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Old February 28, 2014, 01:41 PM   #1
Theohazard
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Forget Carrying a Gun, My Wife Won't Even Carry Pepper Spray!

Like many other husbands on this site, I would love for my wife to take an interest in carrying a handgun for protection. She has a passing interest in shooting and I've managed to teach her a little, but at the moment she has no interest in carrying a gun. OK, I can accept that; maybe she'll change her mind someday. But in the meantime I can't even get her to carry pepper spray, and it's driving me crazy.

She's 5' 2", she has no self-defense training, she walks to her car after dark to an off-site underground parking garage in a neighborhood frequented by drug addicts and the like, she's been threatened by patients more than once (she's a surgical resident), and, most importantly, she's a new mother. She has every reason to want to defend herself, yet she seems to have absolutely zero interest in it.

She seemed interested in pepper spray, so I got her one. But it was too big so she never carried it. So I got her a smaller one, and after a few months I discovered she didn't carry that either. So I got her a sleek metal keychain one that she said she'd carry all the time. And I thought she'd been carrying it for the past year or so. But I just found it buried at the back of our junk drawer. I just can't understand it. Why in the world would she have absolutely no interest in protecting herself?

Women are attacked, robbed, and/or sexually assaulted all the time in our city, often right near where she works. And after ten years of being together, I still can't convince her to take even a passing interest in protecting herself. Anyone have any suggestions for me?
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Old February 28, 2014, 01:57 PM   #2
ClydeFrog
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Youtube....

Id show her the Orlando Florida video of the strange guy who attacked 2 young women with a bat.
The deranged man was later arrested but the victims we're seriously hurt.
The females exited a downtown condo in a "upscale" area too when they were jumped. The crime was sudden & brutal. The CCTV clip shows what took place.
If your spouse has a iPhone, you can buy her a new Yellowjacket stun gun case. It's safe to carry, powerful, low-key, and acts as a battery charger for most newer Apple iPhones(5/5s).
A C2 Taser EDW isn't bad either but if she won't or can't pack OC/pepper spray, then I don't know what it would take.

As I've posted in other topics on TFL, you can't pick or choose what someone else wants or will use in a critical incident.

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Old February 28, 2014, 02:23 PM   #3
BarryLee
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I think some people don’t want to even consider the possibility of something negative happening to them and in some weird way being prepared makes them face this possibility. The fact that your wife is a medical professional makes this less likely, but I suppose it’s a possibility.

Also, some people believe the best way to survive a criminal attack is to act passively and not resist. That by attempting to defend themselves they actually make matters worse than they might otherwise be.

You might refer to the WEB site Cornered Cat and see if it might be of assistance to you and your wife.
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Old February 28, 2014, 02:31 PM   #4
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryLee
You might refer to the WEB site Cornered Cat and see if it might be of assistance to you and your wife.
I've tried to get her to read Pax's site, but she's not really interested. I've tried everything I can think of and all I've managed to do is annoy her. I'm afraid it's going to take her actually being attacked until she wakes up and actually starts considering her own self-defense.
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Old February 28, 2014, 02:58 PM   #5
ghbucky01
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Theohazard

I share your frustration. I am thankful that in my case she isn't exposed to situations like you describe your wife in.

But, very similar otherwise. 5'2", no defense training, and she refuses to carry any kind of taser or pepper spray.

All I can do is say prayers when she is out by herself. Glad we live in a very low crime area.
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Old February 28, 2014, 03:01 PM   #6
BarryLee
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This might border on the inappropriate, but I suppose you could try and contact the hospital security director and discuss the issue with them. A lot of organizations actually offer self defense or at least awareness courses. The security department may also escort her to the car if she asks.

Also, actual crime data is usually available from the local police departments maybe seeing reports of specific attacks might wake her up. There are some WEB sites like CrimeMappign.com that can provide some data, but sometimes incident posting seems a little slow.

At the end of the day if she sees your concern as annoying she’ll probably just become more resistant. I suppose the best you can do is look for additional resources and casually mention them to her.
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Old February 28, 2014, 03:09 PM   #7
Marty8613
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I have a wife too!

