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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:

1. Freedom

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…

4. Love

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…

5. Education

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.

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  1. “God created men and women, but Sam Colt made them equal.”

    Engraved on the backstrap of a Colt Single Action Army .45 revolver:
    “Fear no man, for his size –
    Call on me to equalize.”

  2. Excellent write-up, Mike. This echoes some of the same sentiments that my wife wrote about for TTAG in “A Mother’s Armed Self Defense Autobiography” last year, but also broadens the appeal to all women, not just mothers. Guns are important for all, and especially for women. The great equalizer indeed.

    • I agree.

      What’s interesting to me is that women are statistically going to be less interested in guns (mainly due to different biological imperatives and the different styles of conflict resolution between genders) so whenever I see women into guns, I make the assumption they were raised well or are very intelligent/logical adults.

      I know that I’m projecting a bit and this isn’t always true, but I can’t help my bias.

  3. Most women I know are bottom line kinds of people. They have given up the notion that the world is as they want and it is what it is.
    Notice I said women, not young girls, less than about 30 years old. Who operate from the heart and not the brain.
    That means that eventually they come to realize they are being lied to by the left. Not to say the right has everything right, but they are closer.
    I think it is too late and some of them are lost causes. Take Feinstein, Pelosi and Clinton … please! (Ba dum tum tum, crash)

  4. It was my significant other that brought me back to shooting. I had a number of guns but my only pistol was a Ruger Single Six .22/WMR.
    So at her insistence, I got it out and she learned to shoot.
    We got our CCW’s
    In the last five years I/we have acquired a .40 a couple of full size and carry 9’s, 10/22, AR etc.
    she loves her PK380, I carry the Shield.
    It was her sense of vulnerability (she drives 60 miles to work) that got the ball rolling as far as my shooting a lot, again. What is written above, she would repeat as though the words are her own.
    No kicking and dragging here on her part and the little shove from her got me running.

    • Like your wife, I got my husband back into it. I got into firearms because of something bad that happened to me, and that’s why I was always more of a gun person than my husband. It seems the natural order to me. He has somewhat less need of a gun than I do, so he’s not as interested.

      I’m alway shocked that this isn’t more common. As Mike says, women benefit disproportionately from carrying firearms compared to men, because of biology. The progressive men and women who want to deny me the right to carry are insane and evil.

      • “The progressive men and women who want to deny me the right to carry are insane and evil.”

        +1000. That is a fundamental truth.

        There is no justification for their position other than control of others, even at the risk of those others’ lives. Evil is exactly the right word.

        It is disgusting.

  5. You state that “…women can, and do, shoot was well as men”. In my experience, women taught properly often learn to shoot BETTER than men, largely because they are less likely to begin with bad habits.

  6. Nice column and a great read; both of them. I don’t know where you got the pic at the top of the TTAG piece but they need to abandon that goofy Weaver stance. Plus, the shooters grip needs a little work. Sorry its the instructor coming out in me.

    • The photo is of professinal models following directions of the photographer. Not the model’s error, It’s not intended to be accurare just a more pleasing photo, in effect “eye candy” for the majority of gun owners

  7. Someplace is freezing over right now. There is an excellent short “girls and guns” article on the CNN homepage. Responsible women. Learning about firearms safety. Enjoying going to the range.

    Who woulda thunkit?

  8. Great article Mike, and thanks for the reminder on Ms Schow- I’d been seeing a couple of excellent pieces written by her on the current craze to deny due process on college campuses, the “yes means yes” policy announced for all California universities by Gov Brown.

    Young men in particular- pay attention:

    That fits some of the writing lately on Instapundit, AKA Glenn Reynolds, a constitutional law professor, who has IMHO been ahead of trends by a couple of years, since he began blogging in 2001, including the latest Social Justice Warrior meme.

    This is the fundamental contradiction in current progressive political and feminist thought- that women have equal rights, but are too dainty to exercise them, and must be protected by unconstitutional policies that violate due process…

    for example, by unconstitutional denial of due process on campus using kangaroo courts….
    because all men are evil rapists,
    by denying women their constitutional right to self defense, thru anti-gun laws…
    because all men are evil gun nuts.

    The underlying justification is that big government can protect women, who all cannot protect themselves.
    Its anti-free thinking, anti-common sense, and in the end, can only be motivated by political purposes,
    the quest for power and control by the Elites Who Know Whats Best For The Little People.

    And history is full of examples of how even when the most well-meaning people construct such paradigms and processes, it ends in corruption and domination of all, with loss of freedoms and worse-
    “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Chavez, and that doesnt begin to look at Africa, and the Middle East, now replaying the tragedy of history that is radical Islam, and its central theme “submission”- all corrupted absolutely by the people in power.

    And yes, Feinstein, Boxer, and Pelosi at the federal level, and the Democrats in Sacramento, including Gov Brown, are the best examples, for as they say, as California goes, so goes the nation.

