Gun Control is Sexist
by Phyllis Antonicello with Stan LoGiudice
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead
"Give me liberty or give me death." These words spoken by Patrick Henry more than two hundred years ago strike a cord in me today, and this is the cry of many citizens today -- especially women! Our rights to defend ourselves have been severely curtailed, and Some of our lawmakers want to curtail them even more. In the end there will be more innocent people killed by criminals who pay no attention to gun laws and carry guns of their choice. The woman, or man, who does not have the choice to carry has been given a potential death sentence by those lawmakers.
The criminal will always have the upper hand, armed and ready, if we are not given the Right to Carry (RTC) and are left defenseless by our government. Times have changed drastically since the days of Patrick Henry. We were given many liberties by our Founders in the Constitution, but slowly our lawmakers and activist judges are whittling away at those rights. Our rights under the Second Amendment have been deteriorating, tipping the scales in favor of the violent criminals. They will always have any gun they want without waiting periods and Right to Carry laws. Lawabiding women are more at risk today than at any other time in American history.
Doctor Suzanne Gratia Hupp saw her mother and father shot by a madman while her registered gun was in her truck 25 feet away. Had she been able to carry legally1, there certainly would have been a different ending. Taking her tragedy bravely she lobbied for a Right to Carry law in Texas and now there is that right. Why are our governor and our legislators so adamant about denying us the Right to Carry'? Must more innocent blood be shed before Trenton wakes up to the realities of life on the mean streets? I am not saying that everyone should be walking around with a loaded gun just itching to shoot someone. I am saying that if a woman is approached walking down the street, riding in her car, grocery shopping, or returning from a family celebration, she should be able to defend herself if she so chooses.
I bought a cellular phone, but what good is it when confronted on the street. I can't ask an attacker to wait while I call 911. Consider what happened recently to Mrs. Weinstein from Tinton Falls. A well-respected woman, teacher, mother, and wife was killed, leaving behind her husband and six-year-old son to listen to a 45-minute tape. On the tape you hear her trying to Save her life by rationalizing with the carjacker. Where did it get her? If the tape recorder had been a gun in the same place as the recorder, she would have had 45 minutes to figure out how to deploy it, instead of begging for her life, and she would be alive today. She probably would have had to do no more than show it, using the gun as a deterrent, instead of being smothered to death by a 17-year-old with her own coat. How many women have to be raped and/or killed before our lawmakers wake up and realize that this is the 90s, and too many people out there have no respect for life? Women need the Right to Carry. Even an average-sized man can usually overcome most women if he is bent on attacking one. Our lives are always threatened; a woman is more likely to be a victim than a man. The so-called safe suburbs are not safe, let alone where I live, Jersey City. Given that right, the likelihood of a lifetime of emo-fional and physical scars from a rape can be avoided, and perhaps a life saved.
An opportunity has opened up. State Senator Cardinale has introduced Senate Bill S.1281. If passed, an applicant for a permit to carry a handgun would be entitled to that permit so long as he or she can demonstrate competence with a firearm and is not statutorily unqualified. I believe the Right to Carry is a deterrent and has proved to be in Florida and other states. New Jersey should follow suit. How many Long Island Railroads, Luby Cafeterias, and Mrs. Weinsteins do we need before our lawmakers wake up? We should always be prepared to have the means to defend ourselves adequately.
Women must now become the Susan B. Anthonys of this era, not standing helplessly by the wayside, but taking the initiative to have the Right to Carry bill ratified in New Jersey! Legislators must be constantly reminded that a woman's life is always at risk, and all we want is to be given the opportunity to defend ourselves if necessary. We must not allow our legislators to continue to enact laws that inhibit our freedom and allow lives to be lost.
Remember, it wasn't until August 18, 1920, under the 19th Amendment that women got the fight to vote, 50 years after "citizens" received the right to vote regardless of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Let us make sure the legislators of this state understand that we are fired of waiting. Women need the right to defend themselves and the best way is the Right to Carry.
If the family is not safe anymore, and the government cannot or will not protect us from the depredations of rapists, child molesters, and killers, and they allow homicidal sociopaths released from prison to prey on us again, having served less time than an evangelist gone bad or a hotel owner gone greedy, then civilization has ceased to exist. If women and children are fair game, as any reading of the newspapers confirms, then we have devolved into savagery. Civilization exists only within those tiny units called families, where people care about each other and take care of each other and are willing to put their individual lives on the line to protect that family. That is civilization. All we ask is for the legal means to protect our families and so should you!
Phyllis Antonicello is the 31st Assembly District Grassroots Coordinator
1 Dr. Hupp stated that she didn't carry illegally for fear of losing her license to