My wife loves to shoot. She likes the full size .45 and loves the Thunder 380. But, she won't carry more than sharp keys to defend herself. And, she is surprised; even though we live three blocks from her job at a Pharmacy, that I still insist on taking her and picking her up. She is kind of girly by her own admission, and kind of expects that I will care of and defend her. This is hard to recall, while she is shooting out the nether regions of a silhouette, with that full sized .45.

Go figure.

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Old February 28, 2014, 03:23 PM   #8
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If she doesn't acknowledge the danger, it doesn't exist. ("You can't see me 'cause my eyes are closed!") -- subconsciously, anyway.
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Old February 28, 2014, 04:11 PM   #9
ClydeFrog
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Security plans.....

I agree with looking into the crime prevention & security arrangements where she works.
Does the security staff or contract company do escorts or monitor employees as they do shift changes?
Do the have CCTVs, access control, privacy screens-fences, good lighting? Learn more about where she works & parks.
Having her change her routines or where she parks is smart too. Would she know what police zone or precinct she's in? What fire/EMT service has jurisdiction in the area?
These are simple, low cost, practical security steps.

Clyde
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Old February 28, 2014, 04:31 PM   #10
Willie Lowman
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If she doesn't acknowledge the danger, it doesn't exist. ("You can't see me 'cause my eyes are closed!") -- subconsciously, anyway.
Either that or a "it won't/can't happen to me" mind set.
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Old February 28, 2014, 05:04 PM   #11
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Ask her how she is different from another woman that is in the hospital being treated for rape and battery. Ask her if a woman who has just been beaten and raped had planned on that happening to her that day.

Somewhere in between being paranoid, and being in denial that bad things can happen to her, is where her mind should be.

If she was walking to her car and she came across another woman who was being attacked, what would she be able to do?

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst, is a good policy

Last edited by DannyB1954; February 28, 2014 at 05:17 PM.
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Old February 28, 2014, 06:19 PM   #12
Mainah
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We want freedom, and I think that includes the freedom not to carry. And don't give up. My wife loves shooting, and let her CCP expire years ago.

But today we needed plumbers in the house, and I had to go to work. I know these guys, and trust them, but she's never dealt with them. She told me that they asked about the Rottweiler that we lost earlier this year, our girl had made an impression on them (a good one, because I was home and let them in). My wife told them that she died.

But she also said that we were getting another one this week. And she told me that she had her 38 on her the whole time. I was proud of her.
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Old February 28, 2014, 07:35 PM   #13
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As some of you have mentioned, wives can be very contrary. Mine has zero interest in defending herself, even though the few times she's handled one of my S&W k-frames at the range, she's shot it very well. But will not even consider carrying one or keeping it handy in her car. I've gotten her several small mace/pepper spray dispensers, but she quickly "loses" them. Nothing I say seems to register with her, although she definitely is afraid fo leaving the house alone after dark.

Go figure...
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Old February 28, 2014, 07:55 PM   #14
Dragline45
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Some people like to believe that nothing bad in the world will ever happen to them, that is until it actually does. Find documented cases of violent encounters with ordinary people and show them to her, it might take scare tactics to get her to wake up.

Maybe you two could work out a compromise. Is there anything she has been bugging you to either start or stop doing? Tell her if she start's carrying, you will live up to your end of the bargain.

Last edited by Dragline45; March 1, 2014 at 12:35 AM.
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Old February 28, 2014, 08:24 PM   #15
Doc Intrepid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theohazard
"She's 5' 2", she has no self-defense training, she walks to her car after dark to an off-site underground parking garage in a neighborhood frequented by drug addicts and the like, she's been threatened by patients more than once (she's a surgical resident), and, most importantly, she's a new mother. She has every reason to want to defend herself, yet she seems to have absolutely zero interest in it.

...I've tried everything I can think of and all I've managed to do is annoy her. I'm afraid it's going to take her actually being attacked until she wakes up and actually starts considering her own self-defense."
My wife is the same way. I regret to inform you, though, that my wife just turned 60 last year and she hasn't changed her mind since she was a new mother more than three decades ago. Unless something traumatic happens to your wife, and of course we hope it doesn't, there's a good chance she isn't likely to change her mind either.

