For years the feminists’ underlying message to women was that they needed the government to support and protect them. How empowering! In 2012 the Obama campaign told us the story of Julia — a woman who needs government from cradle to grave.
Before conservatives give up on the “women’s vote,” I saw this hopeful headline in the New York Times, “Rising Voice of Gun Ownership is Female.” From the article:
In the debate over firearms regulations, the voices of gun owners have largely been those of men. But at firing ranges across the country, a growing number of women are learning to use firearms and honing their skills.
Women’s participation in shooting sports has surged over the last decade, increasing by 51.5 percent for target shooting from 2001 to 2011, to just over 5 million women, and by 41.8 percent for hunting, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.
Gun sales to women have risen in concert. In a survey last year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 73 percent of gun dealers said the number of female customers had gone up in 2011, as had a majority of retailers surveyed in the two previous years.
If more women are taking responsibility to protect themselves and their families, conservatives have an opportunity to take a message of responsibility and control in other areas of their lives — their children’s education, their finances, their personal health, the health of their family, among other things.
For years Democrats and feminists (but I repeat myself) have successfully and falsely labeled Republicans and conservatives as people who want to control women. Outreach to women is more than creating “Women for Candidate X” bumper stickers and t-shirts. We have to better communicate why conservatives are the ones with a message of freedom. I think the debate on gun control is a great opportunity to get that conversation going.