Marie Claire magazine has joined the War on Men With Guns launched/coordinated by Cosmopolitan magazine (and sponsored by Michael Bloomberg). Teaming up with the Harvard Injury Control Research Center — home of the notorious anti-gun researcher David Hemenway — Marie Claire’s minions surveyed some two thousand folks about firearms. One result: “51 percent of women would vote for a political candidate who vowed to push for gun control. 47 percent wouldn’t.” Here are some more interesting stats . . .
- Almost a third of American women—32 percent—report that they live in a household with a gun.
- 12 percent of American women own a gun themselves. 33 percent of men do.
- 61 percent of women who own a gun have more than one.
Wait! If the generally accepted stat asserting that 50 percent of American households have a gun, someone’s got some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy! TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia regularly point out that, when asked, people lie about guns in surveys. So there is that.
Twelve percent female firearms ownership? Wow, we’ve come a long way, baby! The stat backs up sales data showing that women are a growing segment of the gun-buying population. The fact that 61 percent of women gun owners own more than one gun shows the strength and vitality of that market. Unless . . .
Unless you’re Marie Claire and you’re presenting your Women and Guns super-duper gun feature.
To read any set of statistics about guns in the United States is to read about men. Surveys typically assess gun ownership by household, meaning that if one person keeps a gun, his or her choice ends up representing the preference of everyone in the home. Counting by household silences the voice of whoever lost the debate, if there was one. And in the important and demographically lopsided issue of gun ownership, the silenced voice is usually a woman’s. . . . it turns out that when women are allowed to speak for themselves, they have very different things to say.
Death to the male oppressors! With guns! Seriously though, MC’s editors are such spoil sports. Let’s continue.
- Among gun owners, women are less likely to carry their weapons in public than men are. 15 percent of gun-owning women reported carrying a loaded handgun in the last 30 days, versus 23 percent of gun-owning men.
- 56 percent of gun-owning women think having a gun at home makes it a safer place. But only 20 percent of women in the general populace do.
- 77 percent of gun-owning women said protection against strangers was a main reason they have a handgun.
- It is rare for a woman to be threatened with a gun—just one percent of women report having been threatened with a gun in the last five years. Even fewer women—less than one percent—report having used a gun in self-defense in the last five years.
Carrying a loaded handgun? Why, I do believe I’m getting the vapors (not my favorite band, but needs must)! While the 15 percent of women gun owners carry stat seems low, it isn’t. It’s just eight percentage points below the same stat for men. And I reckon both stats indicate an increasing willingness to carry, period.
Interesting that “only” 56 percent of gun-owning women think a gun increases home safety. I’d like to see the exact wording of that question. Alas, as is so often with this kind of data, the question verbiage got lost on the way to the printers. Internet. Whatever.
The question on “protection against strangers” — which 77 percent of female respondents list as their primary reason for gun ownership — indicates that women view a gun as a self-defense tool outside the home. And yet only 15 percent carry? Go figure.
No figuring needed as to why MC decided to hammer on the point that women aren’t attacked. Well, not much. The stat revealing that [an unstated number] less than one percent of women reported using their firearm for a defensive gun use is astounding. If it’s .05 percent of 2000, that’s ten female-enacted DGUs. As the Donald would say, that’s HUGE!
- When asked to rank several security measures by how much safer they would make the respondent feel, 36 percent of women ranked installing a home security system first. The next two most popular answers for women were having a large dog—15 percent—and taking a self-defense class—13 percent. Having a loaded gun in their purse/bag/car or having a loaded gun at home, followed—each cited by 12%.
- 47 percent of women said seeing a civilian in public wearing a holstered gun would make them feel less safe. 14 percent said they would feel safer.
- 74 percent of women believe that men and women have different mindsets about guns.
- 10 percent of women say they think about guns roughly once a day.
Open carry advocates (male and female) note: nearly half of the female population are uncomfortable with an openly carried firearm. Open carry advocates note: 14 percent are on your side, but good. Even better — but not stated — 39 percent are on the fence. Carry on!
Men and women “have different mindsets” about a given topic? Who knew? Ten percent of women think about guns “roughly” (oooh) once a day? psychologytoday.com reports that, on average, men think about sex 34.2 times a day. Women think about reproduction 18.6 times a day. I’m not sure how that’s relevant but, uh, Google is my friend.
- 62 percent of women say laws governing gun sales should be stricter. 29 percent think the laws are fine as they are, and 8 percent say they should be less strict.
- 63 percent of women want gun laws to be a major topic in the coming presidential debates.
- 51 percent of women would vote for a political candidate who vowed to push for gun control. 47 percent wouldn’t.
- 51 percent of women want the next president to take action about guns, including 25 percent advocating for tougher gun control and 14 percent asking for better background checks and mental health screenings.
Marie Claire’s editors and other gun control advocates use these stats to bolster their anti-gun agitprop. I say, fuhgeddaboutit. Aside from the voting question, these results are meaningless without knowing exactly what was asked. What action do they want the president to take? What does “tougher gun control” mean?
- Terrorist attacks and school shootings have had a greater negative impact on women’s feelings about guns than men’s. 49 percent of women report more negative feelings about guns, while only 33 percent of men do.
- 45 percent of women say mass public shootings have increased because of personal problems, like untreated mental illness. 30 percent of women blame society, including media coverage of mass shootings.
While you’d expect Mama Bears to be more upset about terrorist attacks than Papa Bears, the fact that someone “feels negative” about guns after a terrorist attack (assuming we’re talking about an attack involving guns, as opposed to, say, a pressure cooker bomb) doesn’t tell you very much, really. I feel pretty negative about cars after a huge, deadly accident. But I still love my car. If you catch my drift.
Notice that the question about mass public shootings assumes that they’ve increased. They haven’t. (Even The Washington Post and the New York Times have grudgingly admitted this.) Equally, the survey didn’t state the answers as the primary reason for mass shootings. There were bound to be overlapping answers.
Here’s the rest of the data, regarding the last five years:
- 18% of women have become more interested in owning a gun
- 18% of women have become less interested in owning a gun
- 17% of women have shot a gun for any reason
- 13% of women have gone shooting at a shooting range
- 5% of women have attended a gun show or expo
- 5% of women have given or received a gun as a gift
- 4% of women have gone hunting with a gun
- 4% of women have gotten a gun for the first time
- 4% of women have witnessed gun violence or the threat of it in person
- 3% of women have obtained one or more guns in addition to those they already owned
- 2% of women have lobbied for gun rights
There’s a lot of info there. My takeaway: women aren’t active in the shooting sports, hunting and self-defense training. There’s a market there, folks. And the more active women become with firearms, the safer our gun rights will be.