It’s always fascinating to read the various editorials and Congressional testimony made by those who either support or vehemently oppose the 2nd Amendment. Part of the reason, for me, anyway is the unrealistic examples some provide and the logic used to convince lawmakers that their arguments are right.
In the Washington Post this week, Ruth Marcus, a well respected political writer, published an editorial on why women shouldn’t feel safer with a gun in the house. Her piece, “The phony pro-gun argument” is probably the first thing she’s written that I’ve read and disagree with. She uses the reasoning proffered by the director of Harvard Injury Control Research Center David Hemenway, as her justification that women should be very much opposed to gun rights. Hemenway’s argument, “There’s good evidence that a gun in the home increases the likelihood that a woman in the home will die,” is difficult for many to understand. He insists no evidence exists that proves guns will provide protection for women.
Stay with me…there’s a point to this…
Marcus then flips the coin and provides another example of how crazy women are to not want firearms in our homes. To make this argument, she uses testimony that Gayle Trotter of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum provided the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Trotter believes there should be no restrictions at all on guns. None. Trotter argued that guns were the “great equalizer” for women in a showdown with the stronger sex and that sometimes the look of the firearm, especially if it was something straight out of the arms of Linda Hamilton in The Terminator, would actually be enough to level the playing field. I’m less interested in looking bad-ass than I am in protecting myself and from what I know, it makes little difference in how the gun “looks”. If it works, I’m safe. Period.
Still, Trotter felt it necessary to argue with some of the politicians who were present for the hearing. Here’s the thing – she makes sense, but to hone in on the “scary factor”, in my opinion, affected her credibility. She then demanded of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D RI) an explanation of his mindset when he made the point that “ordinary firearms” serve the purposes of those wishing to protect themselves, “I think it proves the point that with ordinary firearms, not hundred-magazine, peculiar types of artifacts, people are quite capable of defending themselves.”
She demanded to know how he could say such a thing and then pulled the genetic logistics into the mix by saying, “You are a large man. . . . You cannot understand. You are not a woman stuck in her house having to defend her children, not able to leave her child, not able to go seek safety.”
This is what is so worrisome. If we start making determinations based on how much testosterone is flowing through our veins, we’re in trouble. While the Constitution was written in a time when women were…well, less, there were no factors that differentiated men and women.
But let’s really bring this point home, shall we?
Imagine being in way over your head and married to an abuser who’s doing drugs and God knows what else. Imagine that as soon as you’re into it, you realize it’s either get out now or see your life cut short. Then, consider that you actually do get out and go about the business of rebuilding your life, only to see the door come off the hinges in a home you thought was safe and more importantly, that the abuser had no idea of where that home was. You finally get past all of it, and you’re safer and stronger from the experience.
Years pass and you learn that this violent creature spent more time in jail than anything else for a host of reasons, including domestic violence and drugs. Then you learn that person is recently arrested yet again for possession of a firearm and domestic violence.
But yeah, according to all of these brilliant lawmakers, felons can’t own guns. Those with domestic violence charges most certainly can’t get their hands on guns and definitely, anyone who has the strength, courtesy of whatever the drug of the month was, to take a door physically off of its hinges is no danger. That is my idea of an unlevel playing field – I’m just sorry it took me so long to understand what a level playing field really looks like. But I do now.
When it comes right down to it, we, as a nation, have to put aside the ridiculous half-ass efforts of our lawmakers. The petty nonsense about magazines and what defines a military weapon is where many are getting lost. It is as simple today as it was when the Framers were defining the foundation of this country. Technology and stupidity have muddied the waters, but let’s get back to it, shall we? If you’re not part of this nation’s incredible military or its law enforcement community, put the pride aside and do some soul searching on why you really feel it’s necessary for all the enhancements. If it is Linda Hamilton or the screwball she co-starred with (or any other Hollywood “star”) factor, ask yourself if imitating those celebrities on the left coast is really the image you want to put forth.