Looking back over the Scratching Post blog, I see that I’ve had a few gun-politics posts over the past few weeks. For those who, like me, quickly get fed up with politics, let me explain a little bit about what I’m doing on this blog and why I’m doing it.
When I started writing Cornered Cat the website back in 2002, I stayed completely away from any mention whatsoever of gun politics. There are, after all, a million different places online where you can easily find politics of any flavor you like — but at the time, there were almost no websites about training and concealed carry written specifically for women.*
These days, I still don’t much enjoy writing about gun politics, and there are still lots of places where you can find information about what’s going on on the political front. I’m still excited about teaching women how to defend themselves and I’m still not interested in fawning over a bunch of dishonest old people wearing crocodile grins and business suits.
After much soul-searching, I’ve come to this: Cornered Cat is about women learning how to defend themselves. Period, full stop.
Sometimes that means I must mention the political scene, because when a law is passed that makes it harder for women to defend themselves, that hurts all of us. This doesn’t just apply to “you can’t own this type of gun anymore” laws, either. It also applies to laws that affect your legal situation before or after you shoot, and to laws that tell you where you can or can’t carry. All of these laws have a very strong impact on your ability to protect yourself, and that means you need to know about them. (That’s one reason I’m a huge supporter of the work being done by the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, by the way. The legal education they provide is truly stunning, and so is the security of knowing they have your financial back after a shooting.)
Most of my readers are fairly new to concealed carry and self-defense. Not everyone new to the gun community realizes this, but our ability to exercise our basic human rights related to firearms has been expanding in recent years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that those rights were really, really hard-won, and they still hang by a thread in some areas. They aren’t a sure thing, and they can vanish overnight if we as gun owners don’t stick together to protect each other.
Even at the federal level, we are literally one bad court case or one bad law away from having no realistic access to modern tools for self-defense. This isn’t hyperbole; it is the plain and unadulterated truth. If no one tells our new people this, if no one educates them about what is happening and why it matters, people new to the firearms community will be blindsided by that bad law or bad court case. And in a lot of ways, that’s what the anti-gun side is doing right now: they are hoping that the huge wave of new shooters stays ignorant of what’s happening or why it matters until it’s too late to stop it.
So as much as I’d like to, I cannot simply ignore the precarious political situation right now. As Massad Ayoob pointed out on his own blog, “One of our regular blog commentators said recently that he wished I’d get off politics and back to talking about guns. I hear ya, Doc, but the thing of it is…there ain’t much more important ‘about guns’ than the right to acquire, own, and keep them.”
So that’s the scoop. Moving forward, in keeping with my basic mission, I intend for my blog posts to focus on education, not rants and not even calls to action. You can get that stuff anywhere! So I will always keep my main focus on teaching you how to carry and how to protect yourself with the guns you already own. But when appropriate, I will also help you understand how to protect the guns you own to protect yourself. Why? Because that, too, is part of being prepared to protect yourself.
* There were, of course, lots of sites with pictures of half-nekkid grrrls with their fingers on the trigger and muzzles pointed in stupidly inappropriate directions, but that’s a different thing. Also, although in the past few years there’s been a huge explosion of fun blogs that support women who shoot, there still are not many serious sites about firearms training for women, and almost none written by someone qualified to write them.