I believe that firearms rights are a gender equality issue as well, and bans on firearms (especially handgun bans) are discriminatory against women. Allow me to explain why:
Firearms, especially lower recoiling ones such as handguns, allow any person to wield enough power to stop another person from attacking them. This is certainly not a new revelation on my part: the Colt revolver was nicknamed “the great equalizer” for its ability to put those who carried it on a level playing field, despite differences in physical strength. Guns allow the 5’2″, 95 lb. woman to fend off a 6’5″ 300 lb. attacker. They allow the little old grandma to defend herself as well. The same is true for the handicapped. Banning firearms, especially when the ban is targeted at handguns only, has a disproportionate effect upon the members of our society who are less physically strong. As a simple matter of biology, most women are physically less strong then most men. This means that taking away “the great equalizer” from them puts these women at a disadvantage, relative to men. Now consider that a relatively minor weapons possession charge is not going to deter someone who would face many years or life in prison if caught for rape, robbery, etc., you can see that firearms bans will leave the law abiding women defenseless, and their potential attackers armed.
Today, many women (quite reasonably) fear the threat of attack by a physically stronger man, and a firearm could prevent many of these attacks. Take the case of the “North Side Rapist” in Chicago, a city where hand guns are banned, as an example: The rapist broke in to the womens homes, and at least one of the women heard him break in and then climb the stairs. Had this woman had a handgun, she almost certainly could have stopped the rapist before it was too late. This would have prevented her from enduring such a horrific crime, as well as preventing the rapist’s future victims from experiencing the same thing. Instead, Chicago law prevented her from being able to defend herself, and gave the advantage to the rapist/home-invader. Women in areas with gun rights are able to defend themselves every day. This is not an isolated incident, and similar events happen every day across the county. Even more women are attacked or even killed by former boyfriends and husbands, and even with a restraining order and police protection, they are still vulnerable.
It has been my experience that many women who are willing to learn to fire a handgun are not willing to fire a rifle or shotgun, which causes handgun-only bans to be more of a burden on women then men. Cities such as Chicago ban handguns, but somewhat allow the ownership of rifles or shotguns. I noted this in the article “5 Reasons to Support Gun Rights and Oppose Gun Control“, where I mentioned that I am still unable to get my girlfriend to want to fire a shotgun. She has no problem handling large caliber handguns, even when loaded with even +P+ ammunition, but doesn’t feel comfortable with the recoil from a shotgun, even when shooting low recoil shells. She also dislikes the need to place her face against the shogun stock to properly aim it. Were a physically stronger rapist/home-invader to break in, she would not be able to effectively defend herself without a handgun. If she were to suddenly decide to pickup the shotgun at that moment, I’m willing to bet that the combination of stress from the home invasion and fear of firing the shotgun would make her ineffective with it. In short, banning handguns would make her and other similarly situated women unable to defend themselves.
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A couple of notes:
[Not to detract from the main topic of this article, but I wanted to quickly address those who would say that the gun ban prevents the rapist/murderer/robber from having a gun too: It should be clear that a person who is bent on committing felonies such as rape, murder, and home invasion, which can lead to imprisonment for decades if not life, will not be deterred by Chicago’s misdemeanor weapons possession charge that has an absolute maximum of 6 months in prison. Only the law abiding citizens, such as the victims in this case, will be deterred from owning a gun, not hardened criminals.]
[I would also like to make clear that I am in no way stating that all women are “weak”, that men are superior, or any other such utterly ridiculous nonsense. I am confident that there are plenty of women who, with or without a gun, could beat me senseless. Rather, I am saying that as a matter of biology and perhaps our cultural norms, most women are smaller and less physically strong then most men, which can put them at a disadvantage when it comes to physical attacks by men.]
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