Women Should Care about RKBA
gun issue polarizes individuals in our society as few other issues do. Those who
value one’s right to keep and bear arms as affirmed by the Second Amendment to
the Constitution offer historical quotations, moral and philosophical arguments,
and statistics showing the usefulness of firearms for self defense. Others,
concerned by the daily acts of violence that seem to have become almost routine,
call for “gun control” as a means of returning to a more civil society.
They, too, offer moral and philosophical arguments, and statistics showing the
dangerous nature of firearms in private citizens’ hands.
does the historical evidence show about the Founders’ intentions with respect
to the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA)? How do the claims and counterclaims
of both sides of the gun control issue impact freedom, particularly a woman’s
freedom? Is it pro-woman to be for or against the 2nd Amendment? To
answer these questions requires stepping back from the heated battle and taking
a more balanced look at the issues.
Simple Words, But What Do They Mean?
well regulated Militia, being necessary to the Security of a free State, the
Right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
the entire text of the Second Amendment—the logical place to start, even if it
seems far removed from current concerns. It seems so straightforward, doesn’t
it? Yet those twenty-seven words have been interpreted in myriad ways, by courts
and individuals alike. Many of these interpretations have resulted in fewer
choices for women who wish to use firearms to protect themselves. Much of the
discussion centers on what the Founders intended by the amendment, and
therefore, on some specific words used in it.
first of these is “militia.” Arguments that the word refers to state
militias are often advanced by those who support restrictions on private
ownership of firearms. The Supreme Court in 1969 defined the militia to be the
National Guard. (1) However, the definition of the term states that a militia is
a military force comprised of citizens rather than professional soldiers
(today’s National Guard falls under the category of professional soldiers, as
they are paid for their service, and are considered part of the Army). And in
1792, the Congress specifically defined ‘the militia’ to be all able-bodied
military-age male citizens of the United States. (2) To further distinguish
between state militias and private citizens, 10 USC 312 specifically exempts
active duty military members from the militia (effectively distinguishing
between state and unorganized militias). Thus, despite the rulings of the Court
in this century, what the Founders meant by the term “militia” is clear—private citizens capable of rendering military service.
Founders’ meaning of “the people” is also challenged. Some argue that
these words should be interpreted as a collective right, and that as long as
firearms can be legally owned by some individuals—usually the police and
military—the 2nd Amendment will not be violated. This interesting
interpretation is generally not extended to the other amendments. What would
your reaction be if someone used a similar argument as the basis for limiting an
individual’s right of freedom of speech? It’s silly to think that as long as
some group—the Ku Klux Klan, for example—has free speech while others do
not, the first amendment is intact. One source of confusion stems from the fact
that the phrase “the people” means different things today. Frequently it
means the state, such as in trials, for example, “the people vs. Larry Flynt.”
When the 2nd Amendment was written, “the people” meant literally
that—the citizens of this nation. Indeed, many of the authors of the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights are on record as supporting the right of the
individual to own firearms. Samuel Adams’ well-known quotation is a good
example: “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of
the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”
choose to focus on the word “arms.” It is common to hear arguments that the
Founders had no idea that weaponry would advance as it has, leading to automatic
weapons that can fire hundreds of rounds in seconds, missiles that can strike
targets across continents with deadly accuracy, and even nuclear weapons with
their capacity for death and destruction on a huge scale. While that may be
true—albeit unlikely, as Jefferson and others were clearly men of great minds,
seeing beyond their time and circumstances—it is irrelevant. It would surprise
me to learn that someone would seriously advance arguments such as, “The
Founders didn’t foresee the abilities of modern vehicles, so we must control
access to automobiles and jets”, or “Refrigeration is a powerful tool that
the Founders couldn’t have predicted would be so important, therefore its use
must be highly regulated, with mandatory licenses, training, and permission to
refrigerate granted by the state.”
different tactic concerns not individual words, but the beginning phrases of the
2nd Amendment. Some gun-control advocates advance the argument that
the opening clause limits the ownership of firearms to those who would protect
the state. While that might seem a reasonable claim, the analysis above makes it
clear that that was not the intent of the Founders. Indeed, the clause gives one
reason why private ownership of
firearms is invaluable. An attempted seizure of privately-owned arms by the
British at Lexington and Concord led to the Revolution—hardly the action of
men who believed, as this argument implies, that the state has a right to limit
ownership of firearms.
structure of the 2nd amendment is
important, however. The 2nd Amendment does not say, “The people
have the government’s permission to own arms.” It states that the right to
own and carry firearms shall not be limited by the government. This phrasing
makes it clear that the Founders are simply affirming the right of firearms
ownership. The fundamental right to self-defense was well-established in English
common law and its antecedents, upon which the Constitution is based in part.
