Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course
Dear Women Who Are Fighting for Gun Control:
This letter is to all the “Moms Who Demand Action” and the women who are part of groups like Everytown for Gun Safety. Please give me just a few moments of your time so I can talk to you, one woman to another.
We truly do want the same things. This is not an attack on you or the things you believe in, but rather, a discussion of empowerment.
I am sure that your heart is in the right place when you tell us that guns should be banned for the good of humanity.
You see the aftermath of horrific events like the Pulse nightclub shooting and the concert in Las Vegas and school shootings and you are horrified. I am too.
You are convinced that the world would be a better place with no guns at all. I am not.
You hear the impassioned pleas from celebrities like the ones in the video below and you are inspired to take action to make America a safer place.
But I hear this and the hypocrisy of it makes me sick.
These people in the videos who are begging for our Second Amendment rights to be abolished to do not have anything in common with women like you and me. They are protected by gated communities with armed patrols. They have burly bodyguards. They have monitored home security systems that would rival that of the Louvre. Many of them are insulated and protected in their homes, their cars, and when they’re walking down the street.
But are you?
Or do you have nothing more than a locked door and the hope that the police will arrive in time standing between you and a home invader? Do you put your keys between your fingers when you walk through a parking garage, hoping that if someone tries to rape you that you’ll be able to gouge his eyes with it and run screaming for help? What would you do if someone broke into your home and was heading to your child’s room with the intent of doing harm? Would you just hide and pray that the stall door of the bathroom where you were hiding didn’t get kicked open by the criminal who had just opened fire on the restaurant you were in?
What is your plan?
I believe that your premise (personal safety) is valid but your conclusion (gun control) is wrong.
I beg you to read the following with an open mind.
Hiding, calling 911, and hoping you can inflict enough damage to protect yourself from someone, bigger, stronger, and meaner than you is not much of a plan.
If you really, truly want to be safe, equal, and empowered, what you need to do is get a gun, learn how to use it, and carry it everywhere. Encourage your daughters to do the same. Treat your girlfriends to a day at the range instead of a day at the spa. Give your mom a gift certificate for shooting lessons. Campaign to banish gun-free, target-rich zones, and stop relying on a flimsy lock and 911 for your personal safety.
There is no greater equalizer against a culprit intent on doing you harm than a firearm in the hand of a woman who is trained and willing to use it.
Let me share a personal story.
I can tell you from personal experience that my daughter and I are unharmed today because I was carrying a gun one night back in 2016.
It was after supper when the dogs in the back began barking. A car had come down my long private driveway and pulled to a stop. I live way down a long country road, and my driveway is the last one on the road. Uninvited visitors are extremely rare. We’re too far out there for the usual smattering of Jehovah’s Witness, little girls selling cookies, and neighborly drop-offs of homemade jam.
I looked outside and saw that two men had gotten out and approached my daughter while one waited in the driver seat of the car. My daughter, 15, was doing some of the after dinner chores. I had a bad feeling immediately. I knew it, because I was adamantly told by that gut instinct that doesn’t just hint something is wrong, but pounds your heart like a drum to get your attention, and screams it inside your head.
I stopped for just long enough to grab my loaded Glock 19 and for the first time since purchasing it, I racked the slide and chambered a round for a reason other than target practice. For the first time, I did so because of another human being. I did so because there were 3 men out there with my child and they were bigger than both of us. They were undoubtedly stronger, and we were outnumbered, and I knew that there was the potential for something bad to happen.
I stuffed the gun into the front of my jeans, pulled my hoodie over it, and hurried out. I asked the men brusquely, “Can I help you?”
One was the talker. He was bearded, overly friendly, and ingratiating. The other hung back. He was blond, thin, and moved constantly. I never got a good look at the driver due to the tinted windows in the vehicle. But I noticed the older, beat-up vehicle had no license plate. Another warning sign that this was not right at all.
The bearded one, the talker, told me that his vehicle was overheating and that they needed to come in and make a phone call. I said, “No, you’re not coming in.”
He asked if they could at least have some water.
I wanted to hustle my daughter into the house right that moment and lock the doors and call 911 and wait for a speedy rescue, complete with sirens and flashing lights.
But they were closer to my daughter than she was to me. They were also between her and the door of the house. So that was not an option.
I let them have a bucket of water, even though I could tell that the car was not overheating. I know cars, having worked in a repair shop for ten years. There was no smoke, no sweet smell of antifreeze. The bearded one kept up a friendly patter the entire time, pretending that the radiator cap was hot, jumping back as if to avoid billowing steam that didn’t exist. While he pretended to work on the car, the antsy blond fellow was whispering to the driver. Without me bringing it up, the chatty one said, “Can you believe our license plate just fell off? If you noticed we don’t have one, that’s what happened. We just discovered it at the gas station.”
“Wow, that’s a shame,” I said, playing along. “They’ll charge you an arm and a leg at the DMV.”
I finally positioned myself to the point that I was between them and my child. Whether they’re 5 or 15, in moments when you fear for them, they are your precious child, and they are every age they ever have been and ever will be. Any person who has ever loved a child can easily imagine the relief I felt. I suddenly felt like I could breathe normally again.
