In a recent article titled “Five Things To Be Thankful For As A Woman In America,” Ashe Schow–a young woman whose writing is making a real impression on the Internet–provided a reminder of the very great benefits of being an American, particularly an American woman. In brief:
I know how cliché that sounds, but women in America are among the freest in the world. We can dress how we want, pursue our dreams and go where we please…
2. The Legal System
For all the imperfections of the American justice system, it is still one of the fairest in the world. Even though horrible atrocities still happen in this country — like rape and murder — we have a legal system that responds…
3. Our Healthcare Providers
Our healthcare system may be expensive, confusing, and in some disarray with respect to how it is paid for, but you can’t be denied urgent medical care in this country. You can walk into any emergency room and get help.
And if you have a difficult chronic condition, there is no place you could get better treatment. America has some of the best doctors and hospitals in the world. People fly thousands of miles to seek out America’s specialists…
We can love who we want in this country. I know some may bring up gay marriage, but even the states where it isn’t legal have no laws against loving the person you’re with.
In some other countries, a woman — sometimes not even 10 years old — will be sold off into marriage to a much older man she’s never met. And if she refuses, she can be killed in the name of “honor” by her own family, who likely won’t face justice…
Women have every right to an education in America that men do, and are now graduating from college at a higher rate than men. Women’s ability to go to school is unquestioned, and there is no fear that they will be attacked by anyone who doesn’t believe women should be in school.
By all means, take the link and read the rest of Schow’s article. Schow is correct, but there is one additional advantage enjoyed by American women. It is unquestionably the most important human right, a right actually more vital to women than to men: the right to self-defense.
For the most part, American men are taught to value, champion and protect women. They recognize equality, in principle, but practically understand that there are fundamental differences between men and women., difference some would deny in the name of “equality.” There are, of course, men who seek to exploit these differences. For them, see Schow’s #2. Such men are generally considered to be reprehensible by honorable men, and rightfully so.
The Second Amendment, which is inherently based in the right to self-defense, is a fundamental, unalienable right. While there are arguably various infringements in state and federal law, the tide of public opinion and the movement in the body of law acknowledging and affirming the Second Amendment has been, in the last several decades particularly, solidly toward individual liberty. That Americans have seen more and more governmental encroachment on individual liberty in the same time is not a coincidence.
Most women may not often think of it–or think of it at all–but the Second Amendment is particularly important to them and their daughters. It secures freedoms not available to women anywhere else in the world. No society where men wish to exercise their natural advantages over women can allow them the free use of arms, and virtually none do.
As much as most American men appreciate and want to protect women, they cannot be with the women they love all the time and everywhere. Men are generally taller, heavier, larger, stronger and far more aggressive than women. Even as children, their play patterns prepare them for aggression and reflect fundamental differences in male and female psychology, practices and beliefs.
People perceived to be weaker are the natural prey of human predators. They provide the same opportunities for profit with greatly decreased risk of capture or injury. Not only that, women provide the very real attraction of rape to the kidnapper, carjacker, burglar, thief and other miscreants. Given the opportunity, many criminals will take advantage of it. In such cases, a fully functioning, equal criminal justice system will be of little consolation to a surviving victim, and none to a woman killed by a predator.
Of what use is the right to self-defense if one cannot carry the most effective means to act upon that right if necessary? In most American states, women can take advantage of their right to keep and bear arms, and may carry a concealed handgun in most places. Of course, they may bear arms in their homes, as did a mother of two young children forced to protect herself and her children against a very large male burglar armed with a crowbar who broke into their home in broad daylight and searched every room until he found them hiding in the attic. The woman emptied her revolver, striking the thug five times and was able to bluff him with her empty gun and flee with her children. He, a man with a long criminal record, stumbled out of the home and into his car, but soon crashed and was captured. She and her children were uninjured.