The Founders believed this right to be self-evident, and reflected that in the
words chosen for the 2nd Amendment—“the right of the people to
keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
claims by those who advocate gun control on constitutional grounds, the text of
the Second Amendment is quite clear on its own, and is even more clear when
considered in the context of relevant comments by the Founders. If their
intention was to limit firearms ownership to armies and others whose duty it is
to protect the citizens, no such writings exist to support that position.
Rather, extensive writings show an uncompromising support for private citizens
to own arms. The specific words chosen by the Founders do not grant the right to
keep and bear arms; they acknowledge that self-defense is a fundamental right
and declare that it shall not be limited by the state. This distinction is
Founders’ purpose in enumerating specific rights in the Bill of Rights was not
to “grant” those freedoms, but to explicitly limit the federal
government’s control over the states and individuals. To paraphrase the
preamble to the Declaration of Independence, some things are self-evident,
including an individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness. The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights help ensure an
environment in which an individual is free to maintain her life peaceably, enjoy
her liberties, and pursue happiness. Articles IX and X make it clear that an
American’s rights are not limited to those listed in the Bill of Rights.
(Article IX states that the listing
of certain rights in the Constitution does not deny the existence of other
rights, and Article X states that the powers not given to the United States
government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people.)
does all this have to do with guns? The Founders knew, through their own
Revolution as well as observation of other governments, that the state itself is
the greatest threat to individual liberty. Without some means of checking the
power of the state, any government will inevitably move to exert greater control
over individual lives and choices, including those of women. Firearms in the
hands of private citizens help to protect against that encroachment on liberty.
The 2nd Amendment affirms the right that allows all other rights,
including those not enumerated in the Constitution, to be defended. As George
Mason put it, "...to disarm the people (is) the best and most effective way
to enslave them.…." (4)
of the laws a government enacts are backed by the threat of force—“If you don’t obey the law we can and will harm you.” Without a
countervailing threat of force, the state can fairly easily devolve into
tyranny. What effective means would a law-abiding citizen have at her disposal
to stop the police or an FBI agent—or any of a number of government officials
who now routinely carry firearms—from wrongfully seizing her property, without
the ability to similarly arm herself? Or, if a well-intentioned government
exceeds its bounds and begins to suppress individual freedoms, how would those
individuals who cherish freedom attempt to resist that government in
toto? The 2nd Amendment provides the means for private citizens
to preserve and protect liberty from the state, be it foreign invasion or
domestic hostility to freedom.
the 2nd Amendment, the Bill of Rights lacks enforcement teeth. The
courts may appear to be a means of protecting liberties, but they are
administered by the state, and therefore can be used to the state’s purposes.
Similarly, voting and other means of enacting or repealing laws only works as
long as both sides—private citizens and state agencies—agree to abide by the
outcomes of these actions. The only effective means of checking the state’s
use of force is for the people to have a significant opposing force available.
Thomas Jefferson understood this well: “The strongest reason for the people to
retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect
themselves against tyranny in government.” (5)
gun control advocates appear to be much more trusting of the state and its
agents than Jefferson was. Most seem comfortable in allowing only law
enforcement officials to possess guns. History shows again and again that when
this happens, tyranny is the result. In feudal Japan, for example, the warrior
class made it a crime for any other individuals to learn to fight or to have
access to arms. Hitler began his reign of terror in part by strict enforcement
of laws denying private ownership of firearms, and when the citizens were
disarmed, he began rounding up Jews, gypsies, blacks, and other non-Aryans. For
any age, there is undoubtedly an example.
may seem unreasonable or crazy to think that such things could happen here—not
in America!—but no crystal ball exists that can show what might happen, and
this country has already committed its own atrocities. Ask the black men who
were infected with syphilis and deliberately left untreated, so that the state
could document its effects. Or ask the Japanese Americans—American citizens,
not foreigners—who were put in interment camps and whose property was seized
during World War II. But it doesn’t have to be such obvious misdeeds; even the
most well-intentioned laws can have disastrous results. For example, consider
the good intentions of lawmakers who required the installation of airbags in
automobiles—a safety feature for adults, but one with deadly consequences for
small children riding in the front seat of a car.
