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The Great Equalizer

Molly was driving down the interstate to go visit her boyfriend when she notices she has a flat tire. She immediately pulls over and assesses the situation and quickly realizes she needs to call AAA to have someone come change her tire. A few cars stop, but she refuses to open her door because the people look scary and she tells them that help is just minutes away.

Molly has now been waiting for an hour on the side of the road when an Audi A8 pulls over and a very handsome man in a suit comes to her car door. He tells her that he can change her tire in ten minutes so she can get going again and that it would make his day to help someone in need.

After all he is a good looking guy, in a great suit, and he really wants to help her and, not wanting to insult the kind offer of the man, she opens her door. Molly is only half out when he grabs ahold of her arm and shows his knife to her in his other hand. The man tells Molly to get in his trunk or he will kill her and then he throws her purse in on top of her.

Slam…the trunk shuts and Molly is terrified for her life.

The man takes off down the road and starts ranting about raping her, beating her and then killing her. To make a horrific man even more crazy sounding, she hears him turn on the stereo and sing along with the music, as if he is the happiest man in the world and he didn’t just say all those terrible things to her……….

The following statement probably has more meaning to Molly than before her encounter: “The normal are inclined to visualize the psychopath as one who’s as monstrous in appearance as he is in mind, which is about as far from the truth as one could well get…” from William March, in the book The Bad Seed. I bet Molly will never assume someone is a good person just by their looks again and my hope is that you don’t either.

What would you do if you were stranded on the side of the road waiting for help and had no way to defend yourself? Odds are that a very nice person would come and change your tire and you wouldn’t have any problems. But, are you one to play with odds? I know I don’t play with odds when it comes to my life. How would you feel if an evil person came to help and you couldn’t protect yourself or your family?

I will talk about why, as a woman, it is important to include having a gun, a few misconceptions of guns, and why women need to share the responsibility with men as far as protecting lives of those we know and don’t know.

My motto is “Plan for the best, but prepare for the worst.” I don’t take my life for granted and I realize that, as a woman, I have a much larger chance that I will be assaulted at some point in my life. I have a great idea of how many predators and psychopaths are walking in society and my chances of crossing their path are quite good.

You need to develop your own personalized defensive plan, but my plan involves a little black tool that weighs 20 oz. Why? A firearm is the ultimate equalizer between a man and woman. It is said that “God made man and woman, but it is Sam Colt, the father of the modern revolver, that made them equal.”

I can have amazing Situational Awareness skills and know a few martial arts moves to defend myself, but I could be stuck in a rest area bathroom stall when a 250-pound man comes in to harm me. I’m going to let him contemplate the blackness of the muzzle of my M&P Shield and the glow of the laser that is shining brightly right between his eyes. I think he will leave when I give him the option to get the hell out or I will shoot. There may be situations where you have time to “try” less lethal defenses and there are times when lethal is the only choice. It’s for times like that when a pistol is truly a “girl’s best friend”.

Guns are life-saving and threat stopping devices. I know that having a pistol and being proficient in its use has given me so much confidence and security for many years. I’m talking about the opportunity to live my normal life with the confidence that, if a psychopath tries to destroy my life, he’s going to have to fight me first.

All firearms take a responsibility for their use. I’m certainly not suggesting you go buy a 38 Special with a pink grip and toss it in your purse without training or going through the mental exercises required to be a responsibly armed citizen. They need to be handled with great care and respect, just as driving a car down the road does.

Many critics focus on the danger of guns when the reality is that buckets of water, staircases (as mentioned in Jack Spirko’s article), side effects from prescription medications and numerous other things kill far more people than guns do every year.

A common misconception amongst the students I teach is that a gun might just fire on its own. Just as pencils do not misspell words all on their own, a gun will not shoot by itself. It surprises them that it takes, on average, between 6-12 pounds of pressure (depending on the handgun design) to press the trigger with a finger before the gun will fire.

A journey that I am on with my teammates is to empower as many women with confidence and safe gun handling skills to protect themselves and their loved ones.

As a woman, you may love to be taken care of and protected by your significant other, but what if he isn’t home or around when something bad happens? Don’t you wish you could predict when bad things will happen? That’s just not possible. In our appointment driven society, no alarm will pop up on your iPhone reminding you that you have 15 minutes until a “critical defensive encounter”, so you may as well get ready. Another thing to consider – if your boyfriend/husband is carrying a gun, and something happens, how much do you think your chances for prevailing will increase if you both are armed, instead of just him? As the joke goes, you may be an atheist and not like guns, but if a bad guy shows up, you’ll be praying to God for a gun real quick.

