International Women’s Day is a great day to reflect on the accomplishments of women around the world. It can also be a day for considering how the lives of women can be improved.
Firearms Training May be More Important for Women
The physical differences between men and women cause some uncomfortable realities. While it’d be nice if this was irrelevant to daily life, it just isn’t. Women are at a higher risk when it comes to aggression. While men and women are both victims of sexual and physical abuse, women often are more concerned about it.
Firearms are tools that can equalize the playing field for women. The physical disparity can be rendered irrelevant when a woman has access to firearms and firearms training. As much we would wish that people had enough decency to not rape, steal, and attack, not all people do. Having a firearm can allow women to protect their personal freedoms.
Even if women haven’t experienced an attack personally, the realities of the world still affect them. When walking alone at night, an unknown man walking behind them can be enough to cause anxiety. This guy may simply be walking home like she is, but she doesn’t know that. She does know that if he decided attack her, she would be fighting an uphill battle.
Owning a firearm can ease the mind. While the physical disparity will not disappear, she will know that she still has the upper hand.
Firearms as a “Boy’s Club”
My favorite sport, MMA, has faced problems of perception when it comes to female participation. The perception was that MMA gyms were a place of hyper-masculinity where women would be intimidated and pushed out. In reality, female stars like Rhonda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, and Rose Namajunas have shown that both MMA gyms and fans are open to female participation.
I like to think that the firearms community is the same way. There is a perception that it is a hobby for men, and that women would be treated as outcasts if they tried to participate. This perception is understandable. Simply search “hunting” or “shooting” on google pictures and see how many women you find. Many of the ones you do will be sexualized to appeal to men. Think “the scantily-clad women with an AR-15 laying on a red car” stereotype.
In reality, the firearms community tends to be fairly open to women. Growing up in rural Georgia, a lot of shooting took place, and women were usually present and taking just as much enjoyment in the activities. If you or someone you know is anxious about going to a range or course for the first time, you can find classes and groups tailor made for women so that they can learn in an environment they feel comfortable in.
The best way to counter this perception is to educate the general public and make the firearm world open to a diverse array of people.
Ownership Isn’t Enough
If you bought a hammer and nails, would you be able to build a house with no prior training?
Firearms are great equalizers, but only if you can use them. There is a lot of tension, pressure, and stress that arises in situations involving aggressive attackers. It can be hard to react logically and effectively. If one is not familiar with their firearm, they will be trying to do something they aren’t skilled at with all of that stress coursing through their body.
We talked earlier about the confidence a gun can provide, even with no real-world situation currently unfolding. The knowledge that one not only has a firearm but is skilled at using it is a crucial element to quelling those anxieties.
The point is that women purchasing firearms for self-defense also need to enroll in training courses. There are courses all over the country that provide students with the knowledge necessary to defend themselves if they ever need to. There are also classes that are only for women which can make women feel more comfortable attending.
Education doesn’t only mean learning practical skills. It also means educating people on the usefulness of gun rights to disenfranchised groups. Members of the LGBTQ+ community often face harassment and assault. Women face not only harassment but have an unfair disadvantage against their physically larger attackers.
Firearms are used defensively an estimated 500,000 to 3,000,000 times a year according to a 2013 study by the CDC. Guns do not need to be such a politicized issue. Do gun rights relate in any way to your opinions on economics?
It needs to be known that the firearms community is for all people and that women have more to gain than anyone by taking part. We live in a world where a diverse group of people face a diverse array of issues. Guns must be perceived as being meant for everyone.