also worth noting that the Gun Control Act of 1968—the first round in the big
push to limit RKBA—seems to be modeled on the gun control laws Hitler used,
including some passed during his rule. For example, it contains the first
mention in American firearms law of the concept of “sporting purpose”, which
was a European idea, and a direct translation of “Sportzwecke” from the 1938
German statute. The late Senator Thomas Dodd, the author of the Gun Control Act,
was known to have a copy of Germany’s Waffengesetz
(Law on Weapons) in his possession about the time he wrote his bill. The Web
site of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership <http://www.jpfo.org/>
has more details, as well as a book which offers a line-by-line comparison of
the two laws. (6)
agents do make mistakes, and they can
be corrupted. No matter how unlikely either possibility may seem, the fact that
they do happen makes it necessary for private citizens to be able to defend
themselves against them. Governments also have a record of stifling personal
liberty in favor of state control. The 2nd Amendment is an individual
citizen’s guarantee of having substantial protection against all such
possibilities. By including RKBA in the Bill of Rights, the Founders were
stressing the importance of a vigilant, armed society, both for individual
defense and the defense of freedom.
preceding discussion may seem highly abstract, but consider this question: how
can women be free in a society that is not free? When Pol Pot dragged people out
of the cities—including those in the hospitals—and forced them to work in
the rice paddies of Cambodia, he treated men and women equally. That is not the
kind of equality women should strive for. Healthy, life-affirming equality is
only possible in a society that values freedom for all.
for Protection? Or Tools of Destruction?
defense is an increasingly important consideration in our troubled society.
Imagine yourself in the following situation: It’s a wintry evening, dusk
deepening to snowy dark, and you’re a petite woman walking across a
mostly-empty parking lot to your car. Just as you hear the shuffling footfalls
approach from your right, a hulking figure closes in, grasps your arm, and
growls, “This way, babe, and don’t make no noise!” Mr. Thug easily has 10
inches and 100 pounds—most of it muscle from what you can see—on you. A
quick scan of the surroundings shows no one nearby. What do you do?
women, personal defense is a vitally important issue, as men generally outweigh
and outmuscle women, and commit most violent crimes. The above example is not
simply a stereotype; it reflects the probabilities. Therefore, a woman needs to
be able to try to equalize the force she can bring to such encounters. Several
options exist for doing so, including martial arts, self-defense courses, pepper
spray, and other tools for self-defense. Many who attribute much of today’s
violence to guns recommend these as alternatives to gun ownership.
arts and self-defense training, for those who are well-trained and
highly-practiced, offer a solid physical as well as mental approach to fending
off Mr. Thug. They can help counteract strength and weight advantages men have,
but not always—particularly if Mr. Thug also knows how to fight. More
importantly, to exercise the maneuvers these methods rely on, the potential
victim needs to be close to the person who wants to harm her. This increases her
risk of being hurt. There are also occasions when the effectiveness of one’s
own body as a tool for self-defense is limited or absent, such as advanced
pregnancy or certain injuries.
tools for protection, such as a knife or a baseball bat, have challenges and
limitations as well. For a knife to be successful, one must know how to use it,
and be close enough to Mr. Thug for it to be effective. Again, that increases
the risk of injury. Baseball bats and metal pipes also require the bad guy to be
in close physical proximity. They have the added disadvantages of being more
easily taken away and impractical for concealed carry. Pepper spray is illegal
in some places, has a limited range, and can affect its user as well—for
example, if the attacker is upwind, it will blow into the defender’s face. A
tolerance to the spray can be built up, or Mr. Thug can simply wear protective
gear, thereby making it a useless tool for protection.
offer many advantages that other means of protection cannot. They are a great
equalizer of force, enabling a 90-pound grandmother to successfully fend off a
200-pound muscle-bound youth. They do not require brute strength nor close
physical proximity, and they often act as a powerful deterrent upon sight. If
you actually faced the scenario described above, which would you rather do: use
your body as a weapon against Mr. Thug; or pull out a .45 caliber handgun—at
which point Mr. Thug would probably take off running? Even if he didn’t, it
would only take a couple of flicks of your thumb and index finger—about the
same amount of effort required to flip through the pages of a small
paperback—to propel a bullet into Mr. Thug’s body.
