In the wake of the Hollywood sexual assault scandal, thousands of women publicly shared their tragic and life-changing stories of sexual harassment, abuse, and rape on social media and promoted the hashtag “#MeToo” to encourage other victims to come forward.

Yet, despite this positive and much-needed campaign of awareness, a concerted and coordinated effort by the media, Hollywood, and the political elite is actively working to discourage women from owning a firearm and/or becoming a concealed carry permit holder—the very things that can help women who find themselves in a dangerous situation with a violent assailant. In addition, women who are already gun owners and who promote the preservation of the Second Amendment are being silenced through online harassment and threats of violence.

Women who defend the Second Amendment know that a firearm is a power equalizer—making it possible for a woman of any size to defend herself against or escape from a physically more powerful attacker. Our forefathers understood this and in a prescient move, during the crafting of the Bill of Rights, actually instructed future generations that the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed.”

Women have the most to lose in relinquishing their right to bear arms, yet women are particularly vulnerable to the messages that anti-gun activists promote. It’s therefore important that women understand the myths surrounding firearms and gun ownership so that they can make informed decisions about their right to bear arms.

The Second Amendment Improves Women's Lives | Policy Focus by Independent Women's Forum