Feminism and Firearms
Feminists and Firearms

As the president of the Personal Defense Institute and a certified firearms instructor of no few years, I have the good fortune (or bad fortune, depending on your view) to interview crime victims who seek out firearms training at PDI.

No fewer than 70% of the students who graduate from PDI are women and fully half of those have been victimized in some way. Sexual assault, aggravated assault or stalking and various other forms of predatory criminal activities are what drive these women to firearms as the single most effective means of personal defense. Luckily, these same women also accept the responsibility of firearms ownership and seek professional training. I only wish more would do the same instead of living with the false sense of security that comes from simply having a gun in the home.

The terrifying ordeals these women live through and the trauma, both physical and emotional, leave deep scars that are ignored by most liberal politicians. Worse, these scars are ignored by the very organizations that would have us believe they exist to empower women.

For years, feminism has been thought of as a largely liberal philosophy. Conservatives have traditionally looked upon the feminist movement as shaking the very core of the male/female relationship, upsetting social morays that have existed for hundreds of years. Liberals, on the other hand, have come to recognize that women have a definite place along side men in every aspect of business, politics and the home. Whether or not the two sides will ever come together politically or philosophically is not the reason for this treatise. The left and right are too busy justifying their own existance to the American public to spend time grappling with a life or death problem whose basis lies both in reality and a pool of innocent blood. The sad fact is that women die at the hands of criminal predators while "civil servants" and self-appointed "experts" or "leaders" dance on their graves.

For women's organizations to avoid confronting the issue of gun control is tantamount to them refusing to acknowledge that the sun rises in the east. Personal defense for women should not only be an integral part of the social platforms of the national women's groups, it should be at the very top or at worst, second on the list of priorities.

For any recognized leader of the national women's movement to stand before supporters and speak of empowering women without uttering so much as a syllable regarding empowering women to defend themselves against personal attack is ludicrous. Women's organizations that reject the reality of firearms being the single most effective means of personal defense for a woman, are turning over the safety of those they allegedly represent to the rapists and murderers of our nation. At the same time, they are actually subordinating women into the role of "victim" by their refusal to embrace a woman's true right to defend herself.

The issue at hand is not one of a political nature. It cannot be denied that some individuals, having less than pure intentions, will always undertake to create the impression that firearms in the hands of women is indeed a political issue. Usually, these individuals will point a finger at those in the conservative camp and declare that lives are being lost due to a glut of firearms or a lack of regulation. Both claims are intentionally false and meant to obfuscate the truth.

There is absolutely nothing political about a woman being repeatedly raped in her own home by a sociopathic criminal recently released from prison while her husband, bound and gagged, watches. Nor is there anything at all political about a young mother, whose only legal defense is a paper-thin restraining order, being killed by an estranged or drunken husband. There is nothing political about women being dragged from their cars by gang thugs and being assaulted over a period of hours. There is certainly nothing political about a young professional woman watching her parents die at the hands of a lunatic in a Texas restaurant. What could possibly be political about a woman being raped in a New York City park while her screams for help go unanswered? Women should be instantly suspect of any person who would try to exploit such terror for political gain. Better than that, those who attempt such repugnant tactics should be shown the nearest political exit. It has not escaped me that the Clinton political machine has mastered such tactics and used them to pass impotent legislation that further denies women the right of self-defense, and I hope it will not escape the reader.

In the meantime, while well-protected politicians and self-serving "leaders" are patting themselves solidly on the backs for protecting the rights of women, women are being beaten and killed mercilessly one after the other, hour by hour, day by day. It's a senseless slaughter that could be halted if those who enjoy the trappings of high office, public or private sector, had the courage to truly empower women with social strength and not just use their positions to peddle books or garner honorariums.

The conundrum is fairly easy to see. If these organizations were to agree that women in America should be allowed or even encouraged to defend themselves against the useless human refuse that preys on them, they would be in direct opposition the their current belief that these poor wretches are somehow the product of social policy and therefore should not be held accountable for even the most heinous of crimes. In order to agree that women need the right to defend themselves with a firearm, a politician or "leader" would have to admit that human vermin exists. Historically, the women of America have had their lives sacrificed rather than have a politician or "leader" suffer the embarrassment of adjusting such a flawed philosophy.

Worthy of equal consideration is the fact that not only have the major influential women's organizations and leaders forsaken the rights and needs of women who have already been victimized, they have turned their backs on all women everywhere, in as far as personal protection is concerned. This alone creates the potential for literally hundreds of thousands of women becoming unecessary targets. If those at the forefront of the women's movement do not have the courage to admit that a real issue exists, if they do not wish to place the necessary focus on the issue and if they only wish that the issue of women owning guns would simply go away, then the women of America need new leaders. The women of America, concur with gun control or not, need an advocate that will speak up in cities across America and tell the public the truth about personal defense. Those women who have come to accept the responsibility for their own protection need to force the very real issue of guns saving the lives of women into the national spotlight. Any effort to politicize the issue needs to be immediately short-circuited and any subsequent attempt to do so, denied.

There is only one means of personal defense that has been proven to be immediately effective for a woman facing an attacker and that means is a firearm in well-trained hands. The arguments for hand-to-hand techniques, knives, chemical sprays and all of the alternative methodologies should not be construed as being invalid. Quite the contrary is true in fact. In the absence of a personal commitment to defend oneself with deadly force and the belief that doing so is morally correct, other methods should be explored.

Women do need to be empowered. In the streets of America, men and women alike fall prey to vicious felons around the clock. For the women's movement to accept that personal defense with a firearm is an issue to be whisked under a political rug is to draw an imaginary target on the back of every woman in America along with a sign that reads, "Kill me!"

Based upon my experience, the criminal will do just that.

Jeff Dissell, Proprietor
The Conservative Diner

Copyright 1996, The Conservative Diner