Women, It’s Time for Us to Take Away Men’s Guns

Although details about the identities of the Aurora shooting victims are slow to emerge, it is safe to say a male perpetrated unspeakable violence against a number of women, as well as other men.  Sadly, male violence toward either sex is not an unusual occurrence.  When it comes to guns, women are astronomically more likely to be on the receiving end of a bullet than the one pulling the trigger.   While men are both more likely to murder, and to be murdered, women’s likelihood of being killed is way out of proportion with our likelihood of killing.

From 1976 to 2005, women were 23.5% of all homicide victims and 11.2% of perpetrators.    In short, women are significantly more likely to be murdered than to murder, and that’s not to mention the suffering women experience as a result of male on male violence.  No doubt losing a son to gun violence, incarceration or a death sentence for murder can feel like death to a mother.  Why are we putting up with this?

Let’s take a closer look at Aurora for a moment.  I’ve heard a lot of male voices over the past few days stating that if only one or more of the civilians had been armed, this tragedy could have been prevented or curtailed.   One acquaintance argued he’s been training to use his firearm for 30 years and he would have, “taken that asshole down before he killed anyone.”   These voices may be chivalrous, heroic, hot-headed, macho, coming out of fear, denial, posturing, etc.  But there is one thing they are not.  They are not based in fact.  You don’t have to be special ops or have weapons training to know that.

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3 thoughts on “Women, It’s Time for Us to Take Away Men’s Guns

  1. Thank you for this, Lyla. As a man, and a pacifist, I completely agree with your argument. I think that many Americans use the 2nd Amendment as a carte blanche to not be restricted in any way by the government, all in the pursuit of completely individual liberty…and to uphold fragile egos. I’ve heard this same ‘heroic’ talk, where someone claims that a gun in their hand would have solved the problem, in all kinds of places, from all kinds of people who would actually have been able to do nothing to improve the situation in any way whatsoever; yet, big talk about liberty, and heroism, makes them feel better.

    I’m also unimpressed by arguments made that guns have made the US a safer place than many of the other horrible places in the world. Comparing the US to Somalia/Yemen/Afghanistan as a means of proving that guns in the hands of citizens is the most effective means of protection is a completely specious argument. Those are cultures where the entire society has devolved, simply not the case here (no matter what some conservative commentators like to claim in the media). A better comparison is Northern Ireland, which is a developed country, in Europe, which has very strict gun laws. It’s an ex-war zone, and the tensions are still very high, w/weekly riots and bomb threats. I lived there, and have felt safer there than I have in Baltimore or DC: two places with high gun crime, where people can legally own guns.

    Maybe my pacifist stance discounts my viewpoint in the eyes of some people, and disqualifies me from commenting. If so, then they’re wrong. No one can claim to be an American, and believe in defending individual liberty (a false construct anyway, as we are all bound in the interdependent web of society, no matter who…and b/c those who claim individual liberty are perfectly willing to use government to hamper the liberty of other people with whom they happen to disagree), and not defend my right to proclaim my view from the top of my lungs, and to engage in vigorous debate. The Founding Mothers and Fathers believed in an engaged citizenry expressing a wide array of opinions, and enshrined the protection of minority, and unpopular, opinions in the Constitution, putting that FIRST, before guns. You want to convince me of something? Make an argument, listen to mine, and then we decide.

    We have enshrined protection of the minority, the vulnerable, and the weaker into the very fabric of who we are. We have crafted a very delicate balance between guaranteeing the expression of individual liberty and protecting the safety of the vulnerable. It has been proven multiple times that personal gun ownership can be exceedingly dangerous for women and the young; how many kids have to get shot, accidentally, before we decide that maybe our individual liberty has overstepped its bounds? We are not a society that functions well when everyone gets to do EXACTLY as they want to: we’ve enshrined the principle that your individual liberty ends at my person. The work of being a US citizen is to determine where you end and I begin. Thank you for so vocally engaging in this argument, and for allowing me to vent, and pontificate, on your page.

    P.S. I don’t comment much, but I wanted to say thank you for writing, and keeping up the good work on this blog! As an Equally Shared Parent, who’s also Christian, bi, and poly, it’s wonderful to know that there’s someone out there expressing a viewpoint that really speaks to my condition. Thank you!!

    • Dan,

      Thanks, glad to see you here, and thanks so much for the response. It is one of the few I have gotten here or on R/R that was positive. I totally agree that the comparison to other countries is absurd. There are so many factors that go into the level of violence in a country, and I would argue civilians with guns would be as much of a detriment as a help at best. Thanks for your thoughts about Northern Ireland, I think that is an interesting and more appropriate comparison. Thank you for this “Maybe my pacifist stance discounts my viewpoint in the eyes of some people, and disqualifies me from commenting. If so, then they’re wrong. No one can claim to be an American, and believe in defending individual liberty (a false construct anyway, as we are all bound in the interdependent web of society, no matter who…and b/c those who claim individual liberty are perfectly willing to use government to hamper the liberty of other people with whom they happen to disagree.” I don’t think your pacifist stance discounts your viewpoint at all, then again, I too am a pacifist. But I too am struck by the hypocrisy of those who are so desperate to protect freedoms when it’s about guns, but seem all too willing to take away my freedom of control over my body, to marry whom I choose, etc. Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog – it’s wonderful to know there are others out there as well! I’m happy to hear from you anytime, your comments are greatly appreciated!

      Lyla

  2. How about just take away guns from lunatic liberals. Those crazy scumbags seem to be the only people killing and talking about killing anybody.

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