Huffington Post senior reporter Emily Peck says the “constitution gives gun owners greater rights than women.”
Her statement completely overlooks the fact that women are one of the fastest growing demographics for gun ownership, and that twice as many women as men obtained concealed carry permits during Barack Obama’s second term.
Gun owners have the Second Amendment, in place since the 18th century. The U.S. is one of only three countries that offer constitutional protection to gun owners.
Women, meanwhile, have been fighting for an equal rights amendment for decades. That’s because the Constitution does not actually grant women equal rights under the law, setting the country apart from 131 other nations that explicitly guarantee gender equality in their constitutions.
She tried to illustrate her point:
This injustice burns all the more now, in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting, in which a 19-year-old man used an AR-15 to murder 17 people, including 14 high school students. The shooter had a legal right to his guns. He apparently had an arsenal. And because he had no criminal record, the FBI and police did not have any legal standing to take them away. In 2014, police were similarly hamstrung in the case of a 22-year-old man who went on to kill six and injure 13 in a rampage in Isla Vista, California.
Contrast those cases with what happened to Jessica Gonzales, a Colorado mother whose three children, just 7, 9 and 10, were abducted and shot to death by her husband. Those children should still be alive today: Gonzales had obtained a protective order against her husband, who had been violent before. The police refused to enforce it, declining to get involved in a “private” matter between a man and his wife.
Gonzales sued the police, arguing she had a right to protection. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court. But she lost in 2005. The court ruled that Gonzales, now known as Jessica Lenahan, had no constitutional right to help from law enforcement.
Peck’s story fails at numerous points, not the least of which is that the ruling rejecting any claim to a “constitutional right” to police protection is not framed for women only. Rather, it is that Americans in general have no claim to a right to police protection under the auspices of the 14th Amendment. However, the Supreme Court did rule that states could “create a system by which police departments are generally held financially accountable for crimes that better policing might have prevented.”
But again, Peck’s greatest oversight is in presenting gun rights as men’s rights, then pitting those against women’s rights. Natural rights are not gender specific. Men and women have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble (First Amendment). Both men and women have the right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms (Second Amendment). Men and women both enjoy the right to pursue and possess private property and to be secure in that property (Third and Fourth Amendments).
And the list goes on…
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.