A Modest Proposal* for Preventing Harm Perpetrated on Women and Creating a Society of Greater Safety and Stability for All By Lemuel Gulliver

The past year has been one of considerable violence. Several cities have set new records for murder and other violent crimes. Violence remains a persistent part of life in America, especially when it comes to violence against women. This appears to be a chronically underreported statistic because it doesn’t include the daily intimidation women experience in the workplace and in their communities. Most women would tell you that they know they cannot comfortably walk alone at night. Few, if any, women would say they have never been afraid at some point in their lives of being assaulted by a man. This could be in the course of a date, a marriage, a taxi ride, a walk in the park, a ride in an elevator, unlocking her front door or a myriad of otherwise mundane activities.

I am offering a solution to this historically intractable problem. I propose that every female age thirteen and above be required to carry a handgun. Beyond the obvious advantage of deterring male aggression, it has the possibility of stimulating the post-pandemic economy. Even with the high number of already armed women in certain states, it still leaves a market of at least one hundred million women and girls.

The newly elected Representative from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, Lauren Boebert, should author the bill mandating handgun ownership of the proposed group. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia’s 14th Congressional District should co-sponsor the bill. I suggest it be named the WANON bill, an acronym for Women Against Needlessly Oppressive Neanderthals.

The boost to the economy would be enormous. First there would be a rise in employment in the gun manufacturing sector. State tax revenue from retail sales would bolster states struggling to recover from pandemic losses. Ammunition sales would do the same.

But this would just be the beginning. Summer Camps for teenage girls could be created to train them to shoot**. There would be male silhouette targets with strategically placed bulls eyes. Community Colleges could offer courses in gun repair for women to fill the need for women-friendly gunsmiths.

The fashion industry could get in on the emerging market and offer ready-made and couture concealed-carry and open-carry*** clothing. There could be whole lines of accessories to hold various sizes of weapons and extra ammunition. I can imagine a variety of holsters by the likes of Vera Bradley, Kate Spade, Coach and YSL. Women, straight, gay or non-binary could have their own lines of weapons and accessories in a variety of sizes, colors and calibers.

Books on gun fashion and gun etiquette would be in demand. Advice columns with questions like, “ At a dinner party, do I place my Glock 9**** on the right or left of my plate?” “Should I wear a large caliber automatic to a social event and make a bold statement or should I opt for something less obvious like a compact .25?” “Is it acceptable to give ammunition as a Christmas gift to someone you don’t know well?”

There might be some segments of the economy that loses income. The jail system may have fewer inmates due to men being more reticent about attacking an armed, trained woman. There might be a reduction in domestic violence calls and therefore fewer police needed. Some of that loss to the economy, however, would be offset by an increase in revenue in the mortuary business depending on whether a state has a “Stand your Ground Law”.*****

While there might be some initial pushback from some women who are squeamish about handling firearms, the obvious advantages should soon convince them that it is in theirs and everyone’s best interests. A male population that is deterred from acts of violence against a well armed and determined female population allows women to feel safer, to not have to be constantly vigilant whenever they are outside their homes and even inside their homes when they are living with a male partner. Men, over time, would begin to develop better coping skills for their misogyny. Women wouldn’t have to worry about going on a walk at night. Women could more fully participate in the economy of the country. #metoo would become a distant memory of the past. It would be replaced by something like: #I’marmedandsecure. There might also be a follow on to that: #mychildrenaresafetoo.

I’m sure some of my readers will raise the important issue that not all women and adolescent girls could afford to buy their own gun. I would hope that the Boebert-Greene bill, aka WANON, would provide government subsidies and grants for the economically disadvantaged. I can also imagine the private sector stepping up and establishing gun and ammunition banks, like food banks, to distribute donated weapons and ammunition to the needy.

I hope I have made a compelling enough argument that you will contact your Congress people and Senators urging them to consider this proposal. If any of you live in Ms Boebert’s Congressional district, please encourage her to write legislation that puts forward this idea. Gun advocates have long said that, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” This bill is in that spirit. It proposes that, “If all women are fully armed and trained to use weapons, no man in his right mind will mess with them.” It’s not as catchy as the pro-gun lobby’s slogan but I think it captures the same spirit.

I have always believed that the true measure of a civilized society is directly related to the safety of its women and children. I have been a supporter of gun control measures that would only permit the possession of lethal weapons to mentally sound individuals who understood the importance of safely securing all weapons and using them responsibly. That idea seems to have failed repeatedly. The U.S. is awash in guns. Buying a gun is incredibly easy. I have come to accept that, like the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. If all women have the fire power to protect themselves and their children, things would greatly improve for everyone. What could be easier or more logical?

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A note to my readers

Since my last essay, I have been struggling to find the time to write. My case load remains very heavy. Many of my clients are suffering from what I would unofficially diagnose as COVID Fatigue. It is characterized by a general lassitude that is difficult to overcome. Clients report that they lack motivation to accomplish even the most mundane tasks. The normal tendency is to consider a diagnosis of some type of depression. But these clients do not lack hope or the ability to appreciate aspects of their lives. What they have in common is a diminished ability to predict or plan for the future.

I have struggled with these same feelings this past year as many of you will recall in my previous essays. Lately, I have found it difficult to find time to write. It has also been challenging to plant my posterior in a chair and focus on the white screen of my Mac.

It was with great relief then, when the above essay showed up in my inbox a few days ago. After I read it, I thought that it would make interesting reading for you as it did for me. I asked the author for permission to share it. He agreed, with the promise that his identity would remain secret.

Like the author, I have often thought that an important measure of a society’s health is found in the level of security of its women and children. While there are laws against violence toward others, they do not get to the root causes of violence. What seems to be missing is basic prevention. The author takes prevention to the absurd. He sees that reason has failed.

The twenty-one year old, who just this week shot and killed eight innocent people, six of them women, was supposedly trying to eliminate his sex addiction by exterminating the source of his temptation. He had purchased his weapon just the day before. Would this have happened if there was a nominal waiting period before acquiring his weapon? We will never know. The state of Georgia hasn’t even tried to implement this. They are not alone. Many states have clung to the murderous idea that personal freedom overrides societal safety whether it involves guns or even a simple face mask.

I can’t say I agree with many of the things Lemuel Guilliver writes about but I recognize that he is using satire to expose two massive absurdities perpetrated on American Society by the gun lobby and one particular national political party. The first is that more armed citizens will reduce the shocking number of homicides we read about every day, especially of women. The second is that there is no serious effort to identify and eliminate the root causes of misogyny, so arming women is the only solution. You judge for yourself after you have read his essay. I welcome your feedback as always. I will pass it along to L.G., with your permission. __________________________________________________________________

*A Modest Proposal For Preventing the Children of Poor People from being a Burthen to their Parents or Country, and For Making them Beneficial to the Public” was written by Jonathan Swift in 1729. “This essay suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food to rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocked heartless attitudes toward the poor, as well as British policy toward the Irish in general”. Wikipededia 2021

** The National Rifle Association and other gun advocacy groups have been offering gun camps for women for a long time.

***Concealed carry and open-carry are terms to denote whether a person is carrying a firearm that is not visible or openly displaying a firearm on their person.

****Glock 9 is a very popular high-power semi-automatic hand gun that has a high-capacity magazine and can be fired very quickly.

***** “Stand Your Ground law provides that people may use deadly force when they reasonably believe it to be necessary to defend against deadly force, great bodily harm, kidnapping, rape, or, (in some jurisdictions) robbery or some other serious crimes (right of self defense).” Wikipedia 2021

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Love the ones you are with or wish you were with. Life is short even without a pandemic. Be safe. Be well. Be.

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