Women are particularly vulnerable to violent crime. On average, they tend to be physically weaker than the typical attacker. That means all else being equal, women are at a decided disadvantage in a violent encounter.
While many of us–myself especially included–tend to dog Millennials for being spoiled and unwilling to take responsibility, that’s not entirely fair. Many are doing just that…especially the Millennial women who are arming themselves.
We often think of millennials as being more liberal than older generations, usually based on their voting patterns. But when it comes to individual issues, millennials can’t all be painted with a uniformly left-wing brush. One such issue is gun control. In October 2015, a Gallup poll found that, while 57 percent of 30-49 year olds and 56 percent of 50-64 year olds support stricter gun laws, gun control was only supported by 50 percent of people aged 18-29. (Millennials, in case you forgot, are technically people 35 and younger.) It’s a mistake to think that all pro-gun or anti-regulation millennials are men; millennial women are buying and using guns, too. Bustle talked to a few of them to figure out why.
The amount of women with guns in general is substantive enough for there to be a big industry in “concealed-carry” female accessories.Pew Research data from 2017 reveals that 22 percent of American women own guns, but that they tend to buy them later in life; the average age of first gun ownership for women is age 27, compared to an average age of 19 for men. While that’s a distinctly different life stage, it’s still well within the millennial age range. So why do some of the women in a young, relatively liberal generation feel invested in the idea of gun ownership?
Millennial women interviewed by Bustle tended to have grown up with guns. “I’ve grown up shooting firearms both recreationally and for hunting, my entire life,” Taylor Giardina, who currents resides in Texas, tells Bustle. “My family always did this together as a family activity, and I was taught a lot about gun safety and ownership rights at a young age.”
Shea Drake from Salt Lake City tells Bustle, “I grew up in a hunting family, and while I haven’t gone hunting in about 10 years, I still target shoot fairly regularly.” But it’s not just about culture; it’s about security.
Drake, who owns three guns (a .22 pistol, a .22 rifle, and a 20 gauge shotgun), says, “I am lucky that, so far, I haven’t had to use my guns for self-defense. But, I am glad that I know what to do if such a situation were to arise thanks to regular target practice. There is a sense of security in having a gun in my home, and knowing how to use it.”
This is a very reassuring trend, and it’s also a message to gun owning parents. Taking your child shooting not only gives you an opportunity to bond with your child and teach them firearm safety but also to help create the next generation of gun owners. Gun owners tend to be the most vehement defenders of the Second Amendment, after all.
For what it’s worth, this is consistent with the women’s campus carry advocacy group mentioned on this site yesterday. It also matches the influx of women-oriented products we see pouring onto the market.
Now, if only we can keep killjoys from trying to quash anything focused toward women at all, we’ll be good.
Hat tip: Cam & Company