But you can continue to annoy her, until you achieve astonishingly negative results. Don't ask me how I know this.


In terms of remedial action, I can only offer a few real-world recommendations that were useful in my case. Ensure her vehicle is completely reliable. If you purchase a Chevy, keep the OnStar active. (It's a PITA 99% of the time, but during the 1% of the time when you're responding to a domestic crisis, the freaking thing is incredibly handy.) (No, if your wife doesn't care about being attacked, she won't care who might be tracking her Chevy via GPS either.) Keep a large flashlight in her car like a MagLight, and ensure it works. And finally, again using Chevy as an example (but other manufacturers either offer the same technology or aftermarket kits) get her a vehicle with remote starting. If you're a woman walking alone across a dark parking lot at night, it may be something you'll buy into to start the car from 100 yards away as you step out of the hospital. Not only does it warm up the car, but the lights come on, the headlights blink, the horn sounds, and she needs the fob in her hand to start the car and the red panic button is only a few millimeters from the start button. It's about the best I've been able to come up with for my wife - maybe it will help with yours!

Best with it.
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Old February 28, 2014, 08:29 PM   #16
Dragline45
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But you can continue to annoy her, until you achieve astonishingly negative results. Don't ask me how I know this.
+1 to this
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Old March 1, 2014, 12:23 AM   #17
JimmyR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theohazard
Women are attacked, robbed, and/or sexually assaulted all the time in our city, often right near where she works. And after ten years of being together, I still can't convince her to take even a passing interest in protecting herself. Anyone have any suggestions for me?
Theo, I hate saying this, but sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Pushing your wife to carry something for self protection despite her desire not to is guaranteed to do 2 things: 1) Reduce the odds that she will carry anything and 2) Harm your marriage.

I've been married twice (one passed away, and currently remarried), and know that, as a guy, we want our loved ones to be protected when we aren't there to do it ourselves. It's a cultural expectation that we grew up with, and it's hardwired into most of us. It's also kinda hard to explain to women (no offense ladies) why we feel this way.

Unfortunately, we have to remember that we love and respect our wives. That includes supporting them in the decisions they make. Your wife has made a decision, that she does not want to carry a firearm/peper spray for protection. As hard as it may be to hear, you have to respect her wishes.

My wife and I have had this discussion an few times, and she is mildly receptive to carrying, but it isn't a high priority. She wants to get her LTCH mostly so that if I leave a firearm in the car with her, it won't cause problems. She has also had times where she has felt threatened, and wished she had a weapon with her. Every time we discuss it, I do three things:

1) I reinforce my desire for her to be safe. I don't tell her what I want her to do, I just say that I care about her, and don't want anything bad to happen to her.
2) I offer to help her in any way that I can. Whether it's helping her with the application, providing the cash, taking her to the range, or looking at a firearm for her, I will help her in any way possible.
3) I let her decide what she wants. It has to be what she wants, and not what I want her to want. She is a person who deserves to make her own decisions, whether I like that or not.
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Old March 1, 2014, 12:38 AM   #18
Theohazard
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I thought about following the advice to check the hospital security and see if there's anyone to walk her to her car, but then I realized there's just no way she's going to ask someone to walk her out; she'll refuse to inconvenience anyone. And I think the people are right who say that me annoying her with it will just make it worse; that's what has happened so far.

The worst part is that she's not against carrying pepper spray, when she got home she just said she "forgot". So she's OK with carrying it, she's just not ever in a self-defense mindset; we all know that if we want to carry something for self-defense (a gun, pepper spray, etc.) then it makes sense to always have it on you and readily available. But I think she just grabs it and throws it in her purse if she thinks she might need it. But that means she forgets it a lot and if she ever did need it she would take way too long to get it out of her purse.

I've tried to coach her on always carrying it and always having it in the same spot, ready to grab at a moments notice. If we're out together I'll ask if she has her pepper spray, she says, "No, you're with me." I then point out that she should always carry it no matter what, and of course she gets annoyed.

