My Response to an Anti Gun Article from a Feminist Website

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on January 22, 2010 at 12:01 am
LearnAboutGuns.com > Pro Gun Rights Articles > My Response to an Anti Gun Article from a Feminist Website

In an article entitled “Women pack gats,” a feminist writer makes a variety of anti gun statements while lamenting the fact that more and more women are becoming gun owners.  In the process of doing so, she displays blatant racism and a lack of knowledge on the issue of guns.  Quoted sections of that article, and my responses, are below:

Just what we need, more white people with guns.

The above quote is the opening sentence of the article.  As we can see, the author didn’t wast time, and instead got right down to expressing her racist views.  I find it particularly sad that someone who holds themselves out as a feminist doesn’t seem to understand that discrimination, regardless of the race/gender it is targeted against, is inherently wrong.  The problem in our society is not people who dislike group X, but rather the fact that some people believe it proper to stereotype everyone in a given group then discriminate against the members of that group.  But, I won’t dwell on that point or get into a long discussion on discrimination in general, since I don’t wish to stray too far from the issue of guns.

However, it is worth noting that racism and opposition to gun rights often go hand in hand.  The first gun control laws were enacted after the civil war, and expressly forbid the recently freed slaves from having a gun for self defense against the race-motivated violence that was commonplace.  After civil rights legislation put an end to laws that facially discriminated based upon race, racists had to find a new way to prevent African Americans from owning guns.  Their solution was to ban inexpensive guns, which were the only guns that most African Americans could afford.  That approach worked for many years, and some of those “junk gun” laws are still in effect today. Fast forward to the present, and gun control is pushed by those who suggest that African American and other minorities are too irresponsible to own guns.  From day one, gun control has been a favorite of racists, and that trend is sadly alive and well today, helping to ensure that victims of hate crimes are unable to defend themselves against their racist attackers.

On the other hand, gun rights supporters can be found on the side of racial equality.  While the media and uninformed individuals may assume that the NRA and its members are racist, nothing could be further from the truth.  Instead, the NRA is this country’s oldest civil rights organization, and has stood up for the rights of minorities for decades.  Today, the NRA continues to stand up for the rights of minorities, spending its time and resources to do so when other civil rights organizations turn a blind eye.  In my personal experience as an African American, I can say that the many gun owners I’ve met so far in Illinois and Iowa are universally non-racist.  Instead, as I’ve noted before, gun owners seem to go out of their way to make me feel welcome.

According to the beloved NRA (barf) the use of firearms by women has gone up significantly. Yes ladies, why deal with your feelings (and I will ignore the sexist assumption that women are more *sensitive* then men) when you can shoot sh[*]t?

Firstly, I would note that the primary purpose of gun ownership (at least for me and the many gun owners I know) is not to go shooting as an alternative to dealing with our feelings.  For some people, myself included, the main reason for owning guns is self defense.  For others, it is hunting.  Still more enjoy target shooting as a competitive sport.  I also know some gun owners who rarely fire a gun at all, and instead view guns mainly as historical collectible items.

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Even assuming that target shooting or hunting was a person’s preferred method of blowing off steam, I don’t see that as a problem.  Both are safe, lawful activities that have the added benefit of helping to ensure that more citizens are well trained in the use of firearms, should they need to defend themselves against a violent criminal.

Complicated issues, yes. I for one sometimes do want a gun when I am walking in the streets at night and I feel unsafe. I won’t lie, but then I have to remind myself how much of what I feel of fear is real and how much is perceived or based on the media painting images of crime and what it looks like. But I don’t want a gun, I hate them . . .  I am going to guess that these women are buying guns to keep in their house (in the suburbs oooohhhh) for self-defense.

I had a glimmer of hope for this feminist author when I read the first two sentences quoted above, but that hope was quickly dashed by the next few sentences.

Here, the author seems to acknowledge that crime exists, and that women in particular are targeted by violent criminals.  However she then downplays the concern, suggesting that those fears aren’t real.  Allow me to assure her and those reading this article that those concerns are indeed valid.  Every day, women are raped, murdered, and otherwise victimized by violent criminals.  This stats page states that a woman is raped every two minutes, and that the 1995 US Department of Justice crime stats reported over 350,000 cases of rape.

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Why do so many women suffer at the hands of their attackers?  I would say that it comes down to the fact that as a matter of biology and cultural norms, women tend to be physically smaller and weaker then men.  Thus, when an average hight/weight man who has lived a violent life attacks an average height/weight woman, chances are the woman will lose – unless she has a gun for self defense.