“Oh, but the police will come to my rescue if I need them” is a statement I hear often. Really? It takes an average of ten minutes for the police to arrive after dialing 911 and assaults can be over in seconds. I’m no math major, but I think the police will show up to investigate the scene of the crime, not prevent it. In your moment of truth, it is YOU that needs to be able to protect and fight for your life.

My team has been approached by wives of soldiers deployed in the service of our country. These women want to be able to take care of themselves and their families while their primary protector is away. The brave soldiers have enough to worry about fearing for their own lives and have deep-seated worries about who will protect their wives and children while they are gone. I have had messages of thanks from soldiers for providing this small comfort to them during their deployment, so I know first hand this is the case.

…. the car carrying Molly comes to a sudden stop and, as the man opens the trunk, he’s greeted with Boom! Boom! Boom! Mr. Psychopath didn’t count on the fact that Molly had a pistol in her purse and was clearly motivated to use it.

Molly packed the one thing that ended up saving her life that day and the same man she shot was responsible for many other rapes and deaths.

This is my recollection of a true story that I had heard 19 years ago and it was part of what motivated me to start carrying a gun. How many women a year could “turn the table” on their crisis situation if they had a gun themselves?

It is time for you to rise up and take control of your personal safety and know that you have a way to guard your body and home. No person has the right to do harm to you or your family. I think it’s time to declare war on all the evil men that think they can wantonly victimize any woman they want.

Yes, women are smaller and weaker than men, but we have all the tools and smarts to protect ourselves and it’s time to stop living passively and in fear.

If your avoidance skills fail you, and the Devil is upon you, consider what you will hope for at that moment as a tool to prevail. For me, that’s a handgun, the great equalizer.

Be Safe. Be Empowered. Be LOADED!


About Beth Warford

Profile photo of Beth Warford
A native of Dickinson, Beth is the founder and owner of Pretty Loaded. She graduated with honors from the University of Mary with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She has had specialized ICU and Sedation experience in numerous Children’s Hospitals which has given her extensive experience performing under life and death moment stress. Beth has had 18 years of concealed carry experience, and has been thankful for that opportunity, especially working off hours and in less than safe conditions as a young nurse. She is married and has 4 wonderful young girls, lives on a farm, and is CFO for a local health care practice owned by her husband. Beth has had significant firearms training with an NRA Certified instructor and more specialized defensive training with others. She is also an avid upland game hunter and has a private shooting range for honing her skills. She recently has become a NRA certified instructor in the disciplines of Pistol Instructor and Personal Protection In the Home (first and currently only female certified in this discipline in ND) as well as Affiliate Instructor for the United States Concealed Carry Association, of which she is a member. Additionally, she has had training in the martial art Krav Maga from Master Tomas Reis (www.ndkravmaga.com) which she found very empowering for her own personal protection and defense education. Beth’s inspiration to start Pretty Loaded came from numerous female friends asking Beth to teach them to use a firearm and basic defense mentality. Although she’s a “the glass is half full” kind of person, she believes in the mantra “it’s better to have the skills and not need them than need the skills and not have them” and doesn’t take the safety of she and her family for granted. Beth credits her training from Fortress Defense mentors (www.fortressdefense.com) and NRA Instructor,Bruce, (www.safeshoot.com) as being critical in focusing her vision on the importance of training women specifically. Her husband, being a student of defense, combat, and firearms for 20 years has always been vigilant and supportive of her development as a skilled and empowered woman. Beth feels women need to learn situational awareness, self defense mindset skills, and basic handgun training to be fully well rounded in defensive skills. Her goal is to create Women Warriors to protect themselves and their loved ones from the low life thugs that walk our streets and force their evil upon unwanted victims. Be Safe. Be Empowered. Be Loaded.

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  1. Having a gun is a great idea. So is knowing how to change a tire.

    • True, knowing how to change a tire is good. But… I’m a 200 lb guy, and have come up against lugs that I could barely get loose.

      My 120 pound daughter? Probably not.

      • Make sure the tire installer torques the lug nuts properly. Have an adequate 4-way lug wrench or a breaker bar with the right socket. PRACTICE so you know what to do. Keep that pistol on your person, not in your purse!

        • I agree it is a great idea to know how to change a tire. I was unable to get the lug nuts off also and my husband gave me a large impact driver that I take when I’m on trips. The gun should be on the person when changing the tire too.

  2. Yes ! I’m a 165 lb guy, just helped a young lady change a flat this march. I asked her to watch so she would know how later, if a similar situation happened in the future, but I had to use my foot and kick
    / stomp the wrench down to get the lugs loose. She might have been about 95 to 100 lb. I do not think she could have done it by herself with out knowledge, and other tools.

  3. Profile photo of Myles

    Forget the tire. The story was only to prove a point I know it was a real situation but he could have just as easily come upon her whilst she was out changing the flat…

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