Mary Katharine Ham

I got more mail from last week’s column than any of my others—some from grandmas, some from single gals, some from shooting instructors. I got new stories, weapon recommendations, invitations to the shooting range.

I am very proud to report that I inspired at least two women to put a handgun on their wish lists:

Thanks for that column. I have been thinking of getting a gun and this makes me think about getting it sooner!

Thank you so much for sharing this info! This just made my day! I loved it!

I have now added a .380 to my Christmas list!

I heard from several grandmas, all of them armed, but Peggy was my favorite:

I am a 5'1" grandmother and have carried a gun for several years. Hopefully, I will never have to use it, but I feel much safer knowing that it is there. I carry a purse designed to hold the gun safely, and plan on appying for the lifetime permit.

Of course, I was not without my detractors. This one was priceless:

I want to protest your glorification of violence as a means of conflict resolution. Violence is an incorrect and reactionary response directed by overprivileged segments of an oppressive society toward that society's victims…

The so called "victims" in your essay may have saved their lives, but they lost something more valuable: the moral high ground.

Right, I’d hate to get all reactionary on some guy trying to rob or rape me, thereby losing the moral high ground. Uh-huh.

Someone sent me this story about his wife:

Several years ago my wife Joan was entering a local supermarket, saw a thug grab a lady's purse, yank so hard she was knocked down, but she refused to give up her purse. A second thug, next to my wife, grabbed her purse & she pulled back, drew her .380 auto; he said "Holy [expletive], she's got a gun!!" They both turned loose and fled; Ladies both ok.

This story from early September is one of my favorites:

A 56-year-old wheelchair-bound New York City woman on her way to target practice with her small dog on her lap shot and wounded a would-be mugger.

Margaret Johnson told police she had just left her apartment Friday afternoon on her way to a firing range when a man passed by her and seconds later attacked from behind, trying to get her necklace and purse.

Johnson managed to pull out her licensed .357 handgun and fired once, sending a bullet into the elbow of the mugger, the New York Times reported.

And, another reader sent this one about a Tulsa attorney who ran down two purse-snatchers for 10 minutes, tackled one of them, and directed passers-by to grab the other one. Both were held until police showed up. No gun, but lots of guts.

Yet another reader reminded me of this classic—The Beauty School Beat-Down:

Cops say Jared Gipson, 24, entered Blalock's Beauty College in Shreveport at noon Tuesday and announced a robbery.

"I thought it was someone just playing, but then I saw that big old gun," manager Dianne Mitchell told The Times of Shreveport. "He said, 'Get down, big mama.'"

The masked robber ordered the people in the room — 18 to 20 students and teachers — to lie on the floor, leading some to think they were going to be killed….

After collecting everyone's money, the gunman pushed the school's sole male employee, Abram Bishop, toward the back of the room — but then turned and began to run out the door.

That's when Mitchell stuck out her leg. The robber tripped over it, dropped the gun and slammed into a wall…

"Get that sucker!" yelled Mitchell, and the dozen and a half women present grabbed whatever they could get their hands on — curling irons, chairs, a table leg — and piled on.

"They just whooped the hell out of him," said school owner Sharon Blalock.

If you like these stories, and you’re looking for somewhere to get a little practice, one of my readers recommended the Gunsite Training Center, Thunder Ranch, Suarez International, and Frontsight.

Me, I’ve always stuck with the NRA, and you can find one of their instructors no matter where you are. Happy shooting!


Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is editor-at-large of HotAir.com, a contributor to Townhall Magazine.

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