Mother’s Day is a time where we usually focus on what we can do for our mothers. I want to flip that focus and talk about what we mothers can do for others. We often read articles about how to best get women interested in firearms and their safe use. What about ways mothers can get their families involved and actually foster generations who embrace and defend their right to self-protection?
This is a discussion worth having because it frames women as what we are: capable adults who have wisdom and experience to share. We are leaders for our families not only with the ability to bring a human being into the world, but the duty and ability to protect them. Along with that comes the duty to teach our children and families that they are worth protecting, and that we expect them to protect their own children the same way. This is a basic tenant of society—raising and protecting our families.
Most people who are curious about the world and how things work have heard about concepts like self-fulfilling prophecies and their impact on children. What if we approached firearm ownership as a self-fulfilling prophecy? Instead of assuming that women aren’t knowledgeable about firearms or are not interested in them, what if we assumed and behaved as if women were interested?
While it is true that some women might actually not be interested in firearms, how many women have lived their lives with no one even considering telling them that they could be interested in firearms ... or cars, or engineering, or any topic in which some assume women are generally not interested? What if their lack of interest is simply a bias passed down from their parents and grandparents? What if society is modeling women into some utterly helpless version of womanhood that would make our grandmothers roll over in their graves? Where are the women with the strength to brave life as pioneers and settlers in new lands, or inspired stories of Valkyries?
Femininity doesn’t mean we are helpless or that we should promote helplessness. Being gentle and nurturing doesn’t mean being without grit or strength. As the people who bring life into the world, women know just how much it takes to nurture and protect others, as well as ourselves, for the good of those entrusted to us. So it’s not a stretch to say that women should be the fiercest advocates for any and all means of protection. Teaching our children that it’s proper to protect yourself and advocate for your own safety, and that using tools to accomplish that is not just smart, it’s your right as a human being. Period.
In a world where we are constantly told to be attentive to the situations and upbringing of others, to value what other cultures contribute to the world in which we live, it’s also important to preserve OUR culture. If you were born in America, your culture is one that values personal freedom and human rights. Mothers have been given the biggest “influencer” role in a person’s life. Teaching your children about why freedom and human rights matter—including the right to own tools for self-defense—is not just a parental duty, it should be a cultural norm for American mothers. Whether you are American-born or you came here with the hope of freedom and the promise of living a life where your rights are protected, you have the right to protect yourself. It’s why America (despite the best efforts of those who don’t want people to believe that America was founded on giving the smallest and most inconsequential persons freedom and rights), is still a shining beacon to those who want to live safe and free. And as mothers, we are poised to be the ones who share that light with others.
So I’d like to encourage more mothers on Mother’s Day to teach their children about being their own protectors. Mothers are not eternal. We will not always be there for our children. And letting our children and families know that every person is important and worth protecting is one way of not just creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of raising a good human being, it’s working to shape society and culture into a place where people are not afraid to speak up and stand up for their own well-being. It’s a simple idea, really, but the world could use a good dose of strong women standing firm in their rights as human beings to live safely and ensure the safety of their families. Be that woman with a torch who’s there to lead. Lead by example and embrace your strength as a mother to carry on the torch of liberty.
My torch happens to come in the shape of the firearm that I carry, and I think that’s a reminder that not all the protectors of freedom wear a uniform or swear an oath—some of us are simply mothers whose oath is sworn out in the labor and love of nurturing and protecting those people and this country that I love.