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Pro-Gun Activists Need Women on Their Side

Today The View from North Central Idaho points us to a story in the media that’s decidedly not flattering to gun owners, but I put this in the category of “they gave us enough rope, and we didn’t disappoint”:

Wives were threats. Girlfriends were threats. They are the new scourges of secular life, hunting down unsuspecting men to get bucks and tear out their hearts. Women who talked too much were threats. And women who held public office and wouldn’t shut up were the scourge of the land. I also have picked up bumper stickers at gun shows that said: “I just got a gun for my wife. It’s the best trade I ever made.” Or handouts detailing the “Top 10 Reasons Handguns Are Better than Women,” ending with the No. 1 reason, “You can buy a silencer for a handgun.” I also had seen some pretty vicious materials on Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno. A new fear floated above some of the gun exhibits: judges, lawyers and voters were giving women too much power, and the women were using that power to take guns away from their husbands, their boyfriends and their constituents. A gun-grabber lurked in the heart of the liberated woman.

Women are the fastest growing segment of the shooting community.  Saying and doing things that alienate them, and make them feel unwelcome, is a great way to put our right to bear arms in jeaopardy over the long run. This is bad press, I agree with Joe on that, but it’s bad press that we deserved. Maybe the reporter came to that gun show with a pre-existing bias, but maybe she didn’t and we created an enemy where none had previously existed.

I don’t agree with many of the things this reporter says, and the article is definitely overtly hostile, but it should serve as a lesson to gun folks out there that you have to treat noobs with kid gloves, and not to just assume that anyone you talk to is a fellow gun enthusiast, and has already drank the kool-aid. Getting into the our community can be an intimidating experience for nephytes, and that might mean setting aside a lot of the politics and rhetoric we use with each other, and just try to get the person excited about the sport. We can work on all the other prejudices, stereotypes, and preconceived notions later.

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