Marie Claire has just published a project about women and guns, describing its series as a look at the “conflicted, dangerous, and empowering truth.”
The accessible piece focuses on a wide variety of topics, such as women in gangs, women’s views on guns and gun ownership, and how the NRA is reaching out to women. A substantial pool of women own guns: About one-in-10 women personally own a firearm, according to a 2015 report from NORC at the University of Chicago.
Here are a few bits from Marie Claire’s work that jumped out at me:
** “Joining a gang isn’t a choice—it’s a default,” Marie Claire writes about the rise of girl gangs.
According to a 2013 FBI report, estimates say at least 10 percent of gang members nationally are women.
“All-female gangs are on the rise in many jurisdictions, as well as, female participation and full-fledged memberships within male-dominant gangs are steadily escalating,” the FBI says. “Female gang members typically support male gang members, serving as mules for drugs, couriers for weapons, and gathering intelligence for the gang, although, many are taking more active roles by serving as soldiers or co-conspirators. Female gang members in some jurisdictions are forming their own gang sets and commit violent crimes comparable to their male counterparts.”
** On the NRA: “In the past few years, the NRA’s messaging has developed a distinctly female tone, actively courting women members across ages and gun literacy levels,” Marie Claire writes.
Of note, the narrowing gap for the firearm-ownership rates between men and women (seen in the above chart) is due to men becoming increasingly less likely to own a gun, NORC says.
** On domestic violence: “For women, gun violence happens at home. The most common threat doesn’t come from a stranger. It comes from the person you sleep next to.”
** About personal safety and race: “As a woman, I always have to think about safety. It’s there when I am walking to my car late at night, when I’m in a hotel room in an unknown city, as I lock up my apartment before bed, while strolling through the park… As a black woman, my concerns about safety are multiplied by the nature of my skin. I am forced, increasingly, to worry about police officers who turn their guns, all too often, on unarmed black people,” writes Roxane Gay (@rgay).