control advocates point out that there are disadvantages to using a firearm as
well. One often stated is that the weapon can be taken away from the victim and
used by the bad guy against her. However, this happens very rarely—in about
one per cent of such encounters. (7) Another is that an individual who relies on
firearms may have a false sense of security, and may freeze up if an attacker
does approach her. It is true that just the sight of a firearm may scare off an
intruder, so that one needn’t worry about actually aiming and shooting, but it
would be extremely foolish to rely on that possibility. To be maximally
effective, the gun owner must learn basic firearms safety and use, and practice
with her gun regularly. Such training greatly minimizes the risk of
firearms-related accidents, and also reduces the likelihood of freezing to the
same chance as when any other means of self-defense is used. If a criminal
senses fear or hesitation, he will likely try to fight with his victim for the
weapon; anyone who has doubts about her ability to use her firearm for its
intended purpose during an assault should not carry one.
objections center on possession of the weapon in the home. An often-cited
statistic is that individuals are 43 times more likely to die from a handgun
being kept in the home than they are to kill a burglar with it. (8) The study
from which this statistic originated is flawed, however. First, that figure
includes thirty-seven suicides, which is a very different act from fighting off
a would-be attacker. Including those suicides skews the data severely. More
importantly, the data examined were only cases where handguns were used and
“failed to protect” someone. Thus, the study completely overlooks all cases
where a firearm successfully ends an attempted criminal activity. (To be fair,
it is impossible to track all cases where firearms scare off a criminal, or
where Mr. Thug changes his mind about breaking into a house because he learns
the owner is well-armed; however, the fact that no attempt was made to address
this side of the issue is revealing about the conclusions the authors probably
wished to be able to make.) Another study of gun use for protection found that
it is 216 times more likely to be used against a criminal than to cause the
death of an innocent person in the household. (9) Comparing resistance with and
without firearms, Professor John Lott Jr. found that the odds of a woman
sustaining a serious injury from an attack are 2.5 times higher for women
resisting without a gun than with a gun. (10)
many individuals, the use of a firearm as a tool for self-defense seems like too
much power. Just pointing a gun at another individual is a very intimidating
gesture. (It is also assault with a deadly weapon in many places.) If Mr. Thug
is wounded or killed, that’s a pretty serious consequence. And, some would
argue, that places his shooter in the position of being judge, jury, and
executioner. Consider these questions, though. In what other situation can a
person be more certain about what is about to happen to her, than when Mr. Thug
is sneaking into her bedroom at 3 a.m.? Would he think twice about using his gun
on you? If not, then your use of a gun for protection is simply responding to
force with similar force. The moral responsibility for initiating the use of
that force rests with Mr. Thug. If protecting yourself isn’t sufficient reason
to be armed, isn’t protecting your loved ones? Spouses and children can’t be
replaced. Which would you rather do—stop a potential crime from happening, or
allow something to happen which can never be undone, and trust in the courts to
convict Mr. Thug? Even if justice is served in this manner, you and yours will
still have been victimized by someone else’s aggression; nothing can change
that. The scene of an attempted attack is not the place for niceties and
manners; it’s a place where, if you don’t take firm steps to protect
yourself, Something Very Bad will happen.
individuals cite drive-by shootings, and shootings in public
places—restaurants and public schools seem to be popular venues—as evidence
that guns cause violence in today’s society. These activities are
examples of senseless violence and their causes must be addressed. Unfortunately
for those who would make banning guns the easy solution, a moment’s careful
thought should be enough to demonstrate why it won’t work. Guns have always
been part of this society, yet these brutal killings have not. Despite more than
20,000 gun-control laws already in effect, those who seek large-scale
destruction are not deterred. Guns do not cause violence—have you ever seen a
handgun or shotgun sprout little feet and hands, then start running around a
town, pulling its own trigger? Guns are tools that require a person to unleash
their deadly force; they have no inherent moral value or will to act. As long as
there have been people, there has been violence, and that sad fact will never be
legislated away. Instead of blaming the tools that are used in crime, those who
deplore mass killings are better served trying to find out why such violent acts
occur and counter the true causes.
are these places the targets of psychopathic rage, anyway? One reason is that
they provide a “target-rich environment”—lots of people to shoot at.
Another is that many current gun-control laws make it illegal for an individual
to carry her weapon into such places, particularly public schools. When was the
last time a police station was the target of a killer’s rampage—or
an inner-city school, for that matter? Everyone knows that cops have
guns, and will return fire, and the same is true for many of the kids in
inner-city schools. Making schools “gun-free zones” means that it’s very
unlikely that someone there will be armed and able to return fire when the
killing begins. It’s a simple case of Mr. Thug going where the guns aren’t.
