Women and Guns: How The Left Gets It Wrong

by Sam Bocetta •

The left are jubilant this week, after a report by the Violence Policy Center claimed that women were a hundred times more likely to be killed by someone with a gun than to use one in self-defense. This skewed statistic has been reported in many “mainstream” media outlets over the past few weeks, and taken out of context it is very misleading.

First, people are more likely to be killed by guns than to use one in self-defense, for the simple reason that the number of people who regularly carry weapons is still quite small. Leaving that aside, though, even The Nation admits that the study did not count women who did not die because they defended themselves with a firearm.

Perhaps most damning, though, is the hypocrisy shown by the left when it comes to the safety of women. Even in an age when self-defense classes for women are regarded as both necessary and empowering, the left’s squeamishness about guns means they are not able to take the next step, and sensibly recommend that women carry a self-defense weapon.

The Changing Demographics Of Gun Ownership

It seems that many women have realized this for themselves, though, and many more women are now choosing to carry a firearm.  There are now many groups that aim to give women a safe space to train with guns, and the huge expansion of sites like The Well Armed Woman over the last two years is a sign of a strong community.

Perhaps the only unfortunate outcome of gun activists’ defense of our Second Amendment rights is that it actually makes it pretty hard to get reliable numbers on the number of people who own weapons. For this, we have to rely on the Pew Research Center’s annual survey.

This shows that there is still a large disparity between the number of men and women who own guns. 37% of men say that they personally own a gun, in comparison to just 12% of women. That said, if we look a little closer at the numbers, a different picture emerges. Almost a third of women report that they live in a household with a gun, even if they do not personally own one. Much circumstantial evidence points to the fact that these women actually use guns a lot.

Another interesting facet of female gun ownership is that women tend to own guns for different reasons than men. In particular, research suggests that 27% of women own a gun only for self-defense, as opposed to just 8% of men who state that this is the only reason they have a weapon.

Guns For Girls

Two groups stand to benefit from this shift – gun manufacturers, and activist organizations like the NRA. The latter have recently expanded their “NRA Women” program, and they’ve hired a female spokesperson, Dana Loesch. The group have long stressed the need for women to protect themselves, both with firearms and other means, through their Women’s Leadership Forum.

For gun manufacturers, the increase in female attention could be an opportunity to offset some of the effects of the Trump Slump – a general downturn in guns sales since the last election.  Southwick associates, a market research firm who specialize in the hunting industry, have told adage that women account for 46.8% of the 24 million Americans who do not currently own a gun, but are interested in doing so. In order to tempt these new gun owners, several manufacturers are producing handguns specifically aimed at women.

The Hypocrisy Of The Left

Like I said above, the news that hundreds of women are killed each year was widely celebrated on the left, because they think it proves their point – that guns kills people. What they seemingly fail to realize is that for many women, owning a gun is a necessary part of self-defense, and that it is likely that more women would die if they were not armed.

These facts are conveniently left out of the statistics published this week. Of course, this fits into a much wider pattern, in which the left continually warps the numbers in order to justify increasing gun restriction. Half the time, those arguing for tighter gun laws claim to have naively overlooked the larger, more complex picture, but I don’t for a second believe that they are that stupid: rather, this ongoing misrepresentation of the truth about guns is a willing blindness on the part of those who wish to ban guns outright.

Sam Bocetta is a retired contractor who worked for over 35 years as an engineer specializing in cyber warfare and Navy computer systems. Past projects include the development of EWTR systems, Antifragile EW project, and development of Chaff countermeasures. Sam now teaches at Algonquin Community College in Ottawa, Canada as a part time engineering professor.