On September 3, Lachelle Hudgins wounded a robber who had attempted to steal her purse. While the mainstream media pan the attack as an overreaction to an attempted purse-snatching, Hudgins, who was there, saw it differently.
According to the video recorded by a local ABC reporter, five attackers approached her car in the wee hours of the morning. How was she to know the attack would end with only a stolen purse? “With so many men surrounding her car and trying to get in the car, she did the only thing she could think to do. She reached in her purse for her gun.” Hudgins said of the incident, “I saved my life.”
In all the current hysteria to “buy back” (translation: “confiscate”) guns, we should not overlook this question: Should women be permitted to protect their own bodies? Or should they be forced to passively endure an attack until an authorized protector from the government can ride to their rescue?
I can reasonably assume Ronnie Preyer’s opinion: He’s against women being armed. Or he would be if this serial rapist wasn’t shot to death by a Cape Girardeau woman fighting to protect her body from his attack. After Preyer raped her the first time, she dutifully called the police. A few days later, he returned to attack her a second time. This time, instead of a phone, she used a gun to protect herself.
Ricky Wright would likely join calls for sensible gun control after being shot in the face by Michelle Booker when he attempted to steal her car and drive off with her children inside. Justin Martin, were he alive, would also likely join the chorus for gun control, after being shot trying to invade the home of an 18-year-old woman with her new baby. Go mama bear! A 70-year-old grandmother in Philadelphia created yet another gun-control advocate when she wounded a 43-year-old home invader trying to, well, thank heavens we don’t know what.
Often overlooked in the gun control issue is that laws intended to disarm male attackers also reduce the choices women have for self-protection. It might make sense for some gun control advocates to carry pepper spray or remain in the company of a protective male. But for some women who wish to live independently, the option of a firearm offsets the overwhelming physical superiority of a potential attacker. It’s her body. Shouldn’t she have the right to choose how best to protect it?
“No!” says the National Women’s Law Center. The solution may be found in “robust public policies” to keep guns out of the hands of people who have demonstrated their capacity to harm others.” Yet Preyer’s victim did exactly that, reporting his violent rape of her days before he returned to do it again. Unfortunately, “robust public policies” keep guns out of the hands of victims, leaving them to attempt fending off attackers with nothing but a cell phone and soaring social justice rhetoric.
Ah, but what about “common sense” gun restrictions? Consider Vermont’s well-intentioned laws that will actually make women more defenseless in the face of their attackers. Among other things, it bans women under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm to keep in their purses. That should make good common sense to predators who prefer victims under the age of 21.
California, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Hawaii, parts of Chicago, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York have all restricted the magazines women can use in their handguns to 10 or fewer rounds. Why would anyone need more than 10 rounds to defend themselves? Because, as a study shows, when a trained police officer fires at a suspect at close range, he has a 15 percent chance of hitting his target.
This is the reason police have gradually trended away from the big Dirty Harry-style guns with high-powered rounds in favor of the high-capacity but lighter 9mm weapons. Why? To be effective, the weapon needs to hit its target. In the heat of the moment, the police prefer to have a margin of error.
So if a police officer needs to stop a bad guy with lethal force, how many shots does he need to expend before he has a reasonable chance of actually hitting a single assailant? A 9mm Glock used by a large number of police departments carries up to 19 rounds. If police officers were sent into service with only 10 rounds in their handguns, they would only have 10 chances at 15 percent to even hit an assailant.
Reload? Not at six feet away, a distance at which most of these conflicts take place. Remember the scene in “Pulp Fiction” in which two mob hitmen forget to check a back room for a potential threat. A panicky assailant pops out and empties a giant .44 revolver in their direction. Stunned, they realize that every single round missed both of them in spite of the shooter being within ten feet. One hitman credits divine intervention. The other chalks it up to a crazy fluke.
Yet this scene would not have required divine intervention. If a trained police officer has a 15 percent chance of hitting a person at six feet, it’s very plausible that a less-experienced civilian could miss six consecutive shots at that same range. Remember Hudgins? She had only two rounds in her firearm to fend off five attackers. Had the attackers been even slightly more persistent, she would have needed a full clip of at least 11 rounds to have a fighting chance to escape.
Consider another point. There have been several instances in American history in which a community has descended into anarchy. Sometimes it’s the result of a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Other times, a vengeful mob takes to the street to spread destruction. Think the Los Angeles riots after Rodney King’s attackers were acquitted.
Remember the images of the Korean store owners protecting their shops with guns? If that were to happen in your city, how many rounds would you need in your magazine to credibly deter a mob from laying waste to your property or visiting bodily harm on you or your loved ones?
Finally, how many rounds would your wife, mother, or sister need if she were home with the baby when two attackers broke through the front door? In my humble opinion, the answer to that question, whether it’s 12 rounds or 19, defines the constitutional right. You know, the right about arming bears—mama bears.