From “AR-14s” to “Assault Rifles,” society can never seem to get it right when it comes to firearms and firearms enthusiasts. However, it’s their persistence in underestimating the women of the Second Amendment community that really shoots them in the foot. (Pun intended.) Both men and women who own firearms are often questioned as to their “reasons” for owning them, but it is the questions directed at women that never cease to both amuse and infuriate me. When presenting our case, we are often faced with demeaning rebuttals, such as: “Won't your attacker just take your gun away?” and “Aren't you afraid your gun will “go off”?
For a society that champions “empowering women,” their sudden flood of doubts the minute we pick up a firearm is nothing short of insulting. But unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Being a woman firearm owner also means having girlfriends who suddenly have other things to do when you make plans to hang out, or laugh nervously and say, “Why would you need a thing like that?” when you tell them you carry. It means having dates accuse you of paranoia when they see the pistol in your purse. It means having other moms question your dedication as a mother when you tell them you keep firearms in the house. There are a million scenarios where our ability to own, carry and operate a firearm are questioned simply because of our sex.
And yet, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there’s been a 77 percent increase in female gun ownership since 2005. An additional study by the Pew Research Center reported that more than a quarter of women firearm owners say they carry every day.
Despite the rhetoric against us, more women are joining the 2A community than ever. We are joining shooting sports teams and concealed-carry training clubs, starting our own "carrywear" businesses and opening our own ranges. During the same era in which huntresses consistently receive death threats for posting pictures of their hunting trips on social media, hundreds of businesses in the outdoors industry have designed entire lines of products dedicated specifically to women’s hunting and shooting needs. In fact, less than a decade after 2003, the number of huntresses in America rose by almost 50 percent.
In opposition to our society’s vendetta on our rights, women are the fastest-growing demographic of firearm owners, and turn out in increasing droves to purchase firearms and accessories with each passing year. Many so-called “authorities” on the subject are left scratching their heads, but it doesn’t take too much deliberation to understand the rationale of the movement.
To start, more and more women are realizing that no social justice warrior is going to run out to rescue them if they’re attacked by a rapist. In fact, women as a whole are more and more frequently turning to themselves for means of protection.
... More and more women are realizing that no social justice warrior is going to run out to rescue them if they’re attacked by a rapist.
In this regard, we have to be honest with ourselves: The average woman has quite a bit less muscle mass than the average man—and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The female body is genetically engineered to store more fat than that of a male; that’s simply the way our biology is set up. However, we are quite lucky to live in an age where the most effective tool of self-defense isn’t contingent on an individual’s strength. I’ve often heard it put this way: “A firearm is the great equalizer. You can be a 4’11” woman against a 6’2” man, but if you’ve got a firearm, your odds instantly skyrocket.”
However, it seems as if our societal counterparts have not all jumped on the bandwagon. As a matter of fact, in a 2015 doctoral candidate's dissertation titled, "Exploring Women, Gun Ownership, and Gender," published by Kansas State University, proclaimed that “women, even today, are… an anomaly when it comes to owning guns and participating in … shooting sports.”
I’m quite happy to say that despite their attempts to dismiss us as mere “anomalies” over the years, the writer of that dissertation and anyone agreeing with her claims are consistently proved wrong by the women of the second amendment community.
So, in the face of societal stigmas, and disregarding those who would mock our beliefs as “firearm feminism,” we push forward. Over and over again, we as female firearm owners prove that we will defy any and all odds to ensure we will never be victims. We choose to ignore the judging glares and the blank looks. We refuse to submit to threats or intimidation.
As mothers and daughters, sisters and friends: We carry to protect those we care about. We, the women of America (and the world), own firearms not because we are weak, but because we choose to wear our vulnerabilities as strengths.
Who is the Female Firearm Owner? She's the storm you never saw coming.
About the Author: Savannah Sisk is an alumna of the NRA Youth Education Summit program. A proud Texan, she was a guest panelist at the 2019 NRA Women’s Leadership Forum in San Antonio. As a self-proclaimed firearms enthusiast, Savannah spends a lot of time at the range. She currently attends Texas A&M University, and spends most of her spare time advocating for Second Amendment causes. It is Savannah’s life goal to lead her generation in protecting the Second Amendment and appreciating what a privilege it is.