PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

THE VALLEY DISPATCH, I just finished reading Jennifer Amy Myers’ article entitled “Man, You Don’t Want To Mess With Them” (The Valley Dispatch, Nov. 11) and I would like to share the following comments with you.

Letter to the Editor

I commend any attempt to help potential victims thwart their assailants. There is far too much crime in our society and as we all know, the police can’t be everywhere. It is ultimately the responsibility of each and every citizen to provide for their own safety as best they can.

I took several years of martial arts training as a younger man. The disciplines that I specialized in were Kung Fu and Kenpo karate. Many of the people who took these courses were women who simply wanted to be able to defend themselves.

While I applaud all such attempts to avoid becoming a victim, it is my experience that many of the young women (and men for that matter) found that they forgot much of what they had learned when confronted with actual life-and-death situations. The concerns of the women in your article who were afraid that they would forget what they had learned were actually well- founded.

When panic sets in, much — but clearly not all — of what we have learned is forgotten. Furthermore, it should be noted that the classroom situation that these techniques are practiced in involves a pretend assailant who isn’t really fighting back. This makes a huge difference. It’s easy to eventually land a strike on someone who isn’t fighting back. It’s another story entirely when someone is repeatedly hitting you.

I’m afraid that the “realistic simulated attack” that you mention may not be realistic at all. The participants know that their “attacker” isn’t really going to rape and kill them. In a real situation, you don’t know. The difference in these two scenarios is psychological.

Knowing that serious harm may come to you can trigger a paralyzing panic attack that would render most victims totally helpless.

There is a much better way to protect yourself. Procure a License to Carry from your local police department, purchase a suitable handgun for personal defense and then learn how and when to use it when assaulted. This past week there was a news story about a 66-year-old grandmother who successfully defended herself and her granddaughter by brandishing a 38-caliber revolver. This woman was 5-3 and barely 105 pounds, but she was able to easily eject the assailant from her house.

This type of thing happens far more often than the liberally biased mainstream media would have you believe. In fact, the statistics bear out that millions more people, year after year, defend themselves with firearms than there are instances of criminals using firearms in the commission of their crimes. Frequently the mere appearance of a firearm sends assailants running. Quite simply there has yet to be invented a more reliable method of protecting one’s life from criminal assault.

I would hope that as a service to your readers you would at least mention this simple fact in Part Two of your series. Look at it this way, if someone you loved was attacked by a rapist/murderer what would you prefer they have as their defense; the experience of a self defense course or the proven reliability of a handgun?

JOHN B. MOORE

Methuen