Editor’s Note: In a recent op-ed, HuffingtonPost.com proclaimed women too weak to effectively use firearms to protect themselves from attackers, especially on college campuses. The author even stated, “The chances that a man, for example, truly intending harm will be able to get a gun away from a woman are high.” We asked Julie Golob—mom, pro-gun activist and captain of Team Smith & Wesson—to give us her take on the controversy.
“Strong is the new sexy.”
It’s the modern-day woman’s motto, and women entering college have a wealth of examples to look up to—those who are strong physically, mentally and spiritually. Females are breaking barriers, from running for high government offices and managing successful businesses, to standing up against brutality and becoming respected in religion and spiritual matters. It is a time when a woman’s hard work and dedication can bring her success on the field, in the ring, on the courts and yes, even in elite military selection courses.
Through the leadership of pioneering women who serve as an inspiration for young and old, Helen Reddy’s “I am woman, hear me roar,” resonates. Today women are not only embraced for defying stereotypes, they are celebrated!
But what about a woman who chooses to defend herself using a gun? Unfortunately, when it comes to gun-banners and the anti-gun media, a female who safely and effectively wields a firearm to protect herself is portrayed as weak and irresponsible.
The irony is almost unbelievable. The same women who are empowered to speak out—who have a voice thanks to our Constitution—are in many cases the very ones who choose to weaken members of our sex and render them defenseless. They disregard the value of firearm safety rules, training, laws, and the mindset of a person who chooses to own and carry a firearm.To gun-banners and the anti-gun media, a female who safely and effectively wields a firearm to protect herself is portrayed as weak and irresponsible.
Out of fear and ignorance, the anti-gunner ignores that concealed carry is a choice, and that anyone who chooses to carry a firearm is required to abide by laws regarding age requirements and other criteria, including alcohol. The female college student who chooses to carry during study isn’t brandishing her firearm at a frat party. She defies the typical stereotypes in which the anti-gunner tries to typecast her.
The student who carries a gun recognizes that there are threats in the world, and that some of these may be from people she knows. Because she carries, she has a heightened awareness of her surroundings, and that alone makes her a less likely target. Most of all, though, she understands that carrying a firearm comes with great responsibility, and oftentimes inconvenience. But all of it is worth it to her because she values her life more than someone who preaches that she is too weak to own or use a gun values her.
To disarm women, telling them to urinate or succumb to the mental and physical anguish of brutal violation because they are the weaker sex, all because carrying a firearm responsibly “might” not work, sends exactly the wrong message. It teaches women to be victims—that a woman’s physical and mental well-being doesn’t really matter. It proclaims that a woman is not worthy of the right to defend herself with one of the best tools available to prevent rape, abuse and murder.
We can all agree that we must continue to work to end sexual assault on campuses. Forcing those who choose to act responsibly to wait until the tides of respect and culture change is cruel and goes against the very ideal of women’s rights and equality.
Finally, being strong with a gun isn’t “sexy.” But being responsible, willing and able to defend your life with one is smart.