Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Guns

Okay, so I totally stole that phrase from this completely amazing website. It's a website belonging to one Regis Giles, who is my age, encouraging girls to FIGHT BACK against assault, rape, by thoroughly exercising our second amendment rights. This may be the coffee, but this site had me totally excited. Holy crap, that's awesome!

What shocked me though, was the comments. I found the website on Jezebel, which is a really great news site from a feminist perspective. It's 'usually' unbiased--I've only gotten annoyed at the liberal slant a few times. Like now, for instance.

First of all, the article in question was really dry, almost condescending to the subject matter. The commenters were even worse. They called her a Palin-nite, discussed Regis' fondness for hunting as 'barbaric', sneered at her suggestions that a girl with a gun might be rather helpful in a dire situation. I was shocked.

This is probably because I like guns. I like guns a lot. My dad started taking me shooting around my senior year of high school--if I'd asked earlier, I'm sure he would've taken me then too. I started out on a .22, worked my way up to a nine millimeter, then begged for the chance to try out my dad's .45. It was love at first bang.

I turned out to be a fairly decent shot (I still have my better targets in the back of my car for showing off privileges :D) and my dad signed me up for a combat shooting course. I did really well, and got to progress to the advanced combat course, which was even more fun. (Determining what was a threat (I accidentally shot a cop in that category. Whoops.), shooting around obstacles, even one fun scenario where you had to rescue a teddy bear--that was weighted with sandbags, so it was the actual weight of a child!)

My dad's always had a gift for teaching. My dad's first date with my mom was teaching her how to shoot properly. I always privately thought it was a shame that he didn't become a teacher, although I understand his reasoning why. (The same reasoning why I don't want to teach high school or middle school--the education standards of kids and teens today depresses me.) He also taught me to drive and was a much better teacher than my mom (sorry mom, but dad never screamed at me when I did something innocuous like knock down a mailbox or crash into a shed.) and he really deserves all the credit for my shooting skills.

Ahem. Back to the point at hand.

I do not understand why there isn't a bigger feminist movement about arming women. Is it because of Sarah Palin? (It's the fashion in most feminist circles to hate Sarah Palin. I will admit she annoys me occasionally but I don't hate her and if I ever met her, I'd invite her to go shooting with me and discuss C.S Lewis with her. She seems nice.) Is it because of the liberal tendency to hate guns? Is it because a lot of conservatives like guns?

Let me lay it down for you. I am a woman. Hear me roar, blah blah blah. I'm intelligent, independent, with a strong personality. But guess what? I am 120 pounds, and that's only if I've eaten a big meal. I have absolutely no upper body strength. My 100 pound roommate and I tried to open a bottle of diet coke the other day, and the diet coke won. Physically, I am pretty damn weak. Even if I got more in shape, muscle to muscle, I would not win against your average guy.

In 2006, a guy grabbed me. I threatened him with the knife I carry in my purse. In 2009, at my previous college's formal, a guy attempted to grope me. Luckily, he was drunk and I know how to break fingers.

Last summer, when I was alone in my apartment awaiting my former roommate LC to come home from work. My other two roommates were in Indianapolis. That evening, three huge black guys strolled into my apartment, put on loud rap music, and started drinking.

That is a very terrifying situation. Turns out, they were friends of LC and she'd invited them to come over while she was gone and had forgotten to tell me, and had given them her key. All of which, were really stupid ideas. They were nice guys, but to be honest, I could've been in a hell of a lot of trouble.

I remember my thought process very clearly. I sat shivering on my bed, wondering what the hell I should do (Avlbane's advice, as I was IMing her while this was occurring, was to GTFO) and I thought, 'If they wanted to, they could pound down my door. They could murder me, they could rape me, and no amount of judo and jujitsu training could save me, because there's three of them and one of me, and they're freaking giants. The only thing that could help me, would be a gun, and that was not allowed at my apartment complex.

I am a feminist, and a huge part of being a feminist is knowing how to defend myself, whether it be intellectually or physically. As a feminist, I believe it is vitally important that girls should learn to shoot. A gun can save your life. A gun HAS saved many people's lives. No, I don't think a gun is a magic weapon that can deliver us from all our problems. But I do believe it is a great equalizer, especially for women.

Guns aren't toys. They are weapons. They can be used for good or for evil, as we learned in the Arizona shootings. But they are not to blame for crime. A criminal can kill with a gun, but he can also kill with a knife, a bomb made out of household cleaning supplies, a lead pipe, or against me, with his bare hands.

Someone once asked me, wouldn't I prefer a world where guns were outlawed and I could walk down a city street without worry? No, I most certainly wouldn't prefer a world where guns were outlawed. I have news for you people, a person who is planning on stealing, murdering, or raping isn't going to let a little thing like gun laws stop him. All it's going to do is make me more helpless than nature has already done.

So what do I have to say about Regis Giles? You go girl! Bet my targets are better than yours. Come to my state, and we'll have a contest. Loser buys pizza.

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