Gresham: Americans, especially women, have decided to defend themselves
Nationally-known gun rights expert told Guns & Patriots self-defense is a natural right that motivates the public to support the Second Amendment and encourages us to be gun owners.
“The primary reason people own firearms in the U.S. is for self -defense,” said Tom Gresham, host of “Gun Talk Radio,” the first nationally syndicated live, radio, talk show covering the world of firearms, personal safety and gun rights.
In 1995 Gresham started Gun Talk Radio because he wanted to discuss issues outside of the topic of hunting a market he said was not yet developed by news, radio or television. “When I started the radio show 19 years ago it was the first of its kind; I made sure it was not about hunting.”
Every survey done over the last 50 years shows hunting is not the primary reason for gun purchases, he said. “I focused just on the gun side of things and not on hunting – this includes self-defense training and competitive shooting from Olympic to collegiate.”
Today we are seeing a trend of self-defense purchases by women, he said. “Women of America have decided they can take care of themselves.”
Women will not be placated by politicians and bureaucrats with badges who promise to protect them, said Gresham. “Women know there is no one there alone in a dark alley and there is no one there when an ex-boyfriend kicks down their door. They know a protective order is nothing more than a sheet of paper and they know that even if police have a quick reaction time of 5 minutes, it is 4 1/2 minutes too long.”
Over the last few years approximately one-third of the people who are obtaining new concealed carry permits are women, and about one-third of all new gun purchases have been made by women, he said.
About one-third of gun purchases over the last five years have been to first-time gun buyers, he said. “These are not typical buyers in their 20s or 30s they are buyers in their 40s, 50, 60s and even 70s.”
Self-defense is the #1 reason for these purchases, said the syndicated writer and television host. “They are not buying guns for the first time to hunt, they are buying them for self -defense.”
Each time there is a push to take away gun rights in America, the public reacts strongly against it, said Gresham. “They feel that if someone is going to take my gun away from me, I am going to make sure I get my gun now.”
When there is national coverage of a deadly shooting, followed by congressional and executive calls for gun bans, the unintended consequence is the public goes out and buys more guns, he said. “Shootings where people get hurt and police are not there prove that there is nobody that can protect me, but me.”
In the last two years and in particular after the Newtown shooting, the demand for guns and ammunition have increased dramatically, he said this has forced the industry to increase production dramatically. “All the gun makers are running three shifts, exceeding what they thought they could produce and they still cannot keep-up with the demand – they are back-ordered one year.”
The way the media treats gun owners is reminiscent of the way minority groups were marginalized 50 or 100 years ago, said Gresham who is the producer of the YouTube series entitled First Person Defender. “The gun ban lobby in the media uses caricatures and name calling to demonize and marginalize gun owners.”
Calling people names because they are in a particular group, or because of their beliefs was common 50 or 100 years ago but now we understand how wrong that was, he said. “Why is it that they can brand 100 million Americans with vile names because they own guns?”
The Second Amendment topic is the one place left the media remain bigoted and are not held accountable, said the National Rifle Association member. “They can high-five each other with how nasty they can be to gun owners.”
The most common question called-in on the program is what kind of gun is best for self-defense, he said. “My advice for someone with no background in firearms is to receive qualified training as a first-step. When you have no training everything you know about self-defense is wrong because you learned it from watching television and movies.”
He does not advocate mandatory training, but he encourages everyone to get as much training as possible, said Gresham. “The Second Amendment is a constitutional right; if we have to seek a permit or receive required training, it is no longer a right, it is a privilege.”
An adamant supporter of the Bill of Rights, he said supporting the Second Amendment without supporting the rest of the Bill of Rights, automatically weakens their position.
“It’s a package deal,” he said. “Protect the Bill of Rights zealously even when it hurts.”
Gun Talk Radio listeners are people from all walks of life, all political persuasions and even those who do not own guns, but support the Second Amendment listen-in, said the American Civil Liberties Union member. “Self-defense is a human right and there is nothing more basic to human rights than being able to protect yourself and your family.”