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“American women are the fastest-growing group of gun owners. Millions own firearms. And millions more are thinking about it. It’s not Hillary Clinton who says women should have that choice. It’s Donald Trump,” NRA lobbyist Chris Cox said Tuesday at the Republican National Convention. He pointed out that Donald Trump is a huge fan of women (unlike Clinton, who is a woman) that he is in full support of women having the “choice” to own a firearm (but not to do what she wants with her body). Aside from the jab about women's rights, he's correct. American women are buying more guns—but it's because of men.
From 2011 to 2012, 79 percent of gun retailers reported an increase in women purchasing firearms to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NSSF conducted a study of 1,001 women firearm owners (which didn't detail how many of these individuals reside below the Mason-Dixon Line) ages 18 to 65, and found that 42 percent have a concealed carry permit for their state of residence, more than 50 percent said they'd buy another gun in the next year, and 95 percent have tried target shooting.
But it's important to consider the context and reasons why women are buying more guns. According to The Huffington Post, women are far more likely to be murdered by men (we see you with no data, Florida). Every day in the U.S., three or more women are killed by their boyfriends or husbands. From 2003 to 2012, 65 percent of violent crimes against women were committed by someone they knew; nearly a third of all women murdered in the U.S. were killed by a male intimate partner. In 2011 alone, of those women murdered by men in their lives, 53 percent were shot to death. It is clear that men are killing women, and it's a problem. Men are killing women they know and are intimately involved with, and they are killing them with guns
It's not a secret that women are more vulnerable to violent attacks than men, I feel safer knowing I have a means of protection that is faster than the police and can scare a potential attacker away before the situation escalates.
Female gun owner Quean Ro of Miami, Florida, says her main reason for owning a gun is protection from men. “It's not a secret that women are more vulnerable to violent attacks than men, I feel safer knowing I have a means of protection that is faster than the police and can scare a potential attacker away before the situation escalates. Even if I never have to use it, like the old saying goes: It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” The 22-year old has owned her .22 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol for 2 years and says, “As a person of color and a woman, I feel that the United States government cares less about people like me every day.” Having grown up in a house where there was always a gun in the safe, she added, “The older I get, the more I see it might be something I’ll need one day.”
So, yes, Chris Cox, women are buying guns with plenty of valid reasons: domestic violence, murder, and protection from men. Approximately 90 percent of murders in the U.S. are committed by men. That leaves 10 percent for everyone else.
James Garbarino, a psychologist from Loyola University who has extensively researched human development and violence, has even said that female mass killers are “so rare it hasn’t been studied.” This leaves no argument—women are extremely less likely to kill someone with their guns. It's difficult to even find data about women killing people with guns in cases that aren't in self-defense. In that sense, I agree with Chris Cox. More women should have guns. And since it's abundantly clear that they'll commit less violence than men and be vulnerable to violence committed by men, let's take all the guns away from men and give them to women. In fact, let's only give guns to women. Meet me at the closest shooting range with a Ladies Night.