The Cornered Cat

Glad you’re here. We need more women. I’m plotting a female take over of the world but it’s slow going because the boys have all the guns. — Barbara, on a firearms web forum

If you’re going to dry fire, you should always have on hand a can of paint the same color as the wall, and some spackle. — Jim Cirillo

Queen Victoria

“Only fast women shoot.”
~ Queen Victoria

Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you’ll hit the Bull’s-Eye of Success. ~ Ann Phoebe Mosey (Annie Oakley)

I’ve written a fair amount on firearms, and I’m usually careful to point out that a gun is morally neutral, as are knives, swords, sticks, stones, etc. How a person uses an object gives it a moral value for that act, and that act alone. An object just is. — Sunni Maravillosa

As a card-carrying member of the liberal media, producing this piece was an eye opening experience. I have to admit that I saw guns as inherently evil, violence begets violence, and so on. I have learned, however, that in trained hands, just the presence of a gun can be a real ‘man stopper.’ I am sorry that women have had to resort to this, but wishing it wasn’t so won’t make it any safer out there. — Jill Feldstein

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. — Marianne Williamson

Women are not inherently passive or peaceful. We’re not inherently anything but human. — Robin Morgan

Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness. — Erica Jong

Women are not the weak, frail little flowers that they are advertised. There has never been anything invented yet, including war, that a man would enter into, that a woman wouldn’t, too. –Will Rogers

Best quote I ever heard was from my wife when I presented her with a brand new Beretta Tomcat. She looked it over and then said, “I don’t want this. The hole in the end is not big enough. I want one with a big hole in the end.” — grampster on The High Road

I’m five foot two. Hunnert and twenty pounds. Carried a Colt 1991A1 without anyone but my hubbie knowing it was there. The Mother of invention may be necessity, but the Grandmama of concealed carry is a good imagination and sufficiently baggy clothing. — Elizabeth Petersen on The Firing Line

A person who sees an armed thug coming down the hallway toward him may desire a speedier means of relief than a call to the American Civil Liberties Union. — William F. Buckley, jr.

I have always believed that a true gentleman provides covering fire while a lady is reloading. Tamara


Lincoln Was Right

You may hit some of your targets most of the time
And hit most of your targets some of the time
But you can’t hit all of your targets every time all of the time.
No matter how great your skill and how hard you try,
Sooner or later you’ll let one go by.

~ poem written by Ad Topperwein
for his wife, Plinky Topperwein


You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it… You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

And the little girl had approached the bed no nearer than thirty feet when she pulled out a pistol and shot the wolf dead; for even in a cap and nightgown a wolf looks no more like your grandmother than Calvin Coolidge looks like the Metro-Goldwyn lion. Moral: Little girls are not so easy to fool nowadays as they used to be. — James Thurber

So the man (we are not making this up) shot the washer five times with a .25-caliber revolver. We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: ”What a MORON! Bullets that small are only going to annoy a major appliance, possibly causing it to go berserk and threaten innocent people!” Good point. We ourselves have seen a washing machine, with no provocation, shake its way violently halfway across a room. — Dave Barry

Nearly every woman I’ve interviewed says finding a suitable holster falls somewhere between challenging and impossible. — Gila Hayes

There’s nothing wrong with shooting so long as the right people get shot. — Dirty Harry Calahan

“God intended woman to be outside as well as men, and they do not know what they are missing when they stay cooped up in the house with a novel.”
~ Annie Oakley

There are precious few horror films that couldn’t be cut well short by a single loaded 12 ga and someone with the sense to use it. — K.R. Murphy

The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun. — P. G. Wodehouse

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. — Margaret Thatcher

Most women defend themselves. It is the female of the species — it is the tigress and lioness in you — which tends to defend when attacked. — Margaret Thatcher

The best protection any woman can have . . . is courage. — Elizabeth Cady Stanton

It’s not enough to be able to pick up a sword. You have to know which end to poke into the enemy. — Terry Pratchett

As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it you may hit somebody, and if you hit somebody – and he finds out about it – he may be very angry with you. — Jeff Cooper

Is there anything wrong with a woman preferring the dignity of an armed citizen? I don’t like to be coddled and I don’t like to be treated like a minor child. So I waive immunity and claim my right — I go armed. — “Longcourt Phyllis” in Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein

A gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable; it’s supposed to be comforting. — Clint Smith

Well, it’s true. I am fast. But I also can’t hit shit, especially when I’m shooting against real people. So I need all the bullets I can get. — “Bret Maverick” (James Garner)

It is, in fact, possible to be politically progressive and vigorously pro-gun, just as it is possible to be politically conservative and determinedly pro-choice. Yet most people, whether scholars or laypersons, like to equate gun owning with conservatism, and feminism with liberalism. The realities are far more complex. Gun owners, male and female, represent an array of political and social perspectives. So, of course, do feminists. — Mary Zeiss Stange and Carol K. Oyster

