Column: Women, handguns and domestic violence



A handgun is the most effective self-defense tool to curtail domestic violence

Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 12:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 12:14 p.m.

I could smell the blood the second my partner kicked open the apartment door — a kind of coppery smell. The room was awash in it.

We found the victim laying face down on the living room floor, clad only in a pair of panties.

She was covered with dozens of knife wounds — slashes not stabs — which were barely oozing.

She was red from head to toe. She looked as though someone had picked her up and dipped her in a vat of blood.

She still clenched a phone, with which she had called 911 and quietly pleaded with the dispatcher for help.

She seemed to be fading quickly, so for the only time in my police career, I gave someone a “Dying Declaration.”

“You know you’re about to die: Who did this to you?” I asked.

Her husband had slashed her, she said. The piece of filth had been out on bond after beating their son with a ball bat.

He was arrested the next day — unfortunately without incident. His case never went to trial.

Unbelievably, the woman would recover and undergo a massive dose of plastic surgery to cover the dozens of wounds her husband had inflicted on her arms, neck, face and torso.

Her ordeal is one of a handful of calls that still plague my dreams from time to time.

When I think of domestic violence, I picture her laying there, so weak from blood loss she couldn’t even lift her head.

Domestic violence has once again become newsworthy.

It should be.

About the only thing good to come out of the NFL’s recent scandal is a refocusing of the country’s attention on the horrors of domestic violence, which can be far more dreadful than a single blow in an elevator shaft.

My solution to DV has always been rather simple: Women should have the means to defend themselves, and the firearm is the most effective self-defense tool ever made.

Pepper spray, ECDs, whistles and martial arts are all well and good, but none are as effective as a firearm.

After all, the pistol is ultimate equalizer. Colonel Colt said that. He remains 100 percent correct.

A well-trained and well-armed woman is more than a match for any man, regardless of his size.

As far as choosing the right firearm, the same rule applies to both sexes: Choose a handgun in the largest caliber you are able to shoot quickly but accurately, made by a reputable manufacturer. Nearly everything else is personal preference.

The weapon should be carried in a quality holster on the shooter’s strong side, along with spare ammunition — at least one additional magazine or speed loader.

Selecting a quality trainer is as important as selecting a quality firearm. Fortunately, we Floridians are blessed with plenty of good firearms instructors. The only problem is that too many shooters stop after one or two courses.

For those who carry a defensive handgun — for serious pistoleers — training is a life-long pursuit, almost a second vocation.

Over the years, I’ve taught more than a few women how to fight with a firearm.

Nearly all of them have said they wanted a gun to defend themselves against strangers — muggers, home invaders or would-be rapists.

It’s a sad fact that women also are at risk from the people living in their own home.

That’s okay.

A firearm works very well against anyone who intends to do them harm, regardless of their interpersonal relationship.

After all, an armed woman is someone who has decided that they will never be victimized — by anyone.

If we don’t run into each other at the range, you can reach me at (941) 361-4975, by email at or by regular mail, 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can also follow me on social media at or


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Pingback: Column: Women, handguns and domestic violence - The Gun Feed

  2. I’ve long thought that, were I female, & someone laid their hands on me with malice, I would shoot the bastard. I agree wholeheartedly with the assertion that a firearm is the best possible weapon against domestic violence. Only a complete fool would raise a hand to an armed woman. There is quite possibly no more despicable thing man can do than to beat a woman. If a man does, he is not a man & deserves to be shot

  3. Pingback: Voices of those opposed to armed females

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