I’m female and I have young children. Perhaps that skews how I look at the objects governed by the second amendment. Firearms, weapons, guns, whatever it is you choose to call them, size doesn’t matter terribly much to them. The size of the person wielding it doesn’t matter, and neither does the size of the person at the other end of the barrel. Sure, some have grips that are too large or too small to handle comfortably, the recoil on some can be painful, and I have no doubt that if I went looking for a long gun many would be too long for me to handle. But really, size just doesn’t matter to a firearm.
When it comes to violence, guns are the great equalizer. A toddler with a loaded gun with the safety off could kill the biggest meanest hombre out of an old spaghetti western. Guns protect the smallest and weakest among us more than the largest and strongest. Without any weapons at all, the largest and strongest would have no reason to fear, but the smallest and weakest would have no way to feel safe.
Why do I say that, and why does it matter? Because I’m not an Amazon, and your average attacker isn’t an elfin little 90 lb 4’10” female with no muscle or fat on her. If we were both unarmed, I wouldn’t have so much of an issue going up against someone like that. Going up against the more realistic full-size male (teen or adult)? I’m kind of screwed. Add in a weapon of any sort – hammer, sharp wooden stick, pretty literally ANY weapon – and my chances get even worse. Unless I’m armed.
My Smith & Wesson revolver only holds five bullets, but I can add crimson (laser) sites to it. With laser sites, a red dot appears at the spot that will go splat if you pull the trigger. Veterans have told me that even in Afghanistan, seeing that little red dot on their body makes some bad guys stop. Clearly, some attackers are out of their mind from drugs or mentally illness, but my having a gun, maybe even one with laser sites, could mean the difference between my kids seeing their mom shoot someone or seeing the cops walk that person away in handcuffs. To be clear, I’d rather them see their mom shoot someone than see someone shoot their mom, but having no one get shot at all is by far the best outcome.
Unarmed, my kids and I would be easy for a full size man to overpower and then we would be completely helpless. (Just to be very clear, I’m not advocating kids carrying firearms – it is, as it always has been and always will be, the responsibility of adults to protect children.) My husband and I are the first line of defense for our family. All people, all parents, need to be allowed to choose for ourselves what tools they need to fulfill that very basic obligation for their own family. Some will conclude that they need a firearm for that purpose. Many will not. In either case, no government bureaucrat sitting in an office will ever know all the considerations, specific to that family, that go into that decision.
If we are deprived of our right to bear arms, how can we protect ourselves and our families against criminals who have guns whether it is legal or not? If parents cannot protect their own children, who will do it for them? As the saying goes, in a situation where seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
The next time someone brings up women / mothers / children and the second amendment, what will you bring to the conversation?