Debunking Common Myths About Women And Weapons

Debunking Common Myths About Women And Weapons

As women are becoming comfortable speaking out about being victims of violent crimes and attacks, it has resulted in plenty of women being inspired to start arming themselves with weapons to fight back rather than depend on another person for their safety.

Over the last ten years, an increased number of women are arming themselves with concealed carry firearms, knives, sprays, and electro shocks that are all legal within the particular state of residence.

The National Rifle Association, the NRA, initially didn’t bother to incorporate women into the firearm community, but the organization realized that women, not men, are going to be the first to arm themselves because they have a threat lurking in every corner of the street.

A woman in a business suit takes a gun from her purse.

Once the NRA started to cater more to women than men, it noticed how that, in 2004, the number of women who owned a firearm was reported to be 11%, while in 2011 that number jumped up to 23%. This massive percent increase proves one thing that weapons shouldn't be considered a male dominated and masculine world.

In fact, back in the year 2000, the NRA offered a women's only course dedicated to firearm use and safety and had only 500 people participate. When you fast forward to 2014, over 13,000 women took part of On Target, which shows how serious women take their firearms.

What Are Common Stereotypes About Women Carrying A Weapon?

Women commonly endure stereotypes and backlashes from members outside the firearm community who either don’t think guns make people safe or believe that women don’t know how to handle firearms.

Myth One: Women Shouldn’t Carry Weapons

People often debating for anti-gun policies start off with the argument that if a women were to use a weapon against her attacker, the attacker would easily rip the weapon from her hand and use it against her.

This reasoning is entirely flawed because more often than not, women will expertly train to know how to use their weapon, so in case of an attack, the very scenario described above doesn't occur.

Myth Two: Weapons Are For “Bad Girls”

The constant portrayal of weapons and guns being seen as tough or masculine is a huge offense to women because women are stereotypically described as being weak and feminine.

The incorrect weak characterization of women leads men to ask the question, why would a woman even want to carry a weapon? It's no surprise that men would ask such a question since the idea of weapons and females have become sexualized by the media since way back when.

In fact, the sexualization associated with women and guns leaves room for the stereotype that only "bad girls" carry guns and weapons, which isn't the case at all. Regular, everyday women carry weapons and don't have to look sexualized using them.

If you go to any shooting range, you'll notice how the women there are mostly mothers who want to practice shooting, so their aim never fails during a crisis.

Myth Three: Women Can Use Their Purse To Carry their Firearm

Out of all the places that a woman could put her weapon, the last place she would think of is her purse. Contrary to popular belief, a women's purse may be large, but it takes forever to find anything once you throw it in there.

Since it takes forever to find a pair of keys, it wouldn't be effective to conceal a weapon in a purse. On average it would take a women a few minutes to locate the weapon amongst the mess in her purse. Unfortunately, a woman won't have a few minutes to find her weapon while she's being attacked.

When you think about a firearm jumbled up all the way in the bottom of a purse, imagine the horror of trying to find your keys and having the gun go off.

A purse filled with stuff.

In fact, it’s common sense amongst women that throwing any weapon or firearm into your purse is the most dangerous and irresponsible thing to do.

This stereotype first emerged in movies and television shows where the female character stashes a gun into her purse to carry it around, so most men believe it to be a safe option since they saw it in a film.

It's safe to say that women know more about safety precautions in regards to firearms than most men, which that alone is defeating a stereotype within the gun community.

Myth Four: Women Are More Pacifistic Than Men

Another common stereotype women have to put up with is that they are more peace minded than men, which would make a majority of women averse to the idea of guns.

Since the 1980's, women have been entering more and more male dominated work environments, which led to women feeling more comfortable defending themselves in ways that weren't socially acceptable before.

A non-profit publication dedicated to women and weapons have reported that there are 12 million to 17 million women in America who carry a firearm for protection. Women aren't as pacifistic as stereotypes push them to be.

How To Fight Those Stereotypes?

For a woman to fight the stereotypes mentioned above, there need to be more women willing to carry a weapon with them.

Work Environment

Women had already begun fighting these stereotypes when they started to join the military and law enforcement fields where firing a weapon is a mandatory skill to learn.


Most women take instructional courses that adequately train how to use firearms and weapons, which is the most practical way you could learn how to defend yourself.

Woman at a gun range.

Thanks to the NRA and other similar organizations, women are becoming a priority for instructional firearm and weapons programs because people are starting to realize that women take self-defense just as seriously as men.

Recreation & Practice

Seeing women shoot a gun for recreational purposes at a shooting range surely removes the image that women need to be involved in hobbies that accentuate the stereotypical soft-spoken and weak nature.

Seeing an increased presence of women in shooting ranges also removes the image that women are individuals who physically can’t handle weapons.

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