    It will take clear headed straight thinking women of principle like Ashe Schow, and Ayaan Hirsi speaking up and writing, over and over, and the innertubz and bloggers, as independent sources of information, education, and analysis for inquiring minds seeking the Truth About Guns.

    And you are correct that 2A rights are the linchpin, the canary in the coal mine for all constitutional rights, for as the Founders knew from their own experience and recent history in Europe, it is the right to self defense by the free citizen against a tyrannical government, that is underlying the right to self-defense.

    And their wisdom endures, for again, we see other constitional rights under coordinated attack by the left, for government take-overs of industry, like autos, finance, housing, and now healthcare-

    and its up to us, free citizens, to speak up and spread the word, because we simply cannot count on, much less trust the StateRunMedia and the collectivist faux aggregators like Vox, Huffpo, and the embedded Journolistas elsewhere, who actively spread the agitprop of the community coordinated and networked ngos, PACs, foundations, and pols who seek to secure the progressive agenda, including imperial control over the USA, at the state and federal level (AKA illegal “Executive Action”).

  9. A great write up to be sure, But I have to disagree with the legal system part of that..many of the rights that women enjoy in the domestic family law courts come at the expense of men rights.. having to fight for equal rights when it comes to your kids and issues like domestic violence allegations, tells a much different story then a fair justice system.

  10. If the gungrabbers lose the women, it’s all over for the 2A haters in America. Keep shooting, ladies, and tell all your lady friends.

    • Took my two young 20ish daughters shooting last weekend, my older selected a Walther for Christmas. She is getting her concealed carry next.

      She posted a bunch of photos to Facebook and all of her friends want to shoot now, too.

  11. Just last month I finished off about fifteen hundred pages about the Second Amendment and its origins, and I have to take issue with the claim that “the Second Amendment… is inherently based in the right to self-defense”. The right to armed self-defense was so taken for granted no one could envision that any American ever would be able to imagine anything wrong with it, so it wasn’t even addressed. Further, the Bill of rights is about individuals vs. government, and since the American government was supposed to rest, in terms of law, on English common law, and in English common law at the time there was no doubt whatsoever that armed self-defense was a right. The Second Amendment was aimed at government seeking to disarm the people not in terms of self-defense, but in terms of weapons which could pose a threat to a government — for a grasp of the distinction, imagine all citizens being freely allowed to carry handguns because that’s part of the inherent right to armed self-defense, but a government deciding to take away all long guns; the Second was looking at something on that order.

    OTOH, since we’ve diluted and weakened the common law right to armed self-defense, the Second has effectively become about that as well. What the Court did with Heller was effectively incorporating the self-defense issue into the Second because we’ve effectively lost the common law right. Whether that’s really a good thing is hard to say; it certainly puts all our eggs in one basket.

    • The Heller ruling was very limited because it addressed two very specific issues and the court chose to stick to only those matters.
      1. Was the ban on handguns in DC constitutional?
      2. Were the requirements to store the weapon in a condition where it was not readily available for use constitutional?

      Hence the ruling stuck to the reason those two laws were unconstitutional. They prevented someone exercising their right to self-defense- which the dicta indicated was one of the reasons under 2A, not the only one. In the dicta they, like the DC Court below them, examined the basis for the right as understood by the founding fathers and why the amendment was written in it’s specific language that the right was not to be infringed. As you state, it was because it was acknowledging that a right the colonists had as Englishmen (well, protestants- not catholics/other) would also continue and be respected by the new government. The dicta of both courts acknowledge that the English common law right was based on having arms to counter tyranny by the crown, i.e. the government.

    • Agree that self-defense was considered so basic to the Founders that it was not their first concern in writing the 2nd Amendment – the 2nd is concerned with the only DUTY mentioned in the Declaration of Independence:

      “But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  12. Well, she really couldn’t include armed self-defense as something to be thankful for in America because it doesn’t apply everywhere in the US. There are a number of jurisdictions where women are denied having an effective means for self-defense (as are men).

  13. Good article. That’s why I love my beautiful wife. She wants me to buy more guns. And she wants a CCL + a new gun next year 🙂

    • After my wife bought her own gun, she keeps bugging me to go to the range with her. And uses up all the ammo.

      Could be worse problems.

  14. I managed to survive serious attempted assaults for the first 30+years of my life by being assertive physically and verballly. I grew up with brothers close in age to me, who taught me to not let anyone pick on me. When laws changed to allow armed self defense I got on board. I enjoy handguns, both revolvers and pistsols. Joined a womens shooting leauge a few yrs ago, got my CHL two years ago, carry concealed where legal and everyday carry. I really enjoy recreational shooting and can out shoot my husband and older brother but can’t outshoot my sister-in-law (yet)
    To me it’s not a guy thing or a women thing, it’s a human rights thing.

  15. I think L. Neil Smith (one of his characters, technically) said it best in his novel, The Probability Broach:

    “No 220-pound thug can threaten the well-being and dignity of a 110-pound woman who has 2 pounds of iron to even things out.”

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