Most people think revolvers are easy to shoot and operate, and for some reason they think this is especially true for women shooters. This is simply not the case, regardless of the shooter’s gender. The trigger on most revolvers is longer and heavier than the majority of semi-autos. — Tiger McKee

We hear of an unfortunate woman who, during an nighttime asthma attack, confused the small handgun she kept under her pillow with an asthma inhaler and proceeded to relieve her symptoms. It was not a fatal mistake, partly because she used a .25 ACP, which everyone knows is not sufficient to clear sinuses. — Jeff Cooper


   My goal is to be a surprisingly aggressive little old lady. — Diane Walls


If I won’t protect myself, what right do I have to expect another person to risk his or her life for mine? — Sunni Maravillosa

I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand. — Susan B. Anthony

Don’t go stupid places. Don’t hang out with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things.John Farnam

Shooting someone intimidates him. The better you shoot him the more he is intimidated. — Walt Rauch

“I plinked it!” — Elizabeth Servanty (Plinky Topperwein)

Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths. — Lois Wyse

Powerlessness and silence go together. — Margaret Atwood

Who’s paranoid: the person who wants to be able to defend himself against the few bad apples in society, or the person who wants to render everybody harmless? — Marko Kloos

We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly. — Margaret Atwood

And always remember: It’s not the victim’s fault. If you’re attacked, it may be important for your future self protection to figure out what — if anything — you could have done to prevent it, but even if you find something you could have done better, the attack was not your fault. — Nancy Jane Moore

Some of life’s positive lessons are not learned in positive ways. — Steve Chaney

Mr. Jones, has it ever occurred to you, the world being what it is, that women sometimes prefer not to appear too bright? — “Ellie,” in Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein

I carried it (a revolver) religiously and during the summer I asked a friend, a man who had been one of Franklin’s bodyguards in New York State, to give me some practice in target shooting so that if the need arose I would know how to use the gun. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women? — Martin Luther

The pen may be stronger than the sword… but I’d rather have a sword in a dark alley. — Andrew Warnick

Waiting around for your prince is chancy — he might not ever show up. And even if he does, he might not be able to protect you. Even worse, the guy who can do the best job of taking care of you may not be the one who has your heart. Learn to take care of yourself. Then you can choose your prince on your own terms — or choose to do without one at all. — Nancy Jane Moore


  The vote, I thought, means nothing to women.
We should be armed. — Edna O’Brien


My own gun ownership seems matter-of-fact to me, as I am sure it does to most women. Do we marvel that we own and operate cars? Blenders? Roth IRAs? Of course not! — Peggy Tartaro

Women who own firearms come in all shapes and sizes, ages, and backgrounds. With the exception of those who grew up in active gun-owning families… it takes considerable effort to make the decision to be a gun owner, to acquire a firearm and learn to use it. Most of these women tell me that the hard part was not to learn to hold the gun, or to load it, fire it, or even clean it, but do decide to do all those things. Having made the decision, they are often left bewildered by the images of themselves in popular culture. — Peggy Tartaro

I’m secure enough in my self-esteem that I know I cannot handle a 150-pound guy coming at me, but I can handle a firearm to keep that man away from me. — Maria Heil

A criminal attack is always the fault of the attacker. The purpose of self defense is to limit your vulnerability to criminals, not to make you responsible for their bad actions. — Nancy Jane Moore

I am a rape survivor, and a rape attempt survivor. The difference is, the second time, I had a gun.

— Evelyn Logan

The most dangerous action a woman can take when faced with a criminal is to resist with her fists: That tends to annoy violent criminals, and the woman will very likely be seriously injured. But a woman who takes the advice of Handgun Control Inc. and passively submits is 2.5 times more likely to be injured than a woman who resists with a gun. So if you don’t want to lie back and enjoy it, get a gun. — Ann Coulter

Let us, for a moment, take the sex-education [proponents] at their word: If you teach a child how to use a condom, you’re promoting safety — not usage. why, then, doesn’t the same logic apply to guns? — Michelle Malkin

We live in a world where more and more women are unaccompanied at odd hours, or they are vulnerable in dangerous places — a world where restraining orders are often ineffective and the police cannot be counted upon to arrive in time, if at all. In such a world, women must be able to protect themselves. In terms of both deterrence and lethal force, guns are among the most effective tools available for self-defense. — Mary Zeiss Stange, “Guns, like abortion, are a matter of choice”, posted 5/5/04

The most important factor affecting how children deal with guns is how they are taught about them. A study of 675 Rochester, New York ninth and tenth graders contrasted children who had been socialized into gun use by their family with children who had been socialized into gun use by peers. For the children whose families had taught them about lawful gun use, the children were at no greater risk of becoming involved in crime, gangs, or drugs than children with no exposure to guns. But the children who were taught about guns by their peers were at high risk of all types of crime and improper behavior, including gun crime. — Alan J. Lizotte & James M. Tesoriero, “Patterns of Adolescent Firearms Ownership and Use,” (Albany: Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center, State University of New York, 1991), Rochester Youth Development Study, Working Paper no. 11.