I said calmly and firmly, “You need to leave.”
The bearded one looked hurt. The blonde one looked watchful. I still couldn’t get a good look at the driver.
“I just need one more bucket of water and then we’ll be on our way,” the bearded one said, putting his hands out in a manner meant to calm me down.
“No. You need to leave now.” I lifted my hoodie with my left hand and put my right hand firmly on the gun at my side, index finger safely at the side as I had been taught. In my head, I made the horrible yet practical decision of which order I would need to shoot the men if the threat of my gun was not sufficient to make them leave. One…two… then over the fence behind us in case the guy in the car stepped on the accelerator. Curiously, my hands weren’t shaking and I was certain in that moment my aim would be true…that I’d raise it up and use the sight…that I would defend my daughter with deadly accuracy.
Suddenly, there was a shift.
I wasn’t the one backing away. The bearded guy slammed the hood of the car and put his hands out to the sides, to assure me he was harmless. He walked slowly backward to the passenger side, while the blonde guy got in the back.
I never drew my firearm.
I never pointed it at them.
I never shot them.
But the very sight of my hand on the butt of it, and the fact that I was clearly determined to use it if necessary was all the deterrent that was needed in that particular situation. Maybe they could tell that I had made my decision and was not bluffing. Maybe they could see I’d chosen which of them I was going to shoot first. I’ll never know what convinced them.
Suddenly, a woman and a child were more than 3 grown men wanted to tangle with.
Suddenly, we weren’t weaker. We weren’t victims. We had the power to protect ourselves.
Did I do everything “right” from a tactical point of view? I have no idea. I don’t have that kind of training. But it was right enough that we remained alive and untouched.
We lived on a lonely country road, 45 minutes from the nearest police station and official “help” had we been forced to call 911 to protect ourselves. Can you honestly say we would have been better off if I had been unarmed?
Biological fact: due to testosterone, most men are physically stronger than most women.
Obviously, there are exceptions, but if you were going with percentages, they’d be on the side of this fact.
As equal as people would like to say the sexes are, biology defies the politically correct ideals. If my daughters were to ever find themselves in a position where they had to fight to save their own lives, I would far rather they be armed with the handgun of their choice than any number of weekend self-defense classes. Nothing is going to empower them more than a firearm that they can use with comfort and accuracy.
Nothing is going to be more likely to end a conflict before it erupts into violence than seeing that the person you thought was going to be your victim is willing to fight back with deadly force.
Anyone who is against the idea of women learning to handle a firearm cannot truly call themselves pro-woman.
The idea that we all need to hand over our guns and then the world would be a safer place is nothing but a silly, rose-colored daydream. If that offends you, then you need to sincerely think about the fact that under your guidelines, the smaller, weaker person will always be the victim.
We all have the natural right to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Why are some people so terrified of the idea of taking control of their own safety?
There is no way to guess how many times a firearm in the hands of a would-be victim deters a criminal and saves a life. I would hazard a guess that situations like the one that happened to my daughter and me are not unique. The mere sight of the firearm at my side did not cause violence. It prevented the violence that was brewing.
If you call yourself a feminist, why in the world would you be against the one thing that could keep you the safest and empower you the most?
And while I’m at it, any person who feels marginalized or vulnerable to hate crimes should be there lining up at the shooting range with me. If you are a gay person, a minority, a transgender person, or of a religion that is being persecuted, you, too, need to take the power into your own hands to defend yourself from the bullies and villains of this world should they physically attack you.
Instead, all I see are examples of hatred for those who promote real empowerment.
Dana Loesch, the spokeswoman for the NRA, had to move to a secret location a couple of years ago because her life and that of her family are being threatened in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.
This is the “side” you are supporting. This is the side that wants to ban guns or deter national reciprocity.
I had a similar experience years ago in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting when people fervently wished my children dead in the “next school shooting.” Every time I post something pro-gun, some impotent little man who claims to be a “feminist” emails me or sends me a private message about some horrific brutal rape fantasy he’d like to carry out on me because I am an advocate of the Second Amendment – the threats generally involve power tools or rusty implements.
Yeah, that kind of message really going to make me want to give up my guns.
For some reason, our ability to be supported by other women stops cold at guns. If we arm ourselves, it’s open season for threats of harassment, violence, brutal rape, and against the safety of our children.
If you agree with the following statements, then you cannot logically agree with gun control.
- I have the right to keep my family safe.
- I have the right to protect myself against someone bigger and stronger than me.
- I have the right to protect myself when traveling.
- I have the right to be safe in public places.
- I have the right not to be raped.
- I have the right not to be beaten.
- I have the right to have my own power instead of waiting for the police to rescue me.
Most of us are on the same side. We want to be safe. I urge you to take that safety into your own hands.
Women, please empower yourselves.
Get a gun.
Learn to use it.
Carry it everywhere.
Stop relying on others to protect you and learn to protect yourself. You could be more empowered than you ever imagined if you’d just stop begging the government to take your power away.
Please think about this.