The Second Amendment and the Use of Firearms by Women for Self Defense

TheSecond Amendment and the Use of Firearms by Women for Self Defense

TheSecond Amendment and the Use of Firearms by Women for Self Defense

Theright to own guns has been a controversial issue in the U.S. forseveral centuries. British settlers who arrived in American longbefore the formation of the constitution used guns to hunt theabundant game in the new found land (EBSCOhost, 2015). During theagrarian America, hunting and shooting skills were part of the riteof passage for men, which resulted in an in the number of guns in thehands of the civilians. Americans started using guns for the purposesof self-defense following an increase in aggression from the hostileAmericans and foreign armies.

TheAmericans found the need to regulate the ownership of firearms in thelate eighteenth century following the increase in the aggressionagainst the settlers. This resulted in the ratification of the SecondAmendment in the year 1791 (EBSCOhost, 2015). However, theinterpretation of the meaning of the amendment has been a source ofcontroversy, since the amendment gave the right to possess firearmsto well organized militias, who have the capacity to secure the FreeState (Violence Policy Center, 2015). The amendment also states thatthe rights of the American people to bear and keep firearms shouldnot be infringed, which heightens the debate.

TheU.S. firearm industry started targeting women in the 1980s afterselling fear in them using statements such as “the greatest threatfacing women is an attack by strangers, which could be prevented withthe help of a handgun” (Acosta, 2008). Statistics show that about200,000 American women use handguns each year to defend themselvesfrom violent attackers where 96 % of the attackers are men (Acosta,2008). Following the increases in threats of assault against womenand contradictions surrounding the interpretation of the SecondAmendment, the proposed study will analyze the history of theownership of firearms and compare their use by women for self defensewith the provisions of the Second Amendment.

Inconclusion, initial owners of firearms used them for hunting anddefending themselves from aggressive natives. However, the increasein cases violent crimes that affect women necessitated theirownership of handguns to defend themselves.


Topic:The Second Amendment and the use of firearms by women for selfdefense

Objective:To determine the implications of Second Amendment on the issue of theuse of handguns by women to protect themselves.

Thesis:Given the increase in cases of violence against women, the possessionof handguns, which is a right that is protected by the SecondAmendment, can protect women from assaults.

  1. Ownership of firearms can be attributed to the arrival of settlers who needed guns to hunt to protect themselves aggressive natives (EBSCOhost, 2015).

  2. The settlers considered the ability to shoot and hunt as one of the key rites of passage (EBSCOhost, 2015).

  1. Preview of main points

  1. Firearm ownership rights

  1. The Americans found the need to regulate the ownership of firearms in the eighteenth century since the natives became more aggressive (EBSCOhost, 2015).

  2. Gun right to own firearms is quite misunderstood since the Second Amendment gave the right to controlled militias, but still stated that the rights of Americans to possess firearms could not be infringed (VPC, 2015).

  1. Women’s use of firearms for the purposes of self-defense

  1. The use of firearms by women to defend themselves increased exponentially in 1980 following an increase in cases of violent crimes against them (Acosta, 2008).

  2. Over 200,000 women are able to use handguns to defend themselves from violent assaults each year (Acosta, 2008).

  3. The large numbers of women who successfully defend themselves have influenced many people to join the camp arguing the right to own firearms (Acosta, 2008).

  1. Conclusion

  1. Initially, the ownership of firearms was based on the need for tools for hunting and weapons for fighting aggressive natives.

  2. Women started using firearms following an increase in violent crimes that target them.


Acosta,L. (2008). United State s: Gun ownership andthe Supreme Court. Libraryof Congress.Retrieved October 5, 2015, from

EBSCOhost(2015). History of gun ownership laws. EBSCOhost.Retrieved October 5, 2015, from

ViolencePolicy Center (2015). A deadly myth: Women, handguns, andself-defense. ViolentPolicy Center.Retrieved October 5, 2015, from