Girl Power

I’m a middle-aged bachelor, and I am a feminist.  Yeah, you heard me.

I am all about the rights of women…particularly the right of a woman to walk about the world, and go about her life…without being afraid of violence.

I may be a male, but I do have women in my life that I care about.  I have a sister, and she has two daughters.  They are a big reason that I carry every day, because we spend a lot of time together.  I made that commitment because I didn’t know how I would be able live with myself if we were out somewhere and one of them were hurt, while my gun was sitting at home.

So I got my concealed carry license, and carried everywhere I went.  When they were old enough, my nieces learned that I carried, and why.  All three of “my girls” knew that I was watching out for them, and they felt safer when I was along.  But even then, I couldn’t bodyguard them 24/7.

And no matter what we do, time passes…my nieces are growing older.  They’re teenagers now, venturing out on their own more often…learning to live their own lives, and make their own decisions…out from under what protection I can provide.  This also leaves my sister, a single mother, looking squarely at “empty nest syndrome” in the not-too-distant future.

But here’s the thing:  even if I could bodyguard them 24/7, I don’t want to.  As concealed carry people we understand quite well that dependence on others, especially for our personal safety, is unhealthy.  I don’t want that for any of the women in my life…or any woman, for that matter.  I don’t want my sister to be afraid to go out at night, simply because I’m working and can’t tag along.  I don’t want my nieces to be afraid to step out into the world, and into a fulfilling life of their own, just because they don’t feel safe.

 

Annie gets it…

 

I want them to be strong women, free to provide for their own safety…even when there isn’t a man nearby to protect them.  I would want the same for any woman.  No one should have to live their life afraid and helpless, so I rejoice at stories such as these from NRA Women:

 

 

 

With my sister and my nieces, I am doing my best to pass on the skills, knowledge, and the values of self-reliance.  We go shooting together, and we talk.  I want them to understand that shooting, whether for recreation or for protection…is for everyone.  I want them to realize the freedom that a strong 2nd Amendment guarantees them, just like anyone else.

Girl Power.

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Cowardice

Once again, murder comes to a “gun free zone.”  And once again, moral cowardice prevails and enables the easy murder of troops who are not permitted to keep and bear arms with which to defend themselves.

 

Gun free zone?

Gun free zone?

 

Let me say up front that I do understand very well the mindset of a chain of command which fears to give soldiers the same freedoms that their civilian counterparts enjoy.  I was an officer in the United States Army for several years, and I was a commander.  I was taught early on in my officer training that, “the commander is responsible for everything the unit does or fails to do.”  It was practically a mantra which was drilled into every officer who aspired to lead soldiers, and I presume that it still applies.

What that meant in a practical sense was that as a young captain, placed in command of 75 soldiers, I had to answer for anything and everything that they did.  If one of my soldiers went out on Saturday night, on his own time, off-post, and got a DUI…I’d be on the carpet in the battalion commander’s office on Monday explaining it.  Never mind that I personally did nothing wrong…it was my unit, my soldiers, and I was responsible.

And it has to be that way.  You can’t have commanders shrugging their shoulders at an incident, especially one which results in injury or death, and saying, “hey, I didn’t do it!”

But there is a near zero-defect mentality which haunts the officer corps.  A serious enough incident on your watch can be a career ending event for a commander, and this is why the chain of command continues to dig in its heels in opposition to allowing troops to exercise the same 2nd Amendment freedoms enjoyed by the civilians they defend.  You can’t tell me that there is a single officer on active duty in the United States military who hasn’t at least considered the possibility that allowing soldiers to have firearms on base would be to play Russian roulette with your career.  I get it.  I have been there, and I understand the very real fear that some troop does something stupid with a gun…and there goes your career.

I understand that fear…but it is wrong.  In almost every state in the country, any 21-year old with a clean background can purchase a handgun and qualify to carry it to defend self and family.  But if that same 21-year old happens to have put on a uniform and sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic…now they are unsuitable to go armed?  That is so ridiculous on its face that it would be funny, if it were not an attitude that costs lives.