|Tonight I was going through comments my awesome readers have left on the Blog today and found the below comment from Sarah, a lady who was once “Anti-Gun”, but had an opportunity to increase her awareness and is now a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment! Her comment is inspiring and I would like all women (or friends of anti-gun women) to read it:
From Sarah: I was an anti-gun person myself for a number of years, mostly because I grew up with almost zero understanding or exposure to guns, but also because everyone around me was anti-gun, and because the media constantly reinforces the anti-gun point of view. I believed what they said because I had never been given anything else to believe. I was also very afraid of guns and extremely ignorant of how they worked, and because I was afraid I was unwilling to listen to “those paranoid weirdos” who actually carried guns around with them. I even literally did think that a gun could “go off” by itself.I had my consciousness raised about ten years ago, and I am now a strong 2a supporter, I hunt, I target shoot, I own several different guns, and I carry concealed. But before I could see the light, there was a critical thing that had to happen first, and I believe it has everything to do with why anti-gun people seem to defy all reason and sanity with their beliefs. It has to do with basic fear. I had to learn not to fear guns.(Let me first point out that I am generally talking about the anti-gun populace here, not the jerks in charge, who clearly just love being in control over a sheep-like public.)Many, if not most, anti gun people (and also more likely to be voters!) are women. Most of them have been taught literally zero about guns, have never held one in their hands, and are terrified by the thought of them. Most of these anti-gunners associate guns with crime: they see them as the tools of criminals. Outside of Hollywood, they have never heard or seen any stories about people defending themselves with guns. They think all sorts of inaccurate things about guns, mostly rumors based on fear. They fear for their children. They fear robbery and rape and car jacking, but in their mind, those things happen because of scary men who carry guns. They (reasonably) want law and order, because a society based on law is safer for them and their children. They very often go into a sort of denial, to help themselves deal with these fears – they just tell themselves it will probably never happen to them. And they are conditioned from the day they are born to believe that they are themselves weak, they are conditioned to believe that all pro-gun folks are white, right-wing, militia men who hate women anyway, (incessantly screaming about “Liberals!” on gun websites doesn’t help, since most Liberals are women for the simple reason that they value their own reproductive freedom) and they are conditioned to believe that the police really are there “to protect and serve.”
And yet, their fears are valid. As we all know, we women have a lot to be afraid of, and we ARE more vulnerable, especially when our children are involved. So when a mayor, or a cop, or a TV personality tells them “we need more police, more laws, and stricter controls” on these scary-people-with-guns, their thought process immediately says, “yes! We as a society need to DO something!”
The problem is, we can’t approach this perception problem by simply trying tell our pro-self-protection, pro-gun side of the story. We can’t fight denial with logic, and that denial keeps them from listening to begin with. There are usually two ways that women change their minds about guns: 1. they become a victim of crime personally, and it changes how they perceive the world (violence becomes real for them and they are traumatized) or 2. they are introduced – in a FUN way – to guns one day. One day they go shooting with someone who is patient, non-judgmental, safe, shows them how to be safe, and who shows them how much fun it is to handle guns and shoot them. They suddenly are able to view guns differently, and suddenly they realize that guns are not just owned by radical whack jobs, and suddenly they become a lot more open to new information from… the pro-gun side.
So what do we want to do? Wait until everyone is raped and sees the light? Or shouldn’t the entire gun community (right wing men too) ALL be bringing as many new women to the target range as is humanly possible? And while we are at it, shouldn’t the NRA begin putting women and Black spokesmen out there in the media – like ALL the time? I mean, I am sure Wayne LaPierre is a good guy and all, but can’t gun organizations begin representing the OTHER half of the population for a change? Can’t we stop allowing gun owners to be perceived as misogynistic neanderthals?
We already have enough YouTube videos of guys laughing while they put a Desert Eagle into their unsuspecting girlfriend’s hands. We already have enough gun websites and forums where women and Liberals are relentlessly denigrated. If we truly want everyone to learn the value of 2a rights and self protection, we need to welcome everyone and make it fun FIRST.