I was grocery shopping a couple months ago when I walked past the magazine rack. I stopped to see if there were any new magazines I might find interesting. I tossed a quilting magazine and a gun magazine in my cart and headed to the checkout. The checker commented, “Interesting magazine choices.” I shrugged. “What can I say?” I replied. “I like to sew stuff and I like to shoot stuff.” Yeah. I’m a gun girl . . .
Women make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the gun-owning populace. While women still lag behind men in gun ownership numbers – 23 percent of women as opposed to 46 percent of men, according to a 2011 Gallup poll – we’re catching up. According to Gallup, in 2005 only 13 percent of women reported owning a gun. Indiana reports a 42-percent increase in gun permits for women between 2012 and 2014.
Firearm and accessory manufacturers have taken note. Gun shops carry pink and purple handguns, pink-camo modern sporting rifles, and pink shooting gloves and vests. The Flashbang is but one of many concealed-carry holsters being marketed to female shooters. Handbag makers are increasingly offering concealed-carry purses and totes. I even found a concealed-carry purse sewing pattern.
Speaking of concealed carry, self-defense is one of the biggest reasons we buy guns. The National Shooting Sports Federation, in a 2013 study, found that women are motivated to buy their first firearm primarily for self-defense. But self-defense isn’t the only reason we ladies buy guns. I enjoy target shooting. I find that the concentration required in shooting is an excellent stress reliever, and it’s just plain fun.
The Demanding Moms, of course, would have us believe that women – especially moms – unequivocally support gun control. Gun restrictionist groups are targeting female voters in this year’s midterm elections. Rep. Jan Schakowsky(D-IL) has said, “Gun control is a women’s issue because it is a major factor in domestic violence and deaths of children.” Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, she of “the shoulder thing that goes up,” has said that “Congress must become more afraid of the moms than the NRA.”
But does gun control truly benefit women? As a woman and a mom, I say no. My rights as a woman necessarily include the right to choose the form of personal defense I deem best for myself and my family. If I decide that includes a Remington 870 for home defense and a GLOCK brand GLOCK for carry outside the home, so be it. And I believe my duties as a parent include teaching my son the tools he needs to be able to defend himself and his future family. (And yes, the lad can recite the Four Rules in his sleep.)
Women like Suzanna Gratia Hupp, Nikki Goeser, and Gayle Trotter are advocating tirelessly for our right to choose appropriate self-defense. We need more strong women like these.
We Women of the Gun are, I believe, the strongest antidote to the Demanding Moms. We take away one of the biggest talking points the Demanding Moms have – that “no one needs a gun.” We defuse the oft-repeated epithet that gun owners are all a bunch of OFWGs who are, ahm, deficient in the manhood department. We make it harder for the Demanding Moms to complain that Second Amendment supporters are just trying to harass women. And oh yeah, we show that shootin’ is as much fun for women as quiltin’.
I call on my sisters of the gun to stand up for our rights and our freedoms. I call on my brothers of the gun to support us. Let’s show the Demanding Moms that gun rights are a women’s right.