For many, it is of little consequence that the right to bear arms is legally protected by the Second Amendment. They want to see more practical arguments than just what a piece of paper says. While the Second Amendment certainly carries real, stand-alone significance, there is also a real need for practical arguments in its favor. Although there are many practical arguments supporting the right to keep and bear arms, there is one point that is not often discussed.
Gun control that limits the availability of firearms to law-abiding citizens disproportionately disadvantages women. If you don’t believe it, consider some of the facts and arguments surrounding the issue, some of which the left has used itself.
Though there are women who can fight off male attackers, they are not the average. According to a study conducted by Doctor Callie Marie Rennison for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of the 691,710 nonfatal violent victimizations committed by current or former significant others in 2001, about 85 percent were against women. Her study also showed that while 440 men were killed by their intimate partners in the year 2000, over 1,200 women were killed by their intimate partners in the same year. Moreover, the CDC reports that in 2009 around 1.3 million women were raped in the United States.
These are sobering data, but they present an indisputable fact: Women are in much greater danger from physical attack than men. According to a 1995 study conducted by Florida State University Criminology Professor Gary Kleck, guns are used in self-defense as many as 2.5 million times per year. Self-proclaimed gun-control advocate Marvin Wolfgang said in “A Tribute to a View I Have Opposed,” “I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well.” In other words, these numbers are sound.
Even though women daily use firearms to defend themselves and their families, it is easy for people like Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with personal protection details to argue that the average citizen doesn’t need a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle with 30-round detachable magazines. In a speech in Minneapolis in January, President Obama said regarding assault rifles, “Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”
Mr. Biden suggests that women buy and use shotguns. He said in an interview, “You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim. It’s harder to use. And, in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun.” Yet, as demonstrated by a popular Youtube video, shotguns are not wieldy for anybody, and AR-15s are actually much easier to use and aim than many other firearms.
According to the FBI, out of 12,664 murders committed in the United States in 2011, only 323 were committed with rifles of any kind, while 728 people were murdered using hands, fists, feet, etcetera; 1,694 were killed with edged weapons; and 1,659 were murdered using “other weapons” such as baseball bats, hammers or clubs. Focusing on one of the least used items for murder in the United States is not a solution. It’s a political statement.
Right now federal and state legislatures are primarily discussing legislation that would limit the transfer of “assault weapons” to law-abiding citizens. These laws would no more limit the sale of firearms to criminals than current laws do, but they would allow law enforcement officers to enter the houses of law-abiding citizens to inspect their rifles, throwing out the Fourth Amendment with the second. It is already illegal for many classes of criminals to own, buy or sell firearms. It is obviously illegal for anyone to use a firearm in committing a crime. Regardless, lawmakers want to take away citizen’s rights to purchase rifles such as the AR-15, one of the best home-defense weapons on the market due to accuracy, low recoil, ease of use and custom accessories.
It is ironic that the same lawmakers who recently passed the Violence Against Women Act are so willing to take away women’s ability to defend themselves. If you care not only about women’s rights, but the rights of all Americans, then contact your representatives and let them know you are opposed to gun-control legislation that further limits the self-defense options available to law-abiding citizens. Maybe they will remember that passing these laws will not only hurt men who hunt and target shoot, but it will take away women’s ability to defend themselves and their families as well as they possibly can.
Paul Brown, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served in the Marine Corps for five years, writes about Second Amendment rights at why2a.blogspot.com.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution