“Group offers women chance to learn about guns,” a Thursday Idaho State Journal article reports, telling reads about The Well Armed Woman program, where women learn about firearm safety and use. It’s the type of story gun owners love to see, possibly because it is comparatively rare in light of how much media coverage Michael Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action always seems to command.
Women and guns is hardly a new phenomenon. In fact, that’s the name of “the world’s first firearms publication for women,” affiliated with the Second Amendment Foundation. There’s also NRA Women, “designed for female gun enthusiasts [as] a resource for news, education, events and more,” and that is backed up with NRA Women’s Programs.
Even The New York Times admits the “rising voice of gun ownership is female,” citing the increase in the number of women participating in the shooting sports, and National Shooting Sports Foundation dealer surveys showing “[g]un sales to women have risen in concert.”
That’s despite fear-mongering by the antis. They would have us believe that women are more likely to be killed with a gun in the home than ever use it in self-defense -- but they never seem to separate out criminal households from normal homes when they make those claims. My personal favorite is the assertion that if a woman has a gun her attacker will take it away from her. One wonders how many who make that claim would like to show us how it’s done, especially with some of the women I know. I chronicled the boasts of one such self-impressed he-man some years back, but it never elicited a response.
There are plenty of directions I could go with this, from female gun owners I know and admire, to survivors and trainers and champions, but today I want to focus on one small part of all that, a group I came into contact with through social media that I’ve since gone on to establish friendly and supportive communications with: Women Against Gun Control, or as they refer to themselves, “Ladies of High Caliber.”
Not meaning for a second to slight any of the other pro-gun women’s groups readers of this column are encouraged to learn about and support, what struck me as an interesting WAGC effort worthy of calling wider attention to is a brief the group filed in July in the case of Jackson v San Francisco. They joined with Second Amendment Sisters, the Blush & Bullets Gun Club, Pink Pistols and Disabled Sportsmen of North America, to make their voices known as non-traditional supporters of the right to keep and bear arms. The brief appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court for a rehearing and reversal of a panel decision on a challenge to edicts dictating gun storage requirements and banning hollow point ammo.
As with all organizations, there’s generally an individual at the center who is the engine keeping things going, the person who proves the adage if you want something done, give it to a busy [wo]man. In the case of WAGC, that person is Janalee Tobias, described by Salt Lake Magazine as “a petite, chatty, Mormon housewife [who] has earned a reputation as a relentless citizen activist.”
With success at gaining attention, attacks and smears by those who would rather see such information erased from the public memory are an expected byproduct. Just as individual patriots and groups are tarred as domestic terrorists and haters by the Southern Poverty Law Center, to the point that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security takes their talking points and disseminates them to law enforcement as part of a strategy “to justify a course of action,” Tobias found herself on the wrong side of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which fraudulently classified WAGC as a hate group.
“Because I chose to fight this, it made headlines and they had to remove WAGC as well as other kitchen table groups,” Tobias told me.
“You can do an internet search for Janalee Tobias and add topics like: guns, open space, slapp, ignorant wretch, Republican party, HB 477, taxes, radio, schools, queer magazine, gay rights (I helped start a gay pro-gun rights group), Mike Leavitt, Mulligans, free speech, light rail and see what comes up,” she continued, before excusing herself to attend a city council meeting. That’s unlike the profile of any hater I’ve ever come across, but it does confirm my earlier observation about busy people being the most effective.
“Since 1993 Women Against Gun Control has been an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that conducts high-powered meetings around kitchen tables all across the U.S. to plot ways to fight gun control,” Tobias writes in her group’s profile. “WAGC has been a presence on the internet for nearly 20 years to blow holes in the myth that all women support gun control. There are now many pro-gun women’s organizations that have formed to fight against gun control to protect their families and to protect the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. We consider these groups to be our ‘Sisters in Arms.’”
Readers interested in learning more are invited to do just that and then to become WAGC members. Note there are no dues currently being requested and Tobias and a few close supporters have been basically bearing expenses themselves, with occasional donations from supporters who feel an obligation to help out. That’s quite different from the Demanding Moms, who get their funding from a New York billionaire, and can’t even seem to send a gaggle of MILMs out to a state fair without parking, admission and food bribes, providing yet another illustration of the difference between grassroots and Astroturf.
Readers are also invited to join with supporters on the WAGC Facebook page and its companion group, Men Who Support Women Against Gun Control. And you can also learn more about Tobias in another fight against powerful interests in the book “Slapped!” That story recounts a terrible struggle against developers after they filed a $1.7 million “strategic lawsuits against public participation" lawsuit for business interference against Tobias and other founders of Save Open Space for petitioning against a business park being built in wetlands.
Similar examples of leadership, perseverance and refusal to knuckle under to "progressive" standards on approved viewpoints for women can be found in other groups, such as the aforementioned Second Amendment Sisters and The Well Armed Woman. So it’s understandable why “progressive” media favors subsidized weaklings, spooked by propaganda-fed fears, over self-confident women who refuse to be victims. After all, the latter have mastered tools that give most members of the press, especially the anti-gun male contingent, a case of the vapors.
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