Contrast this with the story of Melissa Burke. In January of 2013, two young burglars broke into her home before midnight. Unarmed, she called 911 and hid in a closet, but one of the burglars found her and shot her 14 times as she knelt, praying. Burke survived, and after multiple surgeries and a year of rehabilitation, has recovered. The suspects are believed to be involved in other area robberies, and a car they stole was found abandoned nearby. They have never been captured. They’re free to seek out the next Melissa Burke. Surely, Burke is lucky, in every imaginable way, to be alive.
Anecdotes don’t provide an absolute basis for public policy, but to the degree they reflect reality, are useful. The reality is that an unarmed woman, facing the average man intent on doing her harm, is at a very real and very dangerous disadvantage. In most situations, she is at his mercy, the mercy of a man ready to harm others for his profit and/or amusement. Armed, and particularly if well trained, she is more than a match for virtually any unarmed man and for armed men as well. There is simply no affordable, easily manipulated device more effective for self-defense than the handgun.
Amazingly, many that claim to be “women’s advocates,” do everything they can to deny women the ability to protect their lives. Among their most common argument is the fallacy that a gun in the home makes women–and children–less safe. Some go so far as to suggest that women, by their very nature, are essentially incapable of protecting themselves with firearms. So fragile and deficient in the basic competencies of life are women, they’re far more likely to shoot themselves or their children than a violent criminal. How can one of the delicate flowers tell the difference? She’s only a woman, after all.
Many try to exploit a woman’s generally more sensitive nature, suggesting that no real woman should be capable of shooting someone intent on harming them or their loved ones. To express the confidence, to learn the skills necessary to save lives somehow denies the very nature of women, turning them into a sort of pale imitation of a man. Disarmament advocates appeal primarily to emotion, which should certainly be considered the second language of most women. They exploit fear and encourage ignorance and helplessness. But I’ve met very few women who are not also capable of the logic of self-defense. They agree they would do anything to protect their children–the mama bear reflex–and realize it would be utterly irrational, even cruel, to give their lives in a doomed attempt to protect their children, which would leave their children–if they survive–motherless.
The supposedly life-saving alternative espoused by the advocates of disarming women is usually the police. Unfortunately not only are the police unable to save lives, not only when seconds count, but when hours count, but they have no legal obligation to do so. This assumes, of course, that when a woman finds herself or her family in deadly danger, she will have time to dial the police and the time necessary to explain who, when, when, where, why and how to a dispatcher–if a dispatcher answers the 911 call. If the call is actually answered, this merely starts a process whereby a police officer may or may not eventually arrive, far more frequently than the police like to admit, to begin the investigation of the caller’s rape, serious injury or death.
Such machinations are primarily political, but whether one suffers from a debilitating fear of inanimate objects, thinks guns a genuine social ill, or truly believes everyone is safer if only the government has arms, no single group of people are made more vulnerable by such policies, no groups suffers more, than women and girls. One needs no anecdotes to understand the truth of this, they merely need to research the plight of women in societies where women have no such rights. Their lives are worth little or nothing.
Civil unrest, government seizing unprecedented powers, dwindling individual liberty, the diminishment of the rule of law, all of these social ills and more are convincing women, in unprecedented numbers, to buy firearms and to learn how to use them effectively, a development I found as delightful as it is encouraging.
In this pursuit, they quickly discover that not only is shooting fun, women can, and do, shoot was well as men. When we renewed our concealed carry licenses several years ago, my wife and I were required to shoot the standard qualification course. I shot a perfect score, and she shot only a single point less, beating all of the men in the class by a significant margin. I know many women like her and have had a hand in training many of them.
Schow’s list of freedoms is a great starting place for appreciation and debate, but only one uniquely American right afforded women, a right that has become stronger and more appreciated with time, is the right that secures every other right and every other freedom. Not only does the Second Amendment protect women from criminal violence, but from politicians and women’s advocates that know very well that their ultimate political objectives can never be won if free women–and men–are allowed the ownership and use of arms.
Even if a woman chooses not to be a gun owner, having the choice should be at the top of every woman’s list of American freedoms.