Women and Guns, Women and Freedom



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By Claire Wolfe, April 6th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

I am a woman of a certain age. When I look back on my first gun purchase, I shake my head.

I was maybe 21 at the time -- and scared. Several teenage girls and young women had been stabbed to death within miles of my home. Knowing nothing, I went into a gun shop and asked for a handgun for self protection. The owner pulled a shiny, tiny .25 out of a case and said that was the best gun for a woman. I bought the gun -- and bought his claim about women and firearms.

Which I now realize was laughable.

How things have changed.

Today, a young woman wanting to buy a gun or learn to shoot has all the resources of the Internet for research. She probably has access to training classes well populated by, and perhaps even taught by, women. She can reach out to other shooters, male and female, across the world. She can join groups that exist to encourage and empower women shooters.

If she goes into a shop or a gun show to purchase a firearm, she'll know she has options (even if, at first, the possibilities seem overwhelming). And woe betide any gun seller who assumes that the "little lady" can't handle anything but a .25.

Fortunately few make such assumptions anymore. Guns of all calibers are for everyone who can safely, responsibly handle them. Guns are indeed "the great equalizer" and nearly every "gun guy" I know is happy to have more people stepping up for self defense, skill-building, and shooting sports.

In fact, women are now reportedly among the fastest growing groups when it comes to buying guns, getting concealed carry permits, and taking up hunting and target shooting. (We are still a minority, but our numbers are growing amazingly. In an early 2013 article, even the anti-gun New York Times had to admit, "Women's participation in shooting sports has surged over the last decade, increasing by 51.5 percent for target shooting from 2001 to 2011, to just over 5 million women, and by 41.8 percent for hunting ...")

Unfortunately, there are still a few around who don't like females having guns. My JPFO colleagues Nicki Kenyon and Kurt Hofmann both happened to report on a few of those recently (here and here and here). But most of the remaining bigots are found exactly where you'd expect them -- in legislatures and the media. In the real world, most gun owners understand that we're all in this together.

Women and freedom

We're also together in the fight for freedom. Every individual who stands up and says, "It's my responsibility to defend myself, my family, and my community" is a potential friend of freedom. And they are that regardless of their sex, gender identity, age, politics, skin color, religion, or anything else. The very act of acknowledging such an enormous individual responsibility (and proud individual ability) is huge.

It's an amazing leap from dependence to independence.

But I fear that a lot of the new women who are buying guns, taking training, and enjoying the skills and thrills of shooting sports haven't (yet) grasped the bigger implications of their choices. That is, they still have a ways to go before they understand that guns don't merely protect people; they potentially protect freedom. Without greater understanding of history, of the principles of liberty, and of the Bill of Rights, many of these women may go no farther than they already have.

I know that, at this point, most JPFO members and active supporters are men. Here, too, we women are in the minority. And that's fine. Equality of opportunity doesn't have to lead to equality of results (no matter what some scary politicians and bureaucrats think).

But those millions of women now purchasing their first gun, going on their first hunt, shopping for concealed carry gear on Amazon.com, or venturing into the kind of hard-core training that would have made that guy at my first gun store faint from shock -- they're all potential allies in the fight against tyranny and for liberty. That fight, we should never forget, is first and foremost a fight for hearts and minds.

You guys of JPFO? You're the fathers or husbands or brothers or friends or boyfriends or grandfathers of these young women. You mean something to them. They mean something to you. We mean something to you. You mean something to us.

So -- you guys of JPFO, you men who stand for freedom (and you, too, my fellow female JPFO supporters) -- if you know a woman who's just getting into guns but hasn't yet made the leap to understanding why guns in the hands of free people really, truly matter, offer her knowledge.

Send her to JPFO's Bill of Rights pages. Invite her to read Richard W. Stevens' classic essay, "The Six Things Americans Should Know About the Second Amendment." Email her a link to your favorite pro-rights article. Encourage her to sign up for daily JPFO alerts. Show her some stunning videos. JPFO has a wealth of free resources.

Going beyond the freebies, don't forget JPFO's reader-friendly Gran'Pa Jack booklets (including "Gun Control Kills Kids"). Or videos like 2nd A Today for the USA and the powerful Innocents Betrayed, which shows the heartbreaking connection between gun control and genocide. A gift membership could be a good thing, too.

JPFO doesn't usually turn articles into self-promotions. I'm speaking here as an individual who happens to write for JPFO. So I'm going to say that if you don't want to use JPFO materials -- then don't. There's a lot of good information online. But you men and women of JPFO: do a girlfriend (or a daughter or a granddaughter or a neighbor) a favor. Do freedom a favor. Give some budding shooter a high five -- and then give her a chance to advance into the wide, wonderful world in which firearms -- and knowledge -- are tools for building freedom.

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