Linda Hasselstrom vehemently defends her choice of means to protect herself in her essay, “A Peaceful Woman Explains Why She Carries a Gun”.
The topic of gun control provides for a heated debate between those that believe guns are dangerous and unnecessary and those who rely both on the protection of the gun and the right to its possession.
Rather than waxing philosophic on her rights under the Second Amendment, she describes years of feeling powerless and finding that the conventional and more passive methods of self-defense are simply ineffective. Hasselstrom makes a convincing case for her choice to carry a gun.
The most persuasive aspect of the essay is the way that Hasselstrom leads the reader to the obvious conclusion that gun possession was her only option. She describes, on page 371, the advice given to women to avoid certain situations.
While she complies, she is irritated at the idea that the precautions only apply to females, and that females must fear men. Next, she describes incidents in which she felt helpless because more physically powerful men were immune to polite requests and common decency. Instead of going directly to the gun, she spent time learning martial arts and self-defense, only to realize that the sheer size difference was too great a disadvantage.
Her most convincing argument is the story of the woman who called for help for a flat tire only to be raped and beaten. Hasselstrom’s implication is that if the woman had a gun in her possession, it never would have happened.
In conclusion, Hasselstrom does not suggest that every woman carry a gun, nor does she recommend using that gun to threaten anyone unnecessarily. Rather, she keeps the gun for protection and only reveals it in order to protect herself.
Not only is “A Peaceful Woman…” a convincing argument for gun possession, but it is also a tribute to the lasting nature of the Second Amendment.
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