Opinion

Gun Control: What About Women?

Gun control advocates love to tout opinion polls in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings. Without very much critical thinking, people react emotionally to questions like, “Should the age to buy a rifle be raised from 18 to 21?”

After a few weeks or months, once people have better educated themselves on firearms issues, polls tend to change from the emotional to the rational. People become more knowledgeable regarding the broader implications and unintended consequences of so-called “reasonable” gun control. Americans’ support for gun control usually weakens with knowledge.

The current leftist gun control “solution” is to restrict guns from a class of law-abiding citizens because their age corresponds with that of a recent, rare mass shooter in Florida. I thought the left was against age discrimination.

The current leftist gun control “solution” is to restrict guns from a class of law-abiding citizens because their age corresponds with that of a recent, rare mass shooter in Florida. I thought the left was against age discrimination.

Prior to turning 18, kids generally live at home and it’s technically their parents’ responsibility to protect them. After turning 18, many young adults live on their own or with other young adults. They become responsible for their own protection.

Now we have a gun-control push to raise the age for rifle purchases from 18 to 21. If gun control advocates have their way, then an entire class of American citizens won’t be allowed to use a gun to protect themselves against criminals. As I’ve mentioned before, the left doesn’t argue that people have a right to self-defense. But they do argue the government should prohibit Americans from having access to the most effective means of self-defense, a firearm.

At 18, a citizen can serve in the military, as a firefighter, sign a contract, get married, have children, and own a house, but those law-abiding 18 to 21-year-old adult community members shouldn’t be allowed to protect themselves as older adults are able to do? If you’re not 18 to 21, it doesn’t directly affect you. But what about the millions of Americans who are in that age group?

I understand the science regarding the human brain not being fully mature until a person is about 24 years of age (hell, I have plenty of anecdotal evidence it takes far longer for some folks). However, if this is the argument used for disarming a certain portion of society due to their ages, then shouldn’t they also be restricted from participating in other important things like joining the military, driving a car, signing a contract, or getting married? If we’re trying to use logic when discussing brain development, adulthood, and constitutional rights, then shouldn’t we extend that logic out to the “logical” end of the discussion?

My libertarian nature dictates that I support the notion that an adult is an adult, with all the benefits and liabilities and rights and responsibilities, whenever society decides that is. Whether 18, 19, 20, or 21, let’s just be consistent.

(Credit: Facebook/Women and Guns)

Women, people for whom firearms equalize their chances against stronger male assailants, are even more unfairly targeted by such a change.

When was the last time a young woman shot up a school or shopping mall? Stephanie Pappas, writing for LiveScience.com, quotes Loyola University-Chicago psychologist, James Garbarino. He says female mass killers are “so rare that it just hasn’t been studied.” Further, Pappas writes, “In general, women are far less homicidal than men. Women commit only about 10 percent to 13 percent of homicides in the United States.” Yet this ostensibly “reasonable” gun control policy would take these women’s constitutional rights away.

Where are the women’s groups on this part of the issue? Why should a young woman, perhaps living alone in an apartment, not be allowed to possess the best means available to protect herself? Is the 22-year-old graduate student’s life more valuable than the 19-year-old undergraduate living next door? Do people really think the government should usurp young women’s Second Amendment rights because 18 to 20-year-old males commit heinous acts exceedingly rarely?

(Credit: Facebook/Women and Guns)

Isn’t this even more reason to arm, not disarm, young adult women who wish to buy a firearm?

I sliced the gender issue off the age issue to point out these subjects are not as simple as some gun control advocates would have you believe. These policies affect real people. We can’t simply say, “ban assault rifles” (a made-up term) when those rifles work no differently than other rifles not considered “assault” weapons. These new restrictions —  mental health, raising gun purchasing ages, etc. — are all ways that the gun control left is chipping away at the Second Amendment.

Think about the polls that initially indicate that high percentages of the public support stronger mental health prohibitions on guns. Well, what happens to that support once the public is asked what about military veterans who come home from war with PTSD? Will they be denied their constitutional right to keep and bear arms because of their “mental health” issues? And what about the left’s concern with stigmatizing the mentally ill?

How many folks who may need mental health assistance, but wish to continue owning their guns, will delay or not seek the help they need at all? When people take the time to think critically on these issues with the emotion removed, polls begin to trend against gun control.

It is important to employ critical thinking and intellectual honesty when you look at Second Amendment issues. Is what you’re advocating for an actual solution or is it just something that will make you feel better? It may feel great to get a state or the feds to ban AR 15s, but will it do anything to solve the problem? The previous ban did nothing. Conversely, it may not feel great to install metal detectors and post armed guards at schools, but, since we know it works in myriad other places, shouldn’t we at least try?

If you say no, perhaps you should analyze your real feelings on the issue and ask yourself if you truly wish to solve the problem of school shootings or simply want your “side” to win?

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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