Women are Part of the Debate

Courtesy of John Richardson on Twitter, I came across this post which supports a claim that pro-gun women’s voices haven’t been heard in the current debate on gun control. They argue that gun control is all they hear out of women’s voices at the moment. I totally disagree with this premise, but unlike the CBS article and accompanying blog post, I’ve going to back my argument up with evidence.

As I tweeted back to John, there was the highly publicized feature of Jessie Duff on Fox News where she was featured as the expert on firearms. In next week’s Senate hearing on gun control, a woman will be one of the pro-Second Amendment speakers. I also immediately thought of the coverage here in Pennsylvania of the big pro-gun rally last Saturday which featured a female NRA board member. They also interviewed another woman in the audience who supported Second Amendment rights.

But I’ll concede that’s just what I could think of off the top of my head. To do a little more research on the gender divide of pro-gun versus anti-gun, I went through several pages of Google News results on the term “gun control” and selected random articles on different gun law-related news from the last day and a half. Here’s what I found:

As you can see from this quick and dirty survey of outlets around the country, there are more men quoted and writing to newspapers in support of gun control than women, and women are often featured as being pro-gun nearly as much as men. Is it perfectly balanced? No. But, considering that the shooting sports and gun ownership have been pretty overwhelmingly male-dominated for a long time. That’s changing, and I actually do think that is reflected in the media narrative.

In fact, I think that the growing visible involvement of women in the Second Amendment movement is why you don’t see us getting steamrolled right now. There’s a little secret that politicians already know. That secret is that once women get involved with something, they often get loud and visible about it, and the bring the whole family on board. In all of the pro-gun political volunteer work I’ve done, the offices are full of predominantly women. So, while there may still be more men quoted in all of the articles, whether for our rights or against us, the fact that there are still quite a few female pro-Second Amendment voices being heard speaks volumes.

11 Responses to “Women are Part of the Debate”

  1. Ish says:

    Tam, Roberta X, Bitter, Jennifer, Breda, LabRat*, Cornered Cat…

    * (Or is it Stingray? I can never keep the screennames straight.)

  2. This article, and the linked news articles are great! I see plenty of pro-gun women as well, I interact with them every single day. I did highlight Jesse Duff’s educational visit on Fox News in my Blog, she provided an amazing, fact based demonstration. I also agree that there are a LOT of anti-gun men. I think it is possible that you and I, and Ish who commented above, read and interact with pro-gun people everyday, and we take for granted that everyone cares as much as we do. I am in the military, and most of the people I know, maybe all are pro-gun. Seriously, it could be 100%.

    Still, occasionally at a dinner party or other social event, I come in contact with ladies who are not educated with firearms, and should the conversation go toward guns, I am amazed at their responses. Just a few weeks ago, a friend of a friend told me a story where a man had come into her house, and she woke up and was so scared she basically just “fell back asleep.” Why? She has zero defense. She later woke up again, and he had stolen some things, but she was otherwise unharmed. I asked her if she wanted to go to the range with me, and she said she might, but she was scared of guns. This conversation caused several ladies to begin talking, and before I knew it I was defending our rights and trying to calmly explain to them why, as women, they might consider having a gun.

    There are a LOT of female pro-gun voices out there, I have them highlighted on my blog as well, and celebrate each one as they support our causes.

    By sharing that CBS Article last night I want to remind the ladies that they must get out and fight. They must make their voices heard. I agree with your statement that once the ladies are involved, they pull in the families, and they are definitely a force to be reckoned with!

    Thank you for your time, and I am glad to have found your site – we are on the same side.

    ~Lil Chantilly

    • Bitter says:

      I never said we weren’t on the same side, but I will still gladly debate your premise for posting that women are somehow “missing” from the debate. In your post, you said, “As a female gun owner I agree with these ladies completely” after you highlighted a section where “these ladies” said that they don’t see other women at the table making the case against gun control. You say that you agree with that, I don’t. I’m always happy to have more women in the debate, but claiming that they are “missing” is actually a bit insulting to the many women who have been working on this issue politically for decades. (See the comments below about Sandy Froman & Marion Hammer whose work is being ignored by these kinds of statements.)

