Women Have a Right to Protect Themselves

Today is International Women’s Day. While its goal is to celebrate “the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women,” the group tends to approach the subject with a liberal bias — undercutting men, overlooking gender parity, and lacking global perspective. However, more American women are trying to “Be Bold for Change” — this year’s theme — not by protesting or buying local, but protecting themselves via their Second Amendment rights.

Fact is, women need to be able to protect themselves.

When it comes to women and violence, statistics are not in their favor. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 19 million women have been stalked in their lifetime, one in five have been raped and one in four have been “victims of severe physical violence” by an intimate partner.

19 million women have been stalked in their lifetime, one in five have been raped and one in four have been “victims of severe physical violence” by an intimate partner.

The majority of women, due to size, strength, or lack of self-defense training, are simply unable to defend themselves against the threat of a stranger or abusive partner. Many female gun advocates believe a legal firearm in the hands of a well-trained woman can be an “equalizer.”

Often women are discouraged from protecting themselves with a firearm. People will cite the statistics that in the event of a domestic dispute, a gun could easily be used against her — or that women simply can’t handle firearms well enough to keep herself safe. Politicians regularly claim they don’t believe in the adage “more guns, less crime,” and some will go so far as to say they want to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.

In a new video sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA) radio and television host, wife, mom, and conceal and carry permit holder Dana Loesch said, “The Left loves to talk about empowering women, but the real litmus test for that is your support for the Second Amendment. Because if you don’t support a woman’s right to choose to defend herself against a rapist with a firearm, you don’t support women. Period.”

She couldn’t be more right.

At CPAC this year, an entire panel of women discussed the practical reality, as well as the legal backbone behind, self defense via firearms. “In the real world women often have to defend themselves,” moderator Katie Pavlich said.  

“In the real world women often have to defend themselves”

Kristi McMains was a young attorney practicing health law in Indiana. She grew up around guns and had a concealed carry permit that ended up saving her life last year when she was attacked while walking to her car after work.

“I was getting into my car when I was tackled,” she said. “I fought like hell. I broke all 10 of my nails. I was thinking I’m out of options. That’s why I grabbed my gun. My life was in immediate danger.”

She grew up around guns and had a concealed carry permit that ended up saving her life last year when she was attacked while walking to her car after work.

Even though she grew up a Democrat and “anti-gun,” Antonia Okafor, a petite African-American, has become a staunch advocate of an even lesser-known cause: Allowing concealed carry permits on campuses. As a woman and graduate student, Okafor felt unsafe walking around campus, especially late at night.

“I wanted a way to protect myself,” she said. “I purchased my first handgun last year and have been an advocate for campus carry.” Two years ago she realized she “wasn’t hearing a voice for pro-campus carry.” But she thought: “It’s something that I as a woman, that I have that right to self defense. How much more feminist can you get than talking about self-defense? I wanted other students to have that right.”

Cam Edwards, host of NRA TV’s “Cam & Co,” and a husband and father applauded these strong women for voicing their sometimes unpopular view on guns.

The anti-gun movement tries to gun-shame women into giving up their right of self-defense and their right to bear arms,” Edwards told Opportunity Lives. “You’ll never hear these incredible women tell their unique stories for Teen Vogue or Cosmopolitan, but I know they inspired hundreds of attendees with their candor and passionate defense of the Second Amendment.”

“How much more feminist can you get than talking about self-defense? I wanted other students to have that right.”

In America, gender parity has come a long way. There are very few arenas women don’t at least have equal access to — and in many ways, women outnumber men (like in education). Thankfully, because of our constitutional rights, women are safer in America now more than ever. Many women around the world would love to see the same emphasis on safety and freedom in their country as it is here.

While other women fight ISIS, the fear of rape, or are still fighting for the right for their voice to be heard, isn’t it time women in America take advantage of the simple freedom so many other women long to have? The right to protect themselves?

As Kristi McMains said at CPAC, “You can become a victim of violence anywhere anytime so I should be able to save my life anywhere anytime.” What’s more feminist than a woman standing up for herself and her family?

Nicole Russell is a contributor for Opportunity Lives. You can follow her on Twitter @nmrussell2.