   The thing to remember about women
is that they’re a lot smarter than men
and they don’t play fair. — Clint Eastwood


Self defense is the last frontier of feminism. And it is the solution — if one truly exists — to rape and other forms of violence against women. Politicizing women’s pain has been a costly diversion from the hard work that is necessary to make women safe. — Wendy McElroy

Without wanting to get into other areas, let’s acknowledge that the most people who believee that a 3- or 5-day national waiting period for firearms purchases is perfectly reasonable also oppose a 24-hour waiting period for abortions as a blatantly unconstitutional infringement of a constitutional right. The same people who support the absolute discretion of unelected officials to prevent an individual from purchasing, owning or carrying a firearm, knowing that the poor, women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and those holding unpopular political opinions are much more likely to denied than are others, also tend to support judicial intervention to assure that the free market doesn’t produce inferior educational or economic outcomes for these same people. The same people who proudly quote Martin Luther King, Jr, in asserting that “a right delayed is a right denied,” claim that waiting periods, one a month limits and other such laws are not an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms (even though they may deny such a right exists), but merely “reasonable” regulation. — Ken Maurer

This above all, to refuse to be a victim.

— Margaret Atwood

There is no argument: women should be able to walk down streets alone at night and be safe. Just as they should be able leave their apartments and car doors unlocked. Yet women who bolt their doors every night often refuse to learn self-defense because they don’t believe they should have to. Because they should be able to feel safe, they refuse to take steps that would so dramatically acknowledge how unsafe they truly are. — Wendy McElroy

While on the one hand, through current literature women are imbued with independence, equality, and power, on the other hand, no credence is ever given to the very real fact that women are, and always will be, physically unequal to men and therefore physically vulnerable…the fact is that even after being granted all the rights which she so richly deserves, a woman still has a woman’s anatomy. — Carolyn J. Hursch in The Trouble with Rape

Somewhere in America today, a woman is going to operate a doorknob, lock a deadbolt, operate an alarm remote, and operate a door handle. She will then operate an ignition switch and a seatbelt latch, manipulate clutch and gas and brake pedals while simultaneously rowing a gear selector and working a turn indicator switch. Arriving at her destination, she will manipulate all these controls again in reverse order, walk into the gun store, and be told by some bright spark with a barely-room-temperature IQ: “These automatic pistols have too many complicated controls on ’em, honey; whatchoo need’s a revolver.” Tamara

When I see trigger warnings, I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel protected. Instead, I am surprised there are still people who believe in safety and protection despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. – Roxane Gay, “The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion”, in Bad Feminist

I love sleeping in a cool room with warm blankets. I hate getting out from under those warm blankets and out into a cool room. Such is life – a series of leaving warm, comfortable places to do what you have to do.

– Melody Lauer

Growing stronger does not mean that you will become overbearing. In fact, strength gives you more options, because the stronger you are, the better able you are to scale force, or to de-escalate a confrontation instead of being forced to engage.It takes strength to be dominant (or domineering,which is not the same thing), but it also takes strength to be truly gentle and kind. – Anna Valdiserri in A Woman’s Toolkit for Recovery from Violence and Trauma

The only shooting metrics that matter are accuracy and speed. The standard is: You need to shoot faster and/or more accurately than you did yesterday. Tomorrow, you need to shoot faster and/or more accurately than you do today. – John Mosby

A real-life attack is not the same thing as training for such an event. Training prepares you for something and by definition cannot be the identical to the real thing. I though that was obvious, but apparently, it isn’t. Especially in the fighting arts, people seem to miss this point. Not so in other sports though. When was the last time you heard somebody claim line drills in football are useless because nobody plays football in a line like that? – Wim DeMeere

I am opposed to mandatory training of any kind. It’s just something else for the government to screw up and tax people for. However, if you use your gun improperly because you didn’t get professional training, you don’t want me sitting on your jury. – Jim Wilson

The way we traditionally conceive of ignorance—as an absence of knowledge—leads us to think of education as its natural antidote. But education, even when done skillfully, can produce illusory confidence. Here’s a particularly frightful example: Driver’s education courses, particularly those aimed at handling emergency maneuvers, tend to increase, rather than decrease, accident rates. They do so because training people to handle, say, snow and ice leaves them with the lasting impression that they’re permanent experts on the subject. In fact, their skills usually erode rapidly after they leave the course. And so, months or even decades later, they have confidence but little leftover competence when their wheels begin to spin. – Prof. David Dunning

