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Women and the Ethic of the Gun

Steve Comus

March 1, 2017 — There is a phenomenon I call “ethic of the gun.” It is omnipresent, yet difficult to nail down when discussing firearms, their owners and their shooters generally. As much as it is challenging to try to explain it to non-gun folks, it seems as though ethnic gun folks understand it without further explanation. I suggest that it is the basis for what is generally known as the Gun Culture.

Regardless which gate one goes through to enter Gundom, we all seem to end up pretty much understanding how all of the stimuli that got us there interact and where each of us fits into the overall picture.

These thoughts came to mind recently as more and more discussion focuses on the rapidly rising number of women in the ranks of gun owners and shooters. It’s easy to take a quick and shallow look at statistics and conclude that the phenomenon is basically a self-defense scenario. Certainly self-defense plays into the equation, but I suggest there are much, much deeper and more significant forces at play – all to the good.

First, when more women enter Gundom, it suggests that full “empowerment” has actually happened. I’m not talking about some politically correct set of talking points, but something that is actually real, is actually important – profound, in fact.
Although there always have been exceptional female shooters and hunters (Annie Oakley comes to mind), there never has been a societal presumption that women are shooters and hunters until quite recently.

Self-defense, for instance, is a human thing, not a gender thing. Defense of family assumes all hands on deck, regardless of age, etc. But self-defense is only one spoke in the wheel of Gundom.

Other participation stimuli like hunting, recreational shooting or just pride in ownership all play important parts in the tapestry that is the Gun Culture. Women can be found in increasing numbers in each of those categories, as well as in the overall.

All of this is so incredibly logical that it is mind-boggling that many, if not most, folks in society still don’t get it. They apparently are mired in a bog of stereotypes from the past.

Women don’t own and shoot guns just because they are women. They own and shoot guns because they are complete, motivated citizens who are concerned about themselves, their families and their culture. All three of those categories are under attack in recent times.

Why should a woman dial 911 and wait when she can end the threat instantly by triggering a .223? Or, as has been suggested: What’s the difference between 911 and 1911? When seconds count, police are only minutes away.

I am afflicted with what I consider to be the “dream gene.” Regardless the reality of the situation, my mind always wants to be where things could be, should be.

That’s why my take on the Second Amendment is at least a bit different from some folks. The way I see it, in society there are freedoms and responsibilities.

Folks like to talk about the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms as one of the basic freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights. That’s true, it is.

But I like to think to the next step, which is to understand that it also represents a responsibility. Citizenship dictates that citizens recognize, protect and exercise all freedoms spelled out in the Constitution and elsewhere.

Put bluntly: citizens have a responsibility to keep and bear arms if they are to retain their right to keep and bear arms. In this context, it is totally refreshing to see more and more women join the ranks of true, practicing patriots.

It is not that women, as a demographic group, have not been patriotic in the past. Certainly they have. But now women are participating and expressing their patriotism in still another away beyond the levels experienced historically.

Given the continued robust levels of gun sales in the country, even after nearly a decade of successive record-breaking years, I suspect that there is something else going on, in addition to the heightened number of women joining the ranks.

Could it be that right now there is an historic high in the number of true patriots? I think perhaps that is true, although it would be difficult to measure at this time.

Different folks seem to be self-identifying with various concepts surrounding Gundom. Among them are the molon labe folks, the 3 percenters if you will.

I have been told the 3 percent number represents the percentage of the population that actually fought in the Revolution.

That is not a big percentage, but then again, usually a relatively small percentage of a population actually fights in any given war.

I am openly wondering here, however, whether the percentage of true patriots might not be higher now than during the Revolution.

Compounding numbers of folks associated with the gun culture these days suggest that it very well might be that this is the dawning of the single most patriotic period of American history.

Like I said, I like to dream about where society could be, should be.

This is a period when mothers AND daughters, brothers AND sisters, husbands AND wives are exercising their Constitutional responsibilities and, in so doing, are protecting theirs and others’ Constitutional rights.

It is a period when the ethic of the gun personifies freedom like never before.

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