Economist John Lott once observed that, statistically, a gun in the hands of a womanreduces the murder rate for women three to four times more than an additional man carrying a gun does for men.
Those who attended the “Armed and Fabulous” talk hosted by Townhall.com’s White House Correspondent Katie Pavlich at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week might feel that the same multiplier comes into play when women step up to fight for the right to keep and bear firearms compared with their male counterparts, too.
The time when women firearm owners were rare are quickly fading into the rear-view mirror of history. As Salena Zito points out in a recent article, women are increasingly an important gun-owning demographic, The Pittsburgh-based reporter calls them “the next threat to the Democratic Party.”
They’re also in a rather unique social space, where they are at odds with a (gradually fading) ancient gender role in which women are not expected to physically protect themselves, and a much newer gender role particular to American politics in which women are expected to support gun control policies.
When you think about it, that sounds as though it is grounded in the ancient ‘women cannot protect themselves’ gender role that left-wing politics is supposed to disdain. (Left-wing patriarchy, perhaps?)
Because of that, the women hosted by Ms. Pavlich often have to face not just the usual disdain for their politics from the establishment media that their male gun rights activist counterparts do, but also an especial contempt because of their perceived betrayal of the expected political norms.
One of the ladies on the panel — Antonia Okafor — has to face twice as much, due to the color of her skin. Nevertheless, they persist.
And their voices are more important not just because of what they’re saying, but because of who they are, and the fact that they are laughing in the face of the establishment all the while.
They all came to firearms ownership through different paths.
Kim Corban survived a rape attack while she was a sophomore at the University of Northern Colorado; the felon (who’s now serving 24 years to life) broke into her apartment and assaulted her for two hours.
Famously, she challenged President Barack Obama’s plans to disarm the citizenry in pursuit of an imagined safety during a CNN town hall in 2016. (At the time, President Obama suggested that a gun would not have helped her fight off the attacker, saying that someone had to be “pretty well trained” to use a firearm against an attacker.)
Ashlee Lundvall came to the world of firearms through involvement in hunting.
In one sense, that stands to reason: she’s passionate about the environment, the outdoors, and conservation, and after moving to Wyoming, learned that no one helps advance those causes worldwide more than hunters. (“Hunters,” she remarked, “are the original farm-to-table people.”)
In another sense, though, it is surprising. Ashlee is the winner of the 2013 Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant, and has been partially paralyzed by an accident in 1999, and this fact is even more surprising when you learn that Ashlee became a hunter after the accident.
More recently, she has worked as a guide for introducing people with disabilities to hunting, founding the Wyoming Disabled Hunters organization. “It’s very empowering to see people get out and do things that they don’t think their disability would ever allow them to do.” The woman just doesn’t let anything stop her.
Antonia Okafor was the Southwest Regional Director of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus while a graduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she fought for the passage of the Lone Star State’s campus carry law.
Her new project is EmPOWERed, which seeks to unite women on college campuses who support owning and carrying firearms for self-defense purposes. She comes from a family of lifelong Democrats, but informed by events in her earlier life, found herself moving toward a libertarian philosophy (and, incidentally, embraced Rand Paul’s campaign for President.)
Sitting as she does at the intersection of a lot of different perspective, she takes the inevitable flak (“How can you advocate for the Second Amendment? You’re black? Isn’t that racist?”) with poise and dignity.
Kristi McMains is an attorney who was walking to her car in a parking garage one night when she was attacked by a knife-weilding kidnapper while in a parking garage. Kristi fought with all of her strength, but found that she was physically outmatched by her attacker.
“I fought like hell,” she said, “…and I still couldn’t get him off of me…. That’s why I grabbed my gun.”
Inspired by Kim Corban’s example — the two met at the 2016 NRA Convention in Louisville, where Corban was being honored — Kristi made a commercial endorsing Donald Trump’s run for President due to his support for gun rights, which was shared liberally via social media.
They are all very engaging. The firearms community is fortunate to have women like these willing to stand up and speak — not just in defense of the Second Amendment politically but also as people who work to get others involved in the hobby, in the lifestyle.
Their conversation (which includes introductory videos) is worth watching if you have the time. Which one do you think is most effective?