post isn't about guns as much as it is about how Christian women should think and act in matters of self-defense given the realities of today. For the record, I'm for gun control, but that term includes greatly divergent types of control that are not the purpose of this post to address.
I run 35 to 40 miles a week. Living as I do in a rural area, those miles are on roads of varying degrees of inhabitation. I live in a low crime area—but all the more reason to resist the lull of a false sense of security, especially when being a woman alone is enough to make one vulnerable, always. So I spend a fair amount of time during those miles being wary, vigilant, and proactive with self-defense strategies.
The first trouble I had, years ago when I lived in another state with more crime, was a flasher who parked on my road in the early mornings, awaiting my daily runs. He would keep far away, face me to, um, service himself, then get in his car and speed off before I was close enough to read his license plate. Teamwork with a neighbor, however, resulted in identification, a house call by the police, and an end to his shenanigans.
The incident that birthed the Bersa started with a truck pulling up beside me and the driver asking me if I "wanted a ride." It's surprising how many such offers one encounters when one is out running. (Note: if you see me running along the road in running shoes and running shorts, rest assured, I do not want a ride. Besides, I'm dying to know: has anyone ever really gotten lucky with such an offer?) When the truck turned around and passed me again, I successfully used what was then the first strategy of my self-defense plan (which I can't disclose publicly without rendering it useless).This was before I was in the habit of taking a cell phone with me (the purpose of such runs being, after all, the sense of lightness and disconnectivity), but miraculously, when I got out on the main road, a police car drove by and I flagged it down. Even so, it took one more encounter with the man before the police were able to put an end to it.
That's when my husband bought me the handgun.