If that seems too simplistic an answer, consider this:
Israel dropped the terrorist attack rate on schools to zero after adult
school employees and parent volunteers began carrying their firearms to school.
2nd Amendment helps preserve an individual’s right to life and
liberty, by allowing a law-abiding person the choice of whatever means she
prefers to protect herself, her loved ones, and her property. While violence is
an unfortunate part of living in society, someone who is planning to hurt
someone else will choose whatever means are available, whether that is a
firearm, a knife, a car, or a heavy stone. Gun control laws have done very
little to stop criminals from using firearms, but they have created places where
criminals can do their deeds in relative safety, knowing that individuals there
are unlikely to be able to defend themselves.
and Guns: A Good Mix?
are an important part of preserving our freedoms, both from the power of the
state and from bad guys who wish to harm peaceable individuals. For violent
encounters, guns are the best equalizer of force between men and women currently
available. There are other reasons why it’s particularly important that women
another hypothetical example for a moment. As a proud advocate of gun control,
you have no firearms in your house, nor even a plan for dealing with Mr. Thug
should he come calling. Late one evening, alone with your young daughter, you
hear the tinkle of glass shards hitting the floor coming from the direction of
your front door. What are your choices?
can dial 911. If you live in a large city, though, you should start thinking of
ways to entertain your way out of Mr. Thug’s evil plans, or make sure your
life and health insurance premiums are paid up. The response times to 911 calls
in many cities are long enough to virtually guarantee that Mr. Thug will do his
worst and be on his way long before any law enforcement official shows up.
can dial the police directly. Even in smaller towns and rural areas, the result
is often the same, unless a policeman on patrol happens to be within a block or
two of you. Police forces are generally spread so thin that they have their
hands full with traffic stops and other routine patrols. And law enforcement
agents aren’t obligated to protect you, anyway. Although many gun-control
advocates state that individuals should look to the police and the courts for
protection, the courts have declined to put that responsibility on law
enforcement officials. The Supreme Court in both 1856 (12) and 1982
that individuals should not expect to be protected by law enforcement personnel,
and that no right to protection exists.
can call a muscular neighbor for help. But honestly, if you haven’t chosen to
take measures to protect yourself, why should the neighbor trouble himself to
help you, and put his safety at risk? Your personal safety is your own
responsibility. If you don’t choose to accept this responsibility, why should
anyone else bother?
from the fact that in each of these choices you’d be asking someone else to
take on a responsibility that is yours, there’s another important
consideration for women: law enforcement officers tend to be male. This means
that in most cases, you would be asking a man to help you protect yourself. This
perpetuates the myth that a woman has to rely on a man for her protection.
Despite advances in understanding the causes of rape, and training courses in
sensitivity for law enforcement officers, many still cling to old stereotypes.
So, you call 911, the cops show up—after
you’ve been raped and beaten—and they swagger around and ask questions like,
“What were you wearing at the time of the assault? Did you encourage him in
any way, ma’am?” while looking through your bedroom in search of evidence
and frightening your daughter—who thankfully was not harmed. This time.
a weapon on hand is the best means of self-protection a woman can currently
choose. In fact, carrying a concealed weapon offers protection to other women as
well. An analogy shows how that works. There are twenty women in a room with one
rapist, and he’s told he can choose from among them for his attack. Five of
them have a concealed weapon, however, and if he chooses one of them, she will
shoot him. He has no way to tell which women are carrying.
you think he’ll risk getting shot by making a choice? Despite the stereotype
of Mr. Thug being out for blood no matter what, most criminals prefer to stay
alive, which is why they try to choose victims who appear least likely to resist
or challenge them. If such a victim isn’t easily identified, Mr. Thug will
generally move on.
evidence demonstrating that concealed carry does work as described. In a
comprehensive study of concealed carry laws, John Lott Jr. and David Mustard
found that enacting concealed carry weapons laws resulted in an eight per cent
drop in the murder rate, and a five to seven per cent drop in aggravated assault
and rape rates. (14) Bad guys know that armed citizens make bad targets, and
rather than risking their necks, they’ll go someplace else, or choose a
different form of crime that is less risky.
people are concerned—and rightly so—about the combination of guns and kids
in the home. The reports of children finding guns and playing with them, with
disastrous results, get a lot of attention. Some will object to my scenario
above, saying that if the woman had a gun in her purse, it’s likely her
daughter would have found it and shot herself or a playmate. That is a
possibility, but having a firearm for protection doesn’t necessarily create a
greater risk for your children. One of the reasons kids play with guns is that
they aren’t able to see them—the parents hide them out of reach (or so the
parents think), and tell the children to stay away from them. Hiding a firearm
from a child is one of the most dangerous things a parent can do with it! The
gun becomes a tempting toy in the child’s mind, rather than the potentially
lethal object it is.
the firearm responsibly and matter-of-factly in a child’s presence, answering
her questions about it honestly, and allowing her to touch it as she wants,
under supervision, removes the mystery from the gun, and makes it much less
likely that she’ll try to get it when you’re not around. A child, if taught
proper gun safety and technique, might also save your life in such a situation.