I just think it's a mindset thing: She might grab the pepper spray and throw it in her purse if she thinks about it, and that's it. And obviously my bothering her about it hasn't hasn't helped any. I think the best advice I've got so far is just to do things like make sure her car is in good shape; things that don't require her to do anything.
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Old March 1, 2014, 12:25 PM   #19
Wyosmith
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Theo, my sister was exactly the same way back in 1973.
I tried and tried to get her to take my advice seriously. No go!
She and I got along great, but I was a Marine and she was a nurse and she kept telling me “this isn’t a combat zone”. Everything is fine.

Well a few months later while on a road trip she and her friend were attacked. I had thrown my old Ruger 44 into their car with them before they left. My sis objected but I just got a bit forceful and she relented and allowed it to come along. 8 days later she and her friend were cornered by 2 men who broke the window of the little Dodge Colt they were driving and grabbed her friend, trying to drag her through the window.

My sister then remembered the 44 and was able to get it off the floor behind the driver seat. It is just lucky she was able to get the Ruger before she too was grabbed. When she brought up the handgun and pointed it at the man holding her friend he froze. He let her friend go and my Sister chased them off. No one was hurt badly and no one killed, but that was the moment the light came on for them both. It was the beginning of the end of her "liberal Hippie" period.

Ever since then my sister is a pistol packing lady. She has even turned down a job once when they told her she couldn't pack. She later got the exact same job in the same place when they decided she could keep her gun in her purse. (about 2 years later)

The reason for the story is simple.

Sad as it may be, the only thing that is likely to change your wife’s outlook on personal defense is to survive an attack, or be close enough to one that responding to violence with the use of counter-violence is no long just a theory.

When someone is primarily motivated my emotion no amount of logic or reason will make any difference at all. This is a very sad fact about human kind, but it is none the less a fact.
I would be praying to the Holy God that she either never has to be involved, or that she is not harmed when it happens the first time. But God is the only answer to this potential problem you have at this time.

May He give you wisdom.
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Old March 2, 2014, 06:34 PM   #20
Hiker 1
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That's a tough one buddy. My wife is all about guns and carrying but my younger sister has been:

1. robbed at gunpoint
2. had her date robbed at gunpoint while she was with him
3. had her house broken into
4. had a brick thrown through her window
5. had her car stolen
6. had a close personal friend brutally beaten in an attempted rape
7. been through the chaos of Hurricane Katrina

and has no interest in guns, pepper spray, self-defense, etc. Her husband has "shot a lot of guns" but is "just not comfortable having one in the house". He's another story, but I digress.

I just don't think she has it in her. Maybe if her daughter, my niece was in danger she might do something, but some people just don't have a warrior soul. Love them as we may.

I might add that she is not anti-gun. She's fired several of mine over the years and shot well. She just views shooting as a hobby, like golf or fishing. My dad and I have both tried. She's not going to change.
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Old March 2, 2014, 06:39 PM   #21
Colt46
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SOme people can't picture themselves as engaging an attacker

Even to the point of serious injury or death. They just can't view themselves as an animal that would kill to protect itself.
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Old March 2, 2014, 07:17 PM   #22
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My spouse(?) AKA: The Grouch Attack is too lazy to be concerned about her personal safety. I've given her pepper spray, high output lights, and suggested she get her CCW permit but she'd rather piddle away her time on facebook or similar worthless media. I suppose she's counting on her attitude and distasteful appearance to prevent a personal attack.
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Old March 2, 2014, 07:19 PM   #23
JERRYS.
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some people have to learn the hard way, my wife is one of them. I pester her to carry and she does so on occasion.
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Old March 2, 2014, 07:59 PM   #24
Hiker 1
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I suppose she's counting on her attitude and distasteful appearance to prevent a personal attack.

Now that's funny!
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Old March 2, 2014, 08:50 PM   #25
Wyosmith
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I have a great wife. I am VERY proud of her.
She's in great shape, is a Black Belt in Taijutsu, carries a 1911 and a knife, and is quite skilled in the use of all of them.
Still I worry as any man worries about those he loves, but maybe I should worry more about any poor sap that attacks her.

Might be hard to clean it all up.
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