By Dan Shea

I just left a Vegas gun show, one of the Crossroads of the West shows. Curiosity had gotten the better of me, and, of course I had a shopping list. As I wandered around looking for the new Turkish Zigana T pistol (scored) and more Makarovs and Tokarevs (scored again), some Russian AKs and a brace of Ruger GP-100s (scored happily once more), I started paying attention to the crowd and what they were looking for.

As expected, not too many people chasing the high end black guns though there still seemed to be a pretty brisk trade in basic AR-15 and AK models. People knew what they were looking for, and seemed to also be accessorizing. The magazine guys were doing well, as was the ammo company there.

What really caught my interest was the number of women purchasing firearms. I started paying attention when I saw them at tables and noted many were interested in handguns. Good, solid, reasonably priced handguns that were in many cases smaller sized guns, but still decent pieces. I saw several women, perhaps in their forties (although I am not qualified to make that judgment and happen to be old enough, and wise enough, to never bring that up), looking over some AR-15 carbine clones; clearly intending to buy. They were educated about what they wanted, and many if not most, were with other women. Now, the choices they made may not have met up to the macho gun-rag hype about what they should be carrying, but, the choices were all good, sound, reliable handguns. This wasn’t just a lark; to me, this was the sign of a coming wave of common sense.

Many years ago, my younger sister, who was liberal leaning and anti-firearms ownership, had a friend who was assaulted in Miami. That’s putting it mildly. She made a wrong turn into a side of town she didn’t know, stopped her convertible at a red light, and two serious thugs dragged her out of it, in broad daylight, and proceeded to beat her and rape her repeatedly. There were many witnesses, and the “assault” went on far too long. Six months later, the poor victim was still in a coma. When my sister told me about this, the abject horror was on her face. I quietly asked, “Would it have been better if she had taken a double action .38 out of her purse and started pounding rounds into these animals, or should she have just let this happen?”

I could see that she was considering, and had a new point of view to think about.

Personally, it is absolutely beyond me why some women’s groups consider that banning firearms is a good thing. I can’t look at it that way. Maybe it’s the testosterone in me, but the idea that a weaker person should fall prey to these predators, and have their life ruined, simply because “other people” don’t think they should be able to defend themselves, is, well, ludicrous. It’s guaranteed as a God-given Right in our Constitution.

The champions of legitimate firearms ownership should be the women’s groups, should be any group that is downtrodden, that is subject to life or safety threatening situations brought on by predators.

This goes for racism, it goes for xenophobia, and it goes for attacking people for any reason: people should be able to protect themselves.

To paraphrase the old saying: “God may have made men and women, but it was Samuel Colt that made them equal.”

- Dan

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V13N4 (January 2010)
and was posted online on May 11, 2012


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