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Guns and (black) feminism

Guns and (black) feminism

A rare dose of sanity at Salon.com, Who will protect us? Why I’m still conflicted about guns as a black feminist:

I was 15 years old when my mother and I were robbed at gunpoint. It was 1982….

I don’t own a gun but I know plenty of educated black women who do. These are working- and middle-class women, some of them single and some with families, and  statistics support what I see. According to a National Shooting Sports Foundation report, 78.6 percent of retailers reported an increase in the number of women buying guns in 2012. Although a 2013 Pew research report reveals that gun ownership remains overwhelmingly white and male, black women made up the fastest growing purchasers of concealed handguns in Texas between the years 2007 and 2012. J. Victoria Sanders, a black Texan and journalist, reported this trend in a 2011 article detailing the increased marketing of guns to women and Sanders’ own journey toward gun ownership.

This movement toward guns seems a rational decision for black women when you consider some of our experiences. Historically, black women have been left unprotected as a matter of law and custom, our bodies designated as commodities, used as “de mule uh de world” as Zora Neale Hurston wrote, and as sites for sexual violence and mockery. In an analysis of 2011 data, the Violence Policy Center reported that black women are murdered at rates three times that of white women and these murders usually involve a gun used by someone that the woman knows. Given these realities, some of us are pragmatic about self-defense. Even when we identify as feminist, as I do, we remain uncommitted to anti-gun feminism that erases our specific experience….

More than 30 years after a gun was pointed squarely in my face, I have resisted buying a firearm for protection.  But I have not ruled out the possibility that I will. It crosses my mind when the occasional oddball shows up at my door unannounced. If I buy a gun, it will be to protect myself and my children inside of our house….

It’s a long post, and somewhat rambling, but worth the read.

(Featured image source)

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Comments

She’s resisted buying a gun evn though she had one stuck in her face? Interesting. So, how Does she propose to defend herself and those two cute kids? By telling the intruder she’s a feminist? Fascinating. I hope she remembers the rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” the next time some weirdo comes a-knockin’ at her door.

    I imagine that when you’ve been indoctrinated your entire life that it is a journey to the place where you realize you are responsible for your own defense and then to prepare yourself to take that responsibility. Kudos to her for taking that journey, I hope she gets where she is going safely.

    Or, she could just take the ‘easy’ route that is pushed by the gun-grabbing proggie elites and she could just teach her beautiful daughters to curl up in the fetal position and soil themselves when attacked. After all, the proggies care about her and her children more than conservatives and other bitter clingers do, right?

    richardb in reply to Juba Doobai!. | November 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The beauty of America’s gun laws is we are allowed to make our own decisions, free of dictation from bureaucrats, elites and poser politicians. We can discuss with our wife, our brothers and sisters, our parents or nobody at all. Its a very liberating notion, that you can buy as many guns as you want and in most states arm yourself wherever you go. It baffles me why women who seek independence and liberation treat gun owners like criminals. But to each their own and may they live well with their decisions.

    That is not the author, nor are those her kids in the picture.

theduchessofkitty | November 6, 2013 at 9:15 am

Love the Tolkien quote.

You don’t see that kind of wisdom nowadays.

The right to self-defense follows from our unalienable Right to Life. The Declaration of Independence is not separable from the Constitution. We possess an intrinsic and legal Right to Life.

Thinking about protecting yourself and your family does not actually get it done. Just like anything else in life, preparation is the key, which needs to include regular training. So, while it’s nice that she is thinking about it, that won’t help when the time comes.

I love that pic. Mama bear protecting the cubs. Don’t mess with Mama bear.

southcentralpa | November 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

Her self-appointed “betters” will now attempt to swarm her like a pack of feral dogs in 3… 2… 1…

(Come to the dark side, Ms Simms … we have cookies 🙂 )

I heartily endorse the trend of black women to arm themselves for self-defense and self-defense avoidance.

As a long time NRA certified instructor and retired law enforcement officer I have had the pleasure of teaching many all female civilian handgun classes. At the start of each I ask, “How many of you are here because there is someone in your life right now who may need to be shot?” After a bit of squirming a hand or two raises, then more and more until at least half of the class has their hands in the air and are smiling at one another in relief that they are not alone. Then I ask, “How many of you are certain that you can kill another human being with a handgun at close range?” Not as much squirming this time and almost all of the hands go up. I tell the class to stand down for five minutes and gather up those who did not raise their hands. With that group in tow, we talk about baseball bats, golf clubs and other weapons of opportunity – all of which are equally as deadly as a firearm at arms length when properly deployed. Some elect to stay and some leave the class at this point with a smile, a handshake and a full refund. The larger class goes on in varying degrees of trepidity until the first shot on target some five hours of instruction later. If they follow the simple steps taught, which women invariably do, then that first shot is on target and the reaction is almost universally one of disbelief and delight. After this is repeated a dozen times or so, they settle in and really start to feel the possibilities and responsibilities of carrying and using a handgun. That first shot revelation is why I teach and women, as a group, get it right more quickly and more often than any group of men I have ever taught.

JackRussellTerrierist | November 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

She needs to shut up and get off the pot. Take care of business, then tell us about her “journey”.

Phillep Harding | November 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Culturally embedded Stockholm Syndrome. Try to establish a relationship with the abusers so the abusers will go for theatre and back off on doing actual injury instead of maiming or killing.

Superficially promising, but based on a rotten foundation. Anyone with weapons should develop the ability to distinguish reality from fiction; anyone who can’t is just a menace to the public. Two strikes against this woman already –

1. The right to use force in defense is not hers because of feminist claptrap. It is hers because she’s a human and an American.

2. The VPC is not a source of information. It is a propaganda bureau. The difference should be important to everybody. To those mentally and physically prepared to use force when necessary, the difference is vital.

The author asks if anything (specifically a firearm) can save her or her family. I suggest the question is more simple: What will give her and her family a fighting chance?

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