Women are the next frontier in the firearms industry. Over the past few years, women have become the fastest growing demographic of gun owners. They’re responsible for the surge in gun ownership in states like Colorado, and women are lining up across the country for their concealed carry permits. This isn’t a new phenomenon. While the liberal urban-based elite–and their allies in the media–view gun owners as a group comprised mostly of white, conservative men, Louisa Fitzgerald wrote on the feminist site Jezebel that women gun owners often “defy stereotypes.”
According to the NRA, the number of women who owned a firearm jumped from 11 percent in 2004 to 23 percent in 2011, a 77 percent increase. When the NRA first offered On Target, its women-only firearms instructional course, in 2000, 500 women participated; in 2014, more than 13,000 women took the course. And, in the NSSF’s [National Shooting Sports Foundation] most recent Firearms Retailer Survey Report released in 2014, 74 percent of responding retailers saw an increase in female customers in their store in 2013 over 2012. None reported a decline.
Melody Lauer, a mother of three, certified gun instructor since 2007 and moderator of the Sheepdog Mama Facebook group, has also seen more moms become interested in gun ownership and a growing need for firearms safety courses that target the needs of this population.
She adds that, while she knows gun owners typically skew toward conservative political views, she sees moms of all affiliations in her classes and online. The NRA and NSSF agree. Gun ownership in general skews white, male and Republican, but based on the associations’ surveys, women gun owners defy stereotypes of age, geographical location, race and, yes, even political affiliation.
Lauer says the perception that a mother owning and carrying a gun is a threat to her children’s safety is overblown, and with training and strict adherence to proper gun storage, the majority of tragic accidents can be prevented.
Fitzgerald’s piece also included some testimonials from women who are exercising their Second Amendment rights. Andrea Forte said she felt “powerless” when a crazed person phoned in a threat at her daughter’s school, threatening to kill all the children in her classroom. Now, Forte carries a firearm, and has pepper spray and a stun gun on her when she’s on school grounds. Twenty-six year old Amber Haggard told Fitzgerald that she drew her Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun to protect her two children when they left a restaurant after a “disheveled” man approached her asking for money. After politely telling the man she did not have any money to give, the situation escalated, as the man refused to leave her and her family alone.
"I have not had to pull the trigger on my weapon in defense yet, and I hope I never have to,” she said.
That’s the mindset of every law-abiding gun owner, concealed carry permit holder, and police officer; a firearm that remains holstered for an entire day is a very good one.
At the same time, the piece does include links to gun control sites like the Brady Campaign and the laughably dishonest Everytown For Gun Safety:
For children, American Academy of Pediatrics states that firearm-related deaths are in the top three causes of death, and according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, every day seven children and teens die from gun violence, and 41 children and teens are shot and survive. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, a nonprofit organization, tracks accidental shootings involving children under age 17 with an interactive map. As of June 12, there had been at least 112 this year.
The shoddy gun studies by Everytown can be read here, here, and here. My colleague Christine posted about the Brady Campaign’s collaboration with the comedy website Funny or Die, which produced a video that could be only described as “mind-numbingly awful,” as well as grossly inaccurate. Like most progressive groups, the adherence to a narrative is more critical than sticking to the facts.
As for child deaths, that’s also debatable. For children who are between the ages of one and four, the leading cause of death is drowning. This comes for the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, as well as WebMD. Moreover, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that children who live with homes with firearms are safer than ever. Overall, the number of unintentional fatalities caused by firearms has dropped by 58 percent over a 20-year period.
“Firearms are involved in fewer than 1 percent (0.5 percent) of all unintentional fatalities in the U.S.,” they report.
So, there’s conflicting data on some things, but solid facts on others–and the debate over the Second Amendment continues, albeit in a more frustrating manner since anti-gun liberals pervasively spout nonsense.
Nevertheless, more mothers are packing, protecting their families, and exercising their Second Amendment rights. That’s a good thing.