If you get an “I-should-leave” feeling, then leave! Too many people tell themselves they’re imagining a threat. While possible, what’s the harm in leaving? Never doubt yourself! Of all the people in the world to trust, you should be first on your list. – Dave Spaulding

You would be surprised at the crap some people will pull while at gunpoint, particularly if they do not believe the gun-holder will actually shoot them. Also, remember that the people you place at gunpoint are almost always A. Drunk B. Drugged C. Crazy as a shit-house rat or D. All of the above. Expecting rational behavior is a mistake. If they were rational you probably wouldn’t be pointing a gun at them. – Tom Givens

The good news is that since firearms instruction has become a cottage industry, more instructors are available. The bad news is that since firearms instruction has become a cottage industry, more instructors are available. Caveat Emptor! – Denny Hansen

It’s all right to be afraid. You just don’t let it stop you from doing your job.

– Jim Butcher

If we’re attacked by someone on the street, we don’t simply shoot everybody on the street. We use defensive force judiciously, only against the person who is the aggressor attacking us, even under the threat of life threatening attack. We focus our use of force on the person who is attacking us. We don’t wildly shoot everyone on the street. In the same way, we can talk to police judiciously, using informed judgment even in the aftermath of a life threatening attack. – Andrew Branca

I challenge anyone to tell me that there isn’t evil in this world. From the days of Cain and Abel we know all too well there will always be evil. But that evil shouldn’t take away our freedoms. In fact, the only way to defeat evil is by taking advantage of our freedoms. – Taya Kyle

We have been trained to cry, to wheedle, to plead, to look for a male protector, but we have never been trained to fight and win. – Susan Brownmiller

One of the hardest things I do as a firearms and self defense trainer is convincing people that their lives are worth defending. Many students come to my classes with an attitude that displays an extreme lack of self worth. It’s hard for me to comprehend, but many people do not believe that their lives are worth more than the life of the criminal who attacks them. – Greg Ellifritz

As a petite woman, I realized that even with martial arts training, realistically, the only equalizing factor between me and an opponent much larger than myself would be a firearm, so I wanted the ability to actively and realistically participate in my own self-protection. – Amanda Collins

Carry your gun.It’s a lighter burden than regret.

If you don’t have your own pistol, you may have to wait the rest of your life for the police to bring theirs. – Tamara Keel

Every gun owner believes that his or her gun handling is safe, regardless of how good or bad that gun handling is. This is an example of illusory superiority, a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their positive qualities and abilities and to underestimate their negative qualities, relative to others. It’s also known as the Lake Wobegon effect, because none of us believe we are below average. — Karl Rehn

Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present, and the Heller Court held that individual self-defense is “the central component” of the Second Amendment right. – Justice Alito, writing for the majority in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025, 130 S.Ct. 3020 (2010)

Self-defense is not only our right; it is our duty. – Ronald Reagan

Look, I dunno how to tell you this, buster, but you just can’t go around shooting down light aircraft with a handgun. – Captain Mitchell of the Las Vegas PD in Rockford Files, season 1 episode 2

As much as I like the high-speed, low-drag, run-and-gun training opportunities, they will not make you a better shooter if you don’t have the basics under control. You’ll just be a poor shooter in a more dynamic fashion. – Steve Denney

Just as cars that “drive themselves” are currently unavailable, guns that are effective in the hands of the untrained and willfully incompetent exist only in the minds of the naive. – John Farnam

Resistance to violence is both a symptom of health and health inducing. Self-defense mastery has a strong empowerment effect on women including enhanced perceived control and coping, decrease perceived vulnerability to assault, reductions in negative thinking and anxiety about safety, decreased avoidance behavior, and most potent of all, increased freedom of action. – Rozee, P.D. & Koss, M.P. in “Rape: A century of resistance” in the Women’s Psychology Quarterly

Suppose one little old lady in ten carries a gun. Suppose that one in ten of those, if attacked by a mugger, succeeds in killing the mugger instead of being killed by him – or shooting herself in the foot. On average, the mugger is much more likely to win the encounter than the little old lady. But – also on average – every hundred muggings produces one dead mugger. At those odds, mugging is an unprofitable business – not many little old ladies carry enough money to justify one chance in a hundred of being killed getting it. The number of muggers declines drastically, not because they have all been killed but because they have, rationally, sought safer professions. – David Friedman

There is no substitute for competent firearms training and continuous practice. When you’ve never taken lessons, it is unlikely you’ll be able to suddenly sit down in front of a piano and make music, no matter how nice a piano it is! – John Farnam