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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:07 AM

"Itís time for all of us to woman up and disarm."

Why Did Nancy Lanza Love Guns? Probably for the same reasons I did. Until now.

Nancy Lanza and I shared a hobby: guns.

I first picked up a gun in 2004. I was 25 years old and had already gone through all sorts of heinous tribulations that I had convinced myself were female rites of passageóa date rape in Newark, N.J.; an assault by two men in Marthaís Vineyard; and three violent muggings in New York City. Iíd walked in and out of therapy and enrolled and dropped out of several self-defense classes when I realized my physical prowess did not match my mental brawn. But in 2004, I was living in Chicago and hanging out with a lot of tough guys, or so they liked to pretend. And a boyfriend took me to a shooting range for the first timeóme in my long layered hair, glasses, and white lacy sweater, whining about what recoil might feel like while in aisles next to me men shot photocopied Osama bin Laden targets. I put on the goggles and earmuffs, took the .22 as if it were a snappy puppy that might bite, and I fired.

I fell in love with guns from the first shot. Itís hard to explain what it was that did it. The hard pop and cold ease in the aftermathóa sort of Zen-like calm that spreads through you after the high adrenaline burst of the shot. Or was it the fact that I was actually good at it, a fairly decent shot, and a dog-and-pony show for the shooting range that afternoon? Oh, look, a girl who can shoot. Or was it the power, the feeling that I was in control of something that could destroy more effectively than almost anything on the planet? That I, a historically scrawny, weak nerd whoíd been the prey to all sorts of danger, could now be the danger...The attention I got at the range that day, with big working-class Chicago guys marveling at my lady-focus and lady-drive and lady-aim! My boyfriend was never so proud. I posted a series of my new shooting-range photos on MySpace, and I never felt sexier.

...There are so many horrible angles to the Connecticut school tragedy to investigate and contemplateóand the gender one is pretty low on the list of importance. But itís the one I will remember. Because when we see photos of women in veils in my native Iran holding machine guns, we still think badass. When we see Angelina Jolie with her Lara Croft bandolier, like a beauty-pageant sash around her military sex-doll fatigues, we think hot. When we hear M.I.A. with her trigger-finger swagger calling for some enemyís death, we nod along.

It shouldnít surprise anyone that the shooter was a twentysomething white maleóthis is the demographic for this senseless crimeóand we feel some comfort in the predictableness of that. But even a sweet Connecticut housewife and mother, or a literary geek like me, can get swept up in the false power of guns. Itís time to realize what much of gun-loving actually isóa passion for destruction veiled as protection.

Itís time for all of us to woman up and disarm.


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Reply "Itís time for all of us to woman up and disarm." (Original post)
BeyondGeography Dec 2012 OP
Hoyt Dec 2012 #1

Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:12 AM

1. Great article. Most gun toting women I've know, weren't into assault weapons, hi cap mags,

multiple gun acquisitions, promotion of more guns in more places, bullets with the greatest "stopping power," regular training in preparation of shooting people, etc.

But women seem to have a better perspective on such things.

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