Christine Hollar of Orangeburg, SC is a retired school teacher and grandmother who now owns rental property. She was cleaning her property on Whitman Street during day when a male approached her, knocked her down, and began slamming her head against the ground. The man then pistol-whipped Hollar in the back of the head, before taking her car keys and her purse. Although injured, Hollar was able to run after her attacker and slam his leg in her car door, at which point he fled. Police arrived to find Hollar severely beaten and requiring hospitalization. After the attack was reported on the news, multiple offers came in from self defense training companies, offering to help Hollar learn to defend herself in the future. After (partially) recovering, Hollar, who had never fired a gun, received the necessary training to get a concealed weapons permit. After scoring a 42 out of 50 on the range test (35/50 is required to pass), Hollar was issued a concealed weapons permit, feels much safer, and practices shooting three times a week to keep her skills sharp.
I am sad to have read about yet another law abiding citizen being victimized by a violent criminal. I wish Ms. Hollar a speedy recovery, and am glad that she did not suffer even more serious harm. However, Ms. Hollar should be commended for her intelligent decisions after this attack – decisions which teach some useful lessons:
Firstly, Ms. Hollar’s ability to quickly go from never having fired a gun to being able to pass the shooting qualification test for a concealed weapons permit demonstrates that guns are mechanically simple tools that most people can quickly master. Speaking as someone who never owned a gun until he was an adult, I know first hand how easy is is for a beginner to quickly become proficient with a gun. Indeed, I have also observed others (such as my fiancé and a few coworkers) quickly go from knowing nothing about guns to being able to skillfully operate a gun. Remember, a gun generally has just a few controls and no electronics. Anyone who can learn to use a toaster should be able to learn to use a gun.
Secondly, Ms. Hollar’s decision to become a gun owner was just about the best one that she could make. After that attack, she essentially had three options: (1) Go on with life as usual, taking no action to better protect herself in the future; (2) blame guns, rather than thee violent criminal who beat and pistol whipped her, and then try to disarm the country’s law abiding gun owners as part of a futile attempt at disarming criminal; or (3) recognize the need for armed self defense, and take the necessary action to defend oneself against future threats. By choosing option 3, Ms. Hollar demonstrated a degree of intelligence and reasonableness that is sorely lacking in many crime victims.
Thirdly, I’m sure it is Ms. Hollar’s hope that she will never suffer another such attack, or otherwise be forced to fire her gun in self defense. However, should the unfortunate day come when she is again attacked, she will be in a much better position to defend herself, now that she is armed.
Finally, while it is great that Ms. Hollar learned the value of gun ownership from her unfortunate experience, it is my hope that other law abiding citizens will also learn from Ms. Hollar’s experience, rather than having to first suffer a violent attack themselves. To those who are not currently armed for self defense: I encourage you to buy a gun, learn to skillfully use that gun, and keep it ready for self defense use. Doing so might just save your life one day.