I keep extremely good records of my self-protection trainees, both for martial arts and firearms training. Today, I got an e-mail from one of the people I taught to shoot telling me that she received her concealed carry license. While I was noting that in my files, I did a quick count and saw that 102 people (out of 110) have gotten a FOID card, and this most recent person is the 51st person to get a concealed carry license, whether in this state or in other states.
Now, granted, that number is out of about 3,600 total students over the past 30 years, so it's just a fraction of the people I've taught, but what's notable is that because of who I teach, and these are people who are at the highest risk for being victims of violence, close to 60 of my firearms trainees have used a firearm to protect themselves from harm. That ranges from defensive displays of firearms to actual self-defense shootings.
Note that I'm not a "licensed" firearms instructor; I'm just a life-long shooter, military and security veteran, and self-protection instructor who happens to be "the guy" that people in my social orbit turn to (or recommend) for anything related to self-defense. More important is that more than 99 percent of my trainees are either female-identifying or queer/LGBTQIA+.
Incidentally, those groups are the fastest-growing segment of firearm ownership and carry licensees.
There is a dark side to this, however. The vast majority of my self-protection trainees are disqualified from carrying or even owning firearms, because so many of them have had to seek mental health treatment to help with the psychological trauma of being assaulted or for the adverse effects of society and prejudice against their gender identities.
They've essentially had to choose between getting the kind of treatment that might well prevent them from taking their own lives out of despair and pain from what's been done to them, or being able to be allowed to use the most effective means to prevent those sorts of things from happening to them again. It's kind of a sh!t choice they're being forced to make, isn't it?
If only the know-nothing legislators trying to pass the idiotically restrictive laws realized that the people they are harming most are the ones who need to be able to protect themselves more than anyone.
How's that for irony?