This is a response essay to Linda M. Hasselstrom' essay, "Why One Peaceful Woman Carries a Pistol."

Essay by rhammettCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2003

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Linda M. Hasselstrom made a very convincing argument in her essay, "Why One Peaceful Woman Carries a Pistol". She says that criminal activity has become a growing concern for most people. According to the Department of Justice, several hundreds of people will be robbed, assaulted, kidnapped or murdered this year alone. While handgun possession is a highly controversial issue in today's society, it should not be quickly dismissed as a means to self-defense. Because of the vulnerability of women, I strongly agree with Ms. Hasselstrom's decision to carry a pistol for self-protection.

Ms. Hasselstrom's free-lance writing career required her to frequently travel alone. She practiced taking safe precautions such as avoiding bars, approaching her car like an Indian scout, and by locking doors and windows. However, Hasselstrom's life style choices increased her risk for being a victim to crimes of assault, rape, robbery, and murder.

During a ten-year period, Hasselstrom experienced several "close call" perpetrator attacks that prompted her to examine various methods of self-defense.

Hasselstrom even entertained the idea of a CB radio purchase which would enable her to call for help. However, she quickly eliminated that option because of an incident that happened on the same road she frequently traveled, in which a woman was raped and beaten. (758)

Hasselstom's first line of positive defense was enrollment in a kung fu class. While she did learn to assess danger and techniques for avoiding it without combat, she still felt vulnerable. Hasselstrom wanted a more aggressive approach to self-defense. She did not feel the above mentioned methods of self-defense were sufficient. Ms. Hasselstrom explored various self-defense options before she reluctantly made a decision to carry a pistol.

The threat of violence surrounds women everyday. Violence permeates our society in the home, at work, and on the highways. However,