No matter who you are or how you look at it, we all have to come to terms with the fact that women are still the more victimized gender. According to the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (2015), one out of every five American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. This means that every 107 seconds, a female in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. As well, statistics show that every nine seconds in the U.S., a woman is attacked or beaten.

Every day (for women, especially), there is a constant struggle with disparity of force — “the situation that any reasonable person would conclude places you at an overwhelming disadvantage in your effort to protect yourself against immediate and serious bodily injury.” I, for one, am not okay with this. And as a woman, I want to be as prepared and as safe as I possibly can be. That’s one reason I have a gun and why I train and learn everything I can about how to use a firearm for self-defense.

Whistles or Weapons?

Let’s face it: Guys are often bigger, stronger and more aggressive than ladies. They’re just made that way. That gives them the upper hand … and more often than not, they know this. They look for “smaller, weaker prey.” They look for the “easy targets.” And while I know that physically I may be weaker than an attacker, I also recognize that in these situations, a firearm can truly be an “equalizer.” And isn’t that what so many people are fighting for when it comes to women — equality?

Weird thing is, even though scores of folks claim to have the safety and well-being of women in mind, they still insist that women should disarm. Like [former] Colorado Rep. Joe Salazar (D), who commented that even if women feel like they might be attacked or raped, they may not be harmed … so who needs a firearm for protection?

While arguing for the disarmament of college students, he stated: “It’s why we have call boxes; it’s why we have safe zones; it’s why we have whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you … pop a round at somebody.”

In this statement, Salazar basically claimed that women are idiots who are incapable of proper reasoning and who are unable to handle firearms safely. Salazar later apologized if his comments offended anyone. But apparently, he’d rather women (perhaps even his own wife and daughters?) just have whistles handy in case of an attack.

Women and Guns

Sadly, Salazar is not alone in this line of thinking. These types of derisive comments have been popping up all over the place. Last year, Everytown for Gun Safety, a Michael Bloomberg-funded arm of the gun control lobby, shared several tweets suggesting that young women are too dumb to handle firearms. One tweet read: “You think your drunk college-age daughters are bad with their phones? Imagine them with guns.”

And women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan have produced articles and videos highlighting (and perhaps even celebrating) women who are terrified of guns. According to a recent video series they created about dating a man with a gun, many women seem to believe that guns are “scary death machines.” And if a woman is in a relationship with a gun-owning man, then the relationship is destined to fail since men who own guns are apparently domestic abusers, and the Second Amendment is just an old, pointless, archaic sentiment, worthy of nothing more than an eye roll.

Instead of supporting women and showing women as strong, empowered and capable of taking care of themselves, these people and organizations are making women look like nothing more than whimpering cowards who are irrational, emasculating and helpless.

But tell me this, gun grabbers: How many homicides, rapes, attacks and assaults have occurred to females over these last few years? And how many of those could have been avoided or deterred by women using firearms in self-defense? Do those women matter? Or are they lumped into the same group of ladies who are supposedly incapable of thinking rationally or using a firearm for protection?

On the contrary, I’ve heard hundreds of amazing stories about women who saved themselves and others because they had a firearm. So I’m going to stick to my guns and keep sharing my beliefs with others. I’m also going to stick to the reasoning of Annie Oakley who so fittingly stated, “I would like to see every woman know how to handle firearms … as naturally as they know how to handle babies.”

Related: What Really Happens When Women Learn To Use Guns?