Guns “empower” women, and this empowerment also makes female gun owners more politically active, according to a new study.
“Intersectionality in Action: Gun Ownership and Women’s Political Participation,” was published July 2019 in Social Science Quarterly. Its lead author is Alexandra Middlewood, who holds a doctorate in political science and is an assistant professor of political science at Wichita State University.
“Gun-owning women exhibit levels of political participation about gun policy and a greater willingness to engage in political discussions about gun control than nonowning women,” the study noted. It also found greater participation on political matters not related to gun policy.
The study observed that women gun owners are more likely than other women to participate in the following ways:
- Following politics,
- Contacting officials,
- Contributing money,
- Expressing opinions about gun issues on social media,
- Signing gun-policy petitions,
- Registering to vote, and
- Voting in elections.
That’s great news for the Second Amendment, but why are gun-owning women more politically active? Middlewood told America’s 1st Freedom that it’s important to understand the reasons behind the behavioral changes. These reasons, as outlined in the study, are as follows:
- Gun owners can be politically mobilized more easily than non-owners. “Due to their associations with gun-related organizations and social networks, women gun owners are relatively accessible to political organizations intent on engaging citizens—especially pro-gun organizations.”
- Particularly since many women purchase firearms for personal safety, political issues become personal to them. “The possibility of future, more restrictive regulations on gun owners may be sufficient motivation for political engagement.”
- Gun possession can be empowering, which can translate to more action even outside of gun issues: “surveys suggest … gun ownership helps women overcome feelings of vulnerability and victimization. … Conceivably the transformation that firearms produce should strengthen women’s motivations to engage in various forms of politics, especially gun-related issues.”
The study also found that gun-owning women seem more willing to discuss the matter with those who disagree. Female gun owners were willing to discuss gun ownership even if they didn’t think the majority would support their opinion. Non-gun-owning women were considerably less likely to discuss it if they thought the majority opinion was different from their own.
Essentially, since women who don’t own guns can be “more sensitive to perceptions of public support,” women gun owners’ willingness to discuss and publicly support Second Amendment issues may be a very powerful way to influence American culture overall.