When women are armed for self defense, they are in the best position possible to defend themselves, as a few examples I’ve written about before show: This armed woman was able to defend herself against a rapist who came back to rape her for a second time in a week.  This armed woman used her gun to fend off a home invader. This 85 year old armed woman held a young burglar at gunpoint and made him call the police on himself.  This armed woman stopped an attacker who tried to ambush her.  This armed pregnant woman used a shotgun to scare away two home invaders.   This armed female school teacher used a gun to save herself from a convicted felon who broke into her home, while this armed woman saved herself and her family from a pair of armed, kidnappers.  I could list more examples, but the point should be clear – crime victims, be they male or female, can and do defend themselves with guns every day.

I think they are awful (beyond the fact that half the kids in my classroom have seen someone get shot and I see the effect of such trauma).

Here, the author confuses guns with the intentional actions of criminals.  A gun is an inanimate object that, by itself, can do neither good nor ill. A common rebuttal to that statement is that guns enable criminals to commit their crimes.  To that I have two responses:

Firstly, criminals can and do commit horrendous crimes without guns.  As an example, this boy was set on fire, allegedly by a group of thugs that didn’t appreciate the fact that he called the police on them. Similarly, this disabled woman was slashed with a knife, allegedly by the same group of attackers who had just stabbed her dog to death.  As another example, this disabled man was tortured to death by a group of home invaders who were armed with knives.  As a final example, 7 people were killed and 11 were injured by a man who allegedly used his car and a knife to mow down and stab as many people as he could.  The fact is that violence has been around since long before the invention of gunpowder, and blaming one tool for violence is misguided.

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Secondly, criminals are people who by definition don’t obey the laws, meaning that a criminal who is willing to commit a murder/robbery/rape is also going to be quite willing to violate any gun control law. This fact is apparent in Chicago, which has had a gun ban since before I was born yet has no shortage of armed criminals who prey upon their defenseless victims.  Even countries such as the UK, which strictly banned gun at the national level, see no shortage of criminals armed with illegal guns.  Indeed, rather than decrease after the nation wide gun control laws went into effect, gun related crime doubled in Britain.  Until criminals start obeying the law, gun bans aren’t going to stop criminals from having guns any more than the law against rape stops criminals from committing that crime.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, it’s at least 20 times more likely that you’ll use your weapon to shoot someone in your home rather than using it to protect yourself from an intruder. “If you bring a gun into the home, it increases the risk of homicide by three,” said Becca Knox of the Brady Campaign.

Here we have yet another person quoting some variant of the long since disproven “statistic” that gun ownership is more dangerous than beneficial.  This myth was started by a Mr. Kellermann, in his flawed study “Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearms-Related Deaths in the Home.” There were numerous flaws with the study, the most important being the fact that it only counted deaths of criminals at the hands of homeowners and deaths of homeowners involving their own guns.  This is flawed approach because the overwhelming majority of the 2.5 million self defense uses each year don’t result in a shot being fired at all, and even when a shot is fired, the criminal usually doesn’t die from their injuries.  That means that that this “study” totally ignored most self defense gun uses, such as the ones where the criminal is scared away at the sight of the armed homeowner, held at gunpoint until the police arrive, or shot and merely wounded.  As a properly conducted study found, the true statistic is that 65 lives are protected for every 2 lives lost, which means that gun ownership is overwhelmingly safe and beneficial, both to the individual and to society. See Dr. Suter’s paper “Guns in the Medical Literature – A Failure of Peer Review.” Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. Published March 1994.

My thanks to Anders for pointing out the anti gun article.

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  • Fred

    Another outstanding article that debunks the anti-gun rhetoric. Thanks Eric and keep it up.

  • http://leftcoastconservative.blogspot.com Left Cost Conservative

    It is interesting to read the comments posted after the article. By my count 3 comments agreed with the authors thesis, 9 disagree, and one was neutral.

    That proportion seems surprising, except when one considers the large number of new shooters that have bought their first guns last year, the proliferation of “shall-issue” concealed carry laws, and the number of “evil black rifles” sold last year.

    The old liberal view that guns=evil seems to be rejected by an ever increasing number of people, some of whom posted very rational comments in favor of armed self-defense in response to the article.

  • JD

    Eric my man you have out done yourself with this article. One of your best arguments.
    Hate to be your oposition in a court room.

  • Anders

    I just tried to add a comment with a link to this article.

    Guess what
    “Commenting is closed on this post.”