Cases of children shooting would-be attackers are regularly documented in
various gun magazines. The child tends to go unnoticed by Mr. Thug, or is
dismissed as not dangerous, when in fact children tend to put a gun right up to
Mr. Thug’s body in order to make sure Mommy or Daddy isn’t accidentally
children the basic safety rules for gun handling and use, and allowing them to
learn how to use a firearm responsibly as soon as they show interest and the
capability is the best “gun-proofing” you can give them. Talking about how
movies and TV misrepresent firearms use and how it feels to get shot is also a
great idea. By doing these things, you’ll also be presenting a great role
model for all your children—that of a self-reliant, responsible adult.
right to keep and bear arms, while being part of our Constitutionally-protected
rights, far exceeds its importance as an historical statement for scholars to
debate. Ownership of firearms by private citizens remains the best way to defend
freedom, from both the state’s encroachment and individual threats to liberty.
This includes criminals who threaten an individual’s right to life and liberty
by their acts of aggression.
the feminist movement was about empowering individual women to choose the paths
they wanted for their lives. Self-reliance and personal responsibility were
important aspects of the feminist movement, which focused on securing women’s
rights, but the movement respected men’s rights as well. Today, feminists are
split into various factions, some of which seem to hate all that is male; others
would look to the state for protection rather than taking that responsibility
themselves. Some proudly maintain the original vision of individualism and
feminism—that each individual, irrespective of gender, should have no barriers
placed in the way of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. For these
feminists, RKBA affirms the inherent human right of self protection, and the
right to choose the most effective method of protecting oneself, loved ones, and
some feminists, the RKBA issue seems to be more complicated, as concerns about
escalating violence and protecting children weigh in. While these are legitimate
issues to be addressed, there are no simple answers. Each person must educate
herself as to the risks and benefits of firearms for protection. Should she
choose a gun for her self-defense, it is her responsibility to learn how to
handle it safely, and to teach those in her household to do the same. Women who
advocate gun control are restricting others’ freedoms, and are forcing many
women to rely on men to protect them in emergency situations. This is a
dangerous and insulting folly. Individuals who advocate gun control “for the
children” have helped create the gun-free zones of public schools that become
“defenseless victim slaughter zones”. We’ve seen the tragic results, as
disturbed individuals make targets of our children in those places—one man
used a car in a recent multiple homicide in a California school yard—because
they know that the adults charged with the kids’ safety have no effective
weapons with which to protect the children or themselves. Making the best tool a
woman can have at her disposal to protect herself and her loved ones an illegal
choice is almost as anti-woman as a rapist’s vile act.
now see women in many positions of power and influence in our society—women
who are looked up to by many other women. Among them are Senator Dianne
Feinstein and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell. Although Feinstein swore an oath
to uphold and defend the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment,
she’s clearly not doing so, as this quotation shows: “If I could have gotten
51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up
every one of them... ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in,’ I would have
done it.” (15) Among her other anti-gun statements, Rosie has said, “…I
don't care if you think it's your right. I say 'sorry'. It is 1999, we have had
enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun and if you do own a gun, I
think you should go to prison.” (16)
these are the kinds of role models available for our daughters today—women who
ignore their sworn duty and who would limit other individuals’ choices, making
easier targets of other women—perhaps we should look back in history for
better ones. One I would choose for my children, sons and daughters alike, would
be Annie Oakley.
Burton v. Sills, 248 A.2d 521 (NJ 1968) appeal dismissed 394 US 812 (1969).
Militia Act, 1 Stat. 271, 1792.
Adams, During Massachusetts’ U.S. Constitution Ratification Convention, 1788.
Mason, During Virginia’s Ratification Convention, 1788.
Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776.
web site, http://www.jpfo.org/GCA_68.htm.
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in America. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
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Maravillosa is a psychologist, writer, and freedom activist. She's the co-editor
Doing Freedom!, which
offers information and services for those who choose to live free.