      But I’ll be honest, the biggest reason that I disagreed with your post and the premise that women aren’t part of the current debate on gun ownership is because it sets us back as women. Claiming that we’re being ignored (when we’re not) is right on the edge of claiming victimhood. We’re not being oppressed as women in the gun issue, nor are we being ignored because we’re women. We’re represented in fairly reasonable proportion given the still very male-dominated nature of the shooting sports & gun rights activism that have really only started to come closer to balanced in the last decade or so.

      The reason I don’t like arguments that is because of the women I know who are really involved in either the shooting side of the game or the political defense of the Second Amendment, we tend to be empowered by the right to defend ourselves.

      Now, if you framed the issue that the media is very biased against all firearms ownership and they feature many anti-gun advocates in general, then I would agree with that. That’s an issue of the larger Second Amendment debate, but it’s not being ignored because we’re women, nor are women being disproportionately highlighted as anti-gun.

      Can women be a more powerful voice? Yes. Can they be even louder in the current climate? Yes. And there are positive messages that can be used to encourage activism. But, to completely ignore the many, many women who have come before and have been outspoken on the issue, that’s just trying to edit history in order to get sympathy. I prefer a message more along the lines of “We can do it!” I know I’m not alone in that because the many, many women who attended yesterday’s Friends of NRA volunteer meeting I attended were the first to step up and volunteer when called upon, and it didn’t take any gender-specific call to action.

  3. I’m such a slacker when responding to stuff on Twitter!

    I watched Jessie Duff on Hannity when it was broadcast. She is a great spokesperson as are a lot of other women. Others that come to mind would be Julie Golob, Tam, you, etc.

    Searching back in my mind why I retweeted that tweet I think I wanted to emphasize that we need more women in the debate. There are a lot of unintended consequences to the gun control bills and one of them is to put more women and children at risk esp. from home invasions.

  4. HappyWarrior6 says:

    One of the most strikingly pro-gun speeches I have ever heard was from two ladies from “Second Amendment Sisters” speaking at Gettysburg College a few years ago. I had no doubts about women’s voices and RKBA after that.

  5. Drifter says:

    As I alluded to here the other day, there are many female names on our side whose names are familiar to gunnies. However, to the masses, “pro-gun” equals “NRA”, and you don’t see any NRA reps that aren’t OWGs sporting expensive suits and John Edwards haircuts. I feel that this perception hurts our cause.

    • Ish says:

      Sandra Froman, President of the NRA from 2005 to 2007, isn’t an Old White Guy. She’s a Jewish lawyer from San Fransisco and a Harvard grad… she’d refute many of Piers Morgan’s arguments just by showing up on camera.

      Remember, it isn’t often our side that choses who gets to sit opposite the talking heads. Larry Corriea was great on Huckabee, but it was Huckabee… You really think they’re going to book him for The View?

      • Harold says:

        Not to mention Marion Hammer, who’s doing a lot of op-eds right now and was NRA President from 1995-8.

        Wasn’t she an important part in getting Florida’s shall issue law passed? If so, we owe her and the others who accomplished that, well, perhaps everything, since the nationwide sweep of shall issue laws 1987-2011 totally changed the gun control landscape. In the longer term I consider it more important than the 1994-2000 Democratic debacles that we now know only temporarily kept gun control off the national stage.

    • Bitter says:

      Using a couple of samples from above, I don’t think that the average person actually needs to know Jessie Duff’s name or background in order to see that she’s involved in our issue. She’s been all over Fox News presented simply as a competitive shooter who knows guns.

      The NRA board member mentioned in the Harrisburg protest doesn’t need to be a household name, she was cited in the media, along with her arguments for our rights.

      Now, would it be useful for NRA, as an organization, to use more of their female leaders in more formal roles? Yes. I’ve advocated for that for years. However, the beauty to our community is that we’re not top-down, so these women don’t need to wait on Fairfax to speak out. They aren’t waiting, and they are doing it for themselves.

  6. Patrick H says:

    Love seeing women involved on our side. We need more of that.