“I bought a 9 mm gun,” Sherri Shepherd said while guest co-hosting ABC’s “The View,” during a discussion about how Black Americans are joining the ranks of gun owners in droves. “I don’t know why you’re laughing,” she added, before telling the audience how unrest in 2020 had made her realize she needed a way to protect her family. “It just makes me feel like at least if something happens, I can protect my child,” she said.
Shepherd’s choice to arm herself went against the leftist anti-gun stance “The View” mostly espouses, and led her co-host, Sunny Hostin, to state that a willingness to effectively defend oneself against danger somehow contributes to violence: “I still believe that in this country our readiness to sort of allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at will has led to violence and hatred becoming a really popular pastime,” Hostin said. This is not a surprising statement from Hostin, who, in March, denounced anyone owning so-called “assault rifles,” stating: “You are not a patriot because you think you have the right to own these type of weapons.” Putting these two statements together, one wonders if Hostin is unaware that FBI crime data shows that feet and hands are used to murder people far more often than the rifles she despises, or in fact rifles of any kind.
Shepherd, though, neatly summarized the motivations of many new gun owners when she responded, “I’m saying as a single woman, the helplessness I felt, and when I looked at my son, he looked at me like, ‘Mom, I’m scared.’ Physically, I’m not able to combat.”
Shepherd joins millions of other American women who have realized the need for an equalizer. Nearly a quarter of all women in America today own at least one firearm, according to recent statistics, and about half of all new gun owners are women. “You’ll see Latino women, more Black women, Muslim women in full Muslim garb and, of course, white women, people in wheelchairs, members of the LGBT community,” said Tanisha Moner of Recoil Firearms to America’s 1st Freedom earlier this year. Together with Rick Ector, she trains thousands of women in Detroit each year to safely handle firearms. “They’re soccer moms, 12-year-old little girls who are Girl Scouts, they’re 80-year-old grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Last year we had an 88-year-old woman. It’s all over the place now, and I love it.”
Shepherd indicated during the program that she underwent training, and practices often with other women to be proficient in the use of her firearm, which we applaud. The NRA offers a multitude of training programs, some of which are designed specifically for women, including the Refuse To Be A Victim program, the Women’s Wilderness Escape, and Women On Target shooting clinics. And NRAWomen.com is another great way for women gun owners to get information and connect with other women who share their interests.