Women who carry guns are safer than those who do not. But reports cited in a 2015 Shreveport Times article suggest otherwise. Statistics were quoted from a 2003 study by the Violence Policy Center and a 2013 FBI report. The Violence Policy Center concluded that “…women who live in a home with a gun are nearly three times more likely to be murdered than women who live with no gun in the home.” The FBI Supplementary Homicide Report revealed that “Fifty-five percent (22 of 40) of Louisiana’s female homicides in 2013 involved a firearm.”
The Violence Policy Center’s report entitled, “When Men Murder Women” concluded that, “…For women in America, guns are not used to save lives, but to take them.”
Women know better than this. These conclusions are skewed and do not represent the general population of “women in America” who own and carry guns. A critical look at the reports, reveal that they only represent women who live in homes where guns are present and are involved in violent marriages or relationships. The guns in the homes cited did not necessarily belong to the women themselves. Even so, it should be noted, that the answer for women who experience domestic violence in their homes is not to purchase guns for protection against abusers while continuing to live under the same roof with them, but rather to get out of the dangerous situations while, at the same time, taking the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe from the abusers.
Lex Talamo, of the Shreveport Times reported, in the same article, that “A 2015 report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation stated more than 48 percent of women surveyed said they kept a gun for self-protection and home defense. More than 80 percent of women reported feeling more secure because of owning a firearm, while 74 percent said they considered owning a gun a matter of survival and self reliance.”
“Women, historically we’ve been the protected gender. Whether it was our men or law enforcement, we perceived we had that protection. The reality is we don’t. We are our own first responders…” –Carrie Lightfoot
There are two scenarios that need to be looked at with regards to the issue of women, guns, and safety: Scenario #1.) Women in general carrying guns for self protection. And scenario #2.) women living in abusive homes in which guns are present.
The two issues cannot be treated the same or combined to form the singular conclusion that women in general who own guns are not safe.
Women know they are safer when they carry guns for self protection, and Carrie Lightfoot, owner of The Well Armed Woman, LLC, has made it her mission to empower women to protect themselves by getting concealed carry permits, purchasing guns, and learning how to use them.
The Associated Press reported that the previously male dominated gun industry is changing as more women carry guns. One indicator of this, is the number of women seeking instruction in how to safely use handguns. In 2004, only 40 women were enrolled in the Babes With Bullets Firearms Academy. Babes with Bullets travels across the US offering handgun training to women at a novice level. This training enables women who have little or no gun experience to enroll in handgun camps and be taught by other women. Since that first camp, held in 2004, the number of women enrolling in the Babes with Bullets handgun camps has swelled into the thousands.
Women are speaking up, and speaking out, about their right to carry guns for self protection. They are sending a clear message to those who try and tell them that protecting themselves is only making life more dangerous for them. They are saying, that by carrying guns, they know they are safer than when they do not, and that they refuse to be victims.