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Yesterday lawyer and gun-rights activist Gayle Trotter spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee on gun violence, testifying that Obama's proposed gun laws would "disarm" women and "put them at a severe disadvantage" in violent situations. She went on to say that "guns make women safer" and that "guns are a great equalizer for women."
We asked two of our iVoices moms -- one liberal and one conservative -- respond to Trotter's stance.
No One is Coming for Our Guns
In her Senate testimony Gayle Trotter forgot one key element: No one is coming for our guns. It’s the assault rifles and extended magazine clips that a host of folks would like to ban. The Bushmaster assault rifle, for example, one of four guns used in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has no place near a mother and her children. In fact, it’s a weapon of war, not to protect against home invasions.
Trotter, during her testimony, spoke of a young mother ambushed in her home by intruders looking to ransack the prescription medications of her dead husband. With a baby on her hip and a gun in one hand, the young mother shot and killed one of the knife-wielding intruders while the other fled. The point for Trotter: guns protect “defenseless” women.
I would like to share the story of Melanie Hain, the gun-toting soccer mom, who was shot dead in her home by her husband who later killed himself. Her three children -- ages 10, 6 and two -- were in the house when she was murdered. Melanie obtained her 9 mm Glock pistol legally and had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. She was also a mother with three young children. Her gun did not protect her from violence.
Women, as Trotter failed to point out, will still be allowed to purchase guns and keep the ones they already own under the current gun control measures offered by President Obama. Even if women own an assault rifle, they can keep it.
The whole “defenseless” woman thing as the undercurrent to Trotter’s remarks? I can’t even go there. It’s so infuriating and Victorian. Women should see Trotter’s testimony for exactly what it is: a fear-based lawyer trick to keep the status quo alive, well and packing.
iVoice Liz Henry is an award-winning writer and blogger. She lives with her partner and their daughter in Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter @sixyearitch.
Guns Are the Ultimate Feminist Tool
On Wednesday, Trotter spoke of assault weapons protecting against multiple intruders -- thus needing more ammunition. And this, of course, is true. A woman in Florida recently ran out of bullets while defending her twin sons.
This line of argument, however, is the wrong one to be having. It shouldn’t matter what kind of gun a woman is holding a revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or even, yes, an automatic weapon. The point of the gun is to defend and to kill the aggressor. All guns are assault weapons. When it comes to defending one’s life, home and property, that’s their purpose.
A woman is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to defending herself. Take away a gun and she will almost always lose. She will never have a chance.
Women should support gun rights. They are the ultimate feminist tool. They even the playing field in a world filled with violence against women.
Since the violence seems unlikely to stop, why would women fight to remove the tool that gives them some measure of equality in a violent situation? Why would one women take another woman’s right to defend herself and her children away from her?
Guns enforce equal rights. Embrace them. Or not. At the very least, a woman should be free to choose whether she wants to defend herself.