Why Women Are Buying More Guns

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Gun control’s a little down in the polls, and gun sales are up. Why? Because more women are packing heat.

Keli Goff writes: A recently released New York Times/CBS poll included some headline grabbing findings about America’s evolving attitudes on gun control. The poll found that the number of Americans supporting a ban on assault weapons is 19 points lower today than it was after the shooting of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others in 2011.Perhaps more significant, it found that the number of Americans supporting stricter gun control in general has slipped 7 points in just two months. While these numbers may come as a surprise to many, they shouldn’t, because in the last few years the backbone of the gun control movement has been undergoing an evolution of its own. More and more women are buying guns. As the number of female gun owners has risen, so has the number of women expressing skepticism of gun control.

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“Gun control has almost nothing to do with ensuring the bad guys don’t have guns. Women increasingly seem to be understanding this.”

— Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus

More than a third of the women who participated in the National Sports Shooting Foundation’s most recent survey identified as new gun owners. This data are consistent with those of other organizations, including the National Sporting Goods Association. According to the NSGA’s Annual Sports Participation Report the number of women who practice target shooting increased nearly 36 percent (from 4.31 million to 5.86 million) between 2004 and 2014, while the number of women participating in hunting increased 23 percent (from 2.68 million to 3.3 million). In response to a request for comment, an NRA spokesman reported tracking a 77 percent increase between 2004 and 2011 in the number of women who own firearms.

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“According to Dees Thomases in the social media driven age it is much tougher to be a gun control activist—particularly a female one. ‘All women activists on this issue at some point are harassed,’ she said. ‘They try to publish your phone number and addresses,’ she said of gun control opponents.”

“Gun control has almost nothing to do with ensuring the bad guys don’t have guns. Women increasingly seem to be understanding this,” wrote Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus in an email.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Beast]

For years the movement for gun control has been driven by women leaders and supporters. The Million Mom March that took place on Mother’s Day 2000 was one of the most significant milestones in the modern day gun-control movement. Founded by Donna Dees Thomases in the aftermath of the shooting of children by a white supremacist in Grenada Hills, California, the movement built momentum that resulted in a number of legislative wins for gun control supporters.

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“As a result female supporters of gun control have not been as widely represented in media in recent years, which may be having an impact on public perception of the issue.”

Advocacy by Million Mom March chapters is credited with tougher gun laws being passed in states from Arizona to Maryland to New York, where Republican Governor and current presidential candidate George Pataki signed some of the nation’s strictest gun laws just months after the Million Mom March.

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So what happened to the Mom-mentum?

In a phone interview Dees Thomases disputed the notion that gun control supporters have lost ground or lost the support of women in the 15 years since their triumphant march. She pointed to the Million Mom March activists and alums now serving in elected office (at least three currently), not to mention others whose volunteerism for candidates supportive of gun control swung elections. “They threw a lot of rascals out of office,” she said. “People didn’t leave the march and go home and do nothing. We left that march and got sweeping reform passed.”

She also said that polling data on guns can be misleading, with the phrasing of questions often being key to which way responses tilt. She did concede that the female faces of the gun control movement have lost visibility in media, but she believes they’ve had little choice. “The question is not why we went away,” she corrected me, emphatically noting they have not, “but why we’re not visible.” According to Dees Thomases in the social media driven age it is much tougher to be a gun control activist—particularly a female one. “All women activists on this issue at some point are harassed,” she said. “They try to publish your phone number and addresses,” she said of gun control opponents. As a result female supporters of gun control have not been as widely represented in media in recent years, which may be having an impact on public perception of the issue….(read more)

Source: The Daily Beast


One Comment on “Why Women Are Buying More Guns”

  1. […] Source: Why Women Are Buying More Guns […]


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