A Woman's Right to Defend

I am probably the least likely person that you would have ever expected to end up a women’s self-defense advocate. I grew up in Los Angeles, CA, hopped around from place to place on a rather frequent basis, and was raised by a very single, liberal mother.  In fact, I was also a two time, very avid supporter of Obama in my earlier years and considered myself a Democrat.

When I was 19, I ended up joining the military and about a year into my service, I experienced a home invasion that mentally shook me to the core.  It was hard to imagine that someone, whom I barely knew, was capable of planning and orchestrating such an evil thing … yet here I was, a “victim” of someone else’s evil intentions.

For a very long time, I felt like a child again. I had pretty much become afraid of the dark. Once it would start to get dark outside, I would go around my house making sure all the doors and windows were locked. I had trouble sleeping and when I was home alone, I was completely scared. I even went out and bought a big dog in order to feel a bit safer… but nothing helped. --That was until I got my concealed carry permit.

Only then was my sense of security restored. I never thought, especially being in the military, that I could become a target and that I would need a firearm. After some time talking to other women, I realized that I was not the only one. It was at that point that I decided that I could use my social media platform to shed light on the need for women to learn how to use firearms for their self-defense.

I began using social media to showcase myself at the range, training with firearms, and sharing the equipment I was using.  By this time, I had separated from the military to pursue school full-time. On the side, I modeled for various companies as a means of bringing in extra income to cover schooling expenses that the GI Bill did not cover (i.e. all my books).

The more I showcased myself shooting and training, the more I realized companies began to shy away from me because I became what they deemed as “too political” or in some cases, the firearms training was not the “feminine” imagethey wanted to portray.

Some years later the whole #metoo movement started, however, I noted a huge flaw in this movement. Its purpose was to help empower women to speak up against sexual assault, they had experienced, but many of these same women did not advocate or acknowledge that women could use firearms to discourage and defend against sexual assault. In fact, its poster child member Alyssa Milano is very vocal about her anti-gun beliefs.

How can you empower women to speak up but not empower them to learn how to defend themselves? Regardless of the circumstance under which these various assaults happened, none of these women had any means available of protecting themselves. At a recent Turning Point USA conference, I learned the disturbing fact that women in New York were not even allowed to have Tasers to defend themselves and yet in New York City, there has already been a 39% increase in rapes this year. How are women supposed to defend themselves when physically attacked if they cannot also arm themselves?

Has the #metoo movement empowered women to speak out? Possibly… but has it empowered these women to learn to protect themselves or encouraged women to take protection into their own hands? No.

You see, yes, sexual assault happens in times that we least expect it and in a majority of cases, it is usually by someone who knows the victim. The one thing I can guarantee is, there is a 100% chance that if you have a firearm, you will be able to stop someone who is trying to hurt you.

College campuses are a perfect example of this. Most college campuses are deemed as gun-free zones, however in an alarming statistic from aei.org, 1 in 52 female college students are sexually assaulted.Teaching students that sexual assault is wrong is great, as is teaching students that “No.” is a complete sentence.   However, we need to do more to empower women to protect themselves.

While #me too advocates argue that “we NEED to teach young men about what is right vs. wrong and not go along with rape culture,” how is it humanely possible to fight evil intentions? Regardless of their training and education, if someone wants to harm another human being, whether it is with a gun, a knife, a car, or sex, they WILL do so.

We need to empower our women to protect themselves. We need to show our young women that it is okay to say, “No, I choose not to be a victim,” and empower them to fight for themselves. We must not make it socially acceptable for women to be victims and rally in circles screaming #metoo. We must give our women the right to choose to protect themselves, the right to own firearms, and the right to no longer live in fear.

Only then will we have a chance at combatting evil acts committed by evil people.