Women Too Weak to Defend Themselves With Guns?


Anti-gun activist Leah Gunn Barrett, the executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, must have never read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Breitbart reports that on Al Jazeera TV, Barrett said that women shouldn’t be allowed to carry firearms for protection on college campuses, on the grounds that “Women are not physically powerful like men are. A gun could easily be turned on the woman, and it is frequently.”

Point of fact, criminologist Gary Kleck’s analysis of National Crime Victimization Survey data found that “[a]t most, 1% of DGUs [defensive gun uses] resulted in the offender taking a gun away from the victim.” However, Kleck noted, this “did not necessarily involve the offender snatching a gun out of the victim’s hands. Instead, a burglar might, for example, have been leaving a home with one of the household’s guns when a resident attempted to stop him using another household gun.” Kleck also found, “rape victims using armed resistance were less likely to have the rape completed against them than victims using any other mode of resistance.”

Barrett is, of course, more interested in opinion than in science. So we thought we would play along, to see how it turned out. We asked a good friend of ours, competitive shooter Carmen Lout, for her opinion about Barrett’s comment.

On the one hand, Carmen noted that, from the standpoint of physical strength, “women are perfectly able to operate and control firearms for self-defense.” Carmen proved that point herself, during a 3-Gun Championship earlier this year, as shown in this video. On the other hand, she also pointed out that “the ability to use firearms for self-defense also depends on factors that have nothing to do with strength, things that are entirely knowledge-based and which, for that reason, women can perform as well as men.”

Since we knew the answer, we didn’t ask Carmen what she thought of Barrett’s ultimate opinion, namely, that no woman deserves the chance to even try to defend herself, that—as a leader of the anti-gun group now known as the Brady Campaign once said—if attacked “put up no defense – give them (the criminals) what they want.”


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