The Cornered Cat

Clearing the clutter out of my brain and tabs…

  • If you live in WA state, please vote — and please vote against 594. It’s a bad law. As it’s written, it would make felons out of most firearms instructors and their students. Pardon me for getting political here, but I just don’t think that’s a good thing and I’m not sure how I’m going to manage my training business should it pass.

(Edited to add: the irony of knowing that a lot of female not-too-serious gun owners are voting yes, which then makes it illegal for them to ask their husbands to clean their guns for them? That would be priceless if it weren’t so tragic.)

  • Good article at Reason about mass public shootings written by Grant Duwe, who has published multiple peer-reviewed studies of the subject: The Truth about Mass Public Shootings. Are public shootings really getting more common?
  • By now, probably everyone with an interest in self-protection has probably seen the video of the woman walking through NYC over a 10-hour time frame. Lots to think about on that one and maybe I’ll revisit it one of these days. Meanwhile, here are two things to think about.
    • First, for women: her decision to not acknowledge people or set verbal boundaries — that is, deciding that she would never look at the panhandlers or street hustlers and also never give them a firm, “NO” when they talked to her — seems to have a negative effect on quite a few of them. Some of them clearly regarded her ignoring them as a challenge that they needed to overcome, and that could have become a problem for her. Giving them a non-inviting level eye gaze that acknowledges their presence, an equally uninviting nod of acknowledgement when appropriate, and a brief verbal “No” or “Not interested” without breaking stride would go a long way toward getting those guys to back off without setting yourself up as a challenging conquest.
    • Second, for guys:  I’ve heard a lot of guys laughing about how she should have regarded the catcalls and personal remarks from strangers as compliments. One friend of mine pointed out that if a woman told him his butt looked nice, he’d be pleased all day! That may be true, but it’s not analogous. Guys, because of the size and strength disparity between men and women, a much closer analogy that might help you understand why (many) women feel so unhappy about these situations would be thinking about how it would make you feel if two or three very large and physically powerful biker dudes told you they like your butt as they crowded into your personal space. Maybe they mean it as a compliment in their world, but you a) are not interested in being sexually attractive to those particular people, and b) may quite reasonably feel physically threatened and lack full confidence about your ability to get away from these guys if they decide to grab you. You can work on your physical skills to improve your odds of surviving an assault from them, but the size and strength disparity will still be there regardless. So don’t be too quick to dismiss or minimalize some women’s discomfort and distress about situations like this on the street.
  • Brigid‘s book is out! The Book of Barkley talks about life and love through the eyes of a labrador retriever. If you’ve ever enjoyed Brigid’s heart-warming style of writing (I have), you’ll enjoy her book too. And no, it’s nothing to do with the topic of this blog, unless like me you realize that the whole purpose of learning about self-defense is to be able to live the lovely life you want to live, full of peace and joy and all other good things. And for those who love them — dogs.  😉
  • Fear and the Freeze Response, a blog post I wrote last February, has been making the rounds online again. Love to see people realize that “old” material can still be important and worth reading. The brave and true story it’s based on (Abuse, Abduction, Self Defense) from Limatunes is worth reading too. Or worth reading again, especially for those who have daughters entering their dating years.

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