Lobbies on both sides of the gun control issue are using women to prove their points, with supporters turning to grieving mothers who have lost their children to gunfire and opponents pointing to women who want firepower to protect their families.
Both types of women are turning up in advertisement, rallies, speeches before lawmakers, and more places as Congress weighs President Barack Obama's plan for toughening gun legislation, reports the Washington Post
The gun lobby is using women to portray its agenda as being more about family safety or protection than aggression. The National Rifle Association says the number of women attending gun shows and shooting ranges is up, and leaders often talk about women in their speeches.
In addition, gun makers are selling feminine firearms, including retrofitting weapons to make them easier for women to use and marketing them in pink and other colors.
“America’s women, they are leading the way,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at the organization's convention last year.
“Nearly 30 million American women now own guns. And they know what all of us have known for a long time: The more women who buy and own and shoot guns, the safer and the better off we’ll all be.”
However, those on the other side of the debate believe mothers can deliver a strong message on gun control. “The voices of women and mothers in the safety of our nation have to be among the most important voices,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll last month, more women than men favor gun-control measures, including bans on high-capacity magazines and assault-weapons.
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