    That did not last long

    • http://www.learnaboutguns.com The LearnAboutGuns.com Author

      Yeah, I tried the same thing, with the same result. It is sad how they shy away from debate.

  • Roger

    Heck the title of the article was even incorrect…. (never heard the term “Gats” but found out tonight that it’s short for “Gattling Gun”) Now My Friends….. Just how many ladies (or men for that matter) have you EVER seen packing a Gattling Gun around town :) hehe

    It’s a shame that the lady who started her response by saying that she liked the Brady Bunch statistic could not check those facts for herself. She’s content being a no-brainer “follower” and letting the clueless lead her around and tell her what to think.

  • Fabian

    I have a question… Did the author alter the article since you quoted? Because your 2nd quote leaves out a whole point that is made in the article… It’s as far as I got reading before I got turned off by it.

    The author quotes Sandra Froman (presumably) from the NRA as saying that crimes of passion are more commonly committed by men, and that learning to shoot firearms also teaches to control one’s emotions (an observation I have made first-hand and told anti-gun friends about).

    She (my guess…) then reads a “sexist assumption that women are more sensitive then men” into that statement of fact (again, itself made by a woman), and takes it to mean that “shooting shit” is emotionless and that Mrs. Froman thinks that is a good thing.

    Completely wrong. I have shot a gun for the first time a little more than a year ago and, as I said, have made the same observation as Mrs. Froman. Of course I knew, as everyone with a functioning mind does, that inherently, a gun can seriously injure or kill someone on the recieving end. But pulling the trigger and feeling the force of it, and seeing the gas exiting the barrel has very effectively illustrated that theoretic knowledge. I have repeatedly said to skeptic friends that if you were to give me a gun before, and after my first gun-training, I will today be much more thoughtful about shooting at someone I have to defend myself against.

    The fact that the author of that blog turned this observation around to mean that there is no emotion or consideration involved in “shooting shit” frankly sickens me.

    • http://www.learnaboutguns.com The LearnAboutGuns.com Author

      I don’t believe the article was modified. Note that I don’t address every single point in every article which I rebut, since doing so would be quite time consuming and lead to me writing articles that were longer than most people would read. Instead, I just pick the points that I find the most worthy of a response.

  • Fabian

    *(presumably female), that is. Sorry. Need to proofread…

  • akira

    I think the woman who wrote the article missed a point. When she wrote “…then I have to remind myself how much of what I feel of fear is real and how much is perceived or based on the media painting images of crime and what it looks like…”
    It doesn’t matter what it looks like, if the fear is real etc… the risk of being a victim may be 1 on 500000, but when you’re about to become the victim, there are no second chance: either you’re ready to defend yourself with something serious, or you’re going to be the victim.
    The criminals in my coutry? Last time they robbed an armored van of a private company that
    transport money they used burning cars as a roadblock, fully automatic Kalashnikov‎ to fight the guards and explosives to breach in the armored van…

  • Eric in Sacramento

    Lots of good comments here, but even with all the good points made, and considering the subject matter, there's always more good points that can be made, so here goes: IT'S ABOUT MY RIGHTS. It's irrelevant if my neighbor shoots himself in the foot every time he attempts to clean his gun; it's irrelevant if more law-abiding citizens die from gunshots than criminals; it's irrelevant if criminals outgun the cops (which they do); it's even irrelevant to my rights how many children die accidentally from gunshots. The fact is, I need a gun to protect my family, and I will do so regardless of any statistic. Even without a family, I still have myself to protect.

    • Clemorswhomp

      Very good thought. I just wanted to point out there is no such word as irrelevant.

  • Dave

    OK. Responding here is preaching to the choir. Have you offered this to the publication that printed the original article? (Or did I miss that part?) Anyhow, putting this here is a little like giving a pro-dog park speech to the American Kennel Club or something, you know?

  • Matt

    for those that apparently dont know, "gat" is a modern slang term for a gun.
    And that feminist author is clearly VERY poorly informed, and likes to make grand assumptions based on her very limited and narrow point of view.
    i cannot believe this person is actually a teacher! no wonder our children receive such poor quality education, too many people pretending they know everything when they barely know anything

  • Larry Fields

    Eric, I linked to this great article of yours in an article of mine, at hubpages.com. http://larryfields.hubpages.com/hub/Larrys-Take-o

  • Gallstones

    Your link isn't working. this one worked for me today http://feministing.com/2006/03/19/women_pack_gats

    • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

      Thanks, I've updated the link.