Politics & Policy

Why Young Women Want AR-15s

AR-15 rifle
Americans have the right to an efficient weapon for home defense.

Sorry, President Obama. As young women, we prefer an AR-15 “assault” rifle with a 30-round magazine for self-defense.

In fact, we wouldn’t want to be stuck at home without one. In the wake of mass murders like Sandy Hook and the horrific rapes and murders of thousands of women each year, pepper spray, mace, or five-round handheld pistols aren’t going to cut it.

So what’s a girl to do? When choosing our tool for home defense, we want the best — in accuracy, handling, and aesthetics. The best choice by all three criteria is — hands down — the AR-15.

#ad#AR-15s are the most popular rifle in the U.S.; more than 3 million Americans own one. And its popularity isn’t with criminals — assault rifles account for only 0.6 percent of murders every year. Rather, the semi-automatic AR-15 is the gun of choice for many hunters, target shooters, and home defenders.

Critics pin the allure of AR-15 on Hollywood (think Angelina Jolie’s “Wait, why do I get the girl gun?” in Mr. and Mrs. Smith), video games, and the military, but women especially haven’t chosen this weapon on a whim.

Our goal when defending against a home invader is simple: to hit where we aim. One shouldn’t underestimate the value of target practice, but using an accurate weapon is the key to hitting a target with ease and confidence.

The AR-15 is lightweight and practical. As light as five pounds, it produces low levels of recoil, and it’s easy to shoot. It also looks intimidating, which is what you want when facing an assailant or intruder. But don’t let its appearance intimidate you. Assault rifles such as the AR-15 aren’t more “dangerous,” as liberals claim. They don’t fire faster than other rifles, and don’t normally contain more powerful ammunition.

Accuracy? Check. Ease in handling? Check. Intimidation factor? Check. An AR-15 might be a woman’s best friend.

We are rational women who, as law-abiding citizens, understand the need — and the right — to defend ourselves. We don’t want to be caught underprepared in the kind of desperate situation that happens too frequently to people across America.

This past week in Georgia, an intruder entered the home of a mother and two children. The mother grabbed her two children and her gun, and proceeded to hide in a crawlspace in the attic. When the intruder entered the attic, the mother fired and hit him with five out of six shots (he still lived).

Imagining ourselves in a high-stress, violent situation, we want a gun with enough ammo, and more, to get the job done. Sometimes, you only get one shot. At other times, you may need more. When you don’t have time to reload in the heat of a home invasion, the AR-15’s 30-round magazine gives you the flexibility and security a handgun will not.

High-capacity magazines serve as a life-saving insurance mechanism, a self-defense back-up if something doesn’t go according to plan. Yet you would never think of these guns in this sense by listening to anti-gun zealots and their allies in media.

Assault rifles and high-capacity magazines have been under fire from our nation’s legislators since the Newtown massacre. It only took Senator Dianne Feinstein two days to announce her intention to reinstate the Clinton-era assault-weapons ban to get “these dangerous weapons of war off our streets.” New York governor Andrew Cuomo took it upon himself to make his state the first to tighten gun laws post-Newtown, proudly outlawing magazines over seven rounds because “no one needs ten bullets to kill a deer.”

Senator Feinstein and Governor Cuomo: We may not need ten bullets to kill a deer, but we sure need them in our own defense. Criminals rarely use assault rifles. Nearly ten times as many murders are committed with hammers and clubs, and 35 times as many with knives. Does that mean we need to ban those too, Senator Feinstein? Banning assault weapons will only take weapons away from my house — not from criminals on the street.

Criminals with the intent to harm or kill will always find ways to do so. If they want to kill with an assault rifle or using high-capacity magazines, they will also find a way to do so, regardless of the law. As young, responsible women, we want the ability to defend ourselves against these criminals, and we should be able to do so with weapons of equal or greater power.

Violence is always going to exist. As women, we should possess the right to best defend ourselves against it, whether with a handgun or our much preferred AR-15. So, Mr. President, use the First Amendment as much as you like to rail against our AR-15s, but hands off our Second Amendment right to use them.

— Celia Bigelow is the campus director for American Majority Action. Aubrey Blankenship is the communications director for the same organization. Find out more at AmericanMajorityAction.org.

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