2015-12-01: Victims no longer

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2015-12-01: Victims no longer

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2015-12-01 14:54

GOSA - Media Release: 16 Days of ACTION against violence against women and
children - Victims no longer!


A woman’s perspective - by Lynette Oxley (an ordinary woman and a GOSA member)

GOSA (Gun Owners South Africa) started an initiative on the 26th of November 2015
in line with the 16 Days of “ACTIVISM” against women and child abuse. We believe
that women do not have to be victims and that by arming themselves they can
defend themselves, and their families against any illegal physical and/or emotional
attacks against them like abuse, rape and other forms of violence. Our approach is a
pro-active one rather than re-active. For this reason we have changed the focus from
“Activism” to “Action”.

GOSA’s initiative started with women producing little cameos of why they feel that
they are not victims by empowering themselves. Firearms (specifically) are the
answer not the problem. Women realise that they can empower themselves not to
be victims by legally arming themselves and being responsible firearm owners.
Feedback so far has far exceeded any of our expectations. From ladies in their 70s to
youngsters that shoot sports at age 13, we all have a common goal. Use of the
appropriate tool to accomplish a task. Firearms are not evil, but a means for us to
defend ourselves or practice our sport. GOSA’s initiative has included ladies that are
avid sport shooters to single mothers wanting to protect their children, and grannies
that want to protect themselves and their grandchildren. We will end our campaign
on the 15th of December 2015... I know, I know... the OFFICIAL 16 Days of Activism
ends on Human Rights Day on the 10th of December, but we have a more important
message of empowerment to deliver and we know that not much happens over
weekends so we are counting only business days.

Let’s start with the “emotional issue”. Just by knowing that as a female you are
equipped, and trained to use a firearm, changes one's outlook on life. It emotionally
enables you to know that in case of an attack, you are able to defend yourself
effectively. We are not saying that as a lady firearm owner you will not get hurt or
even killed, but that it exponentially increases your chances of survival. It evens the
odds, levels the playing fields, and gives you a fighting chance. And when you have
nothing else standing between you and your attacker, a fighting chance is often all
you need.

We are also not promoting a gung-ho attitude at all. Carrying a firearm changes one's
whole psyche towards living in a very dangerous society, like we are in South Africa. Let
me get back to the fact of not being gung-ho -- like the concept of ‘defensive driving’ that
we are encouraged to adopt, one carefully considers different scenarios as you move
through your daily life, including those of being attacked, and make appropriate
plans accordingly. All of the ladies that I know that are armed, will only use a firearm
as an absolute last resort. Carrying a firearm actually makes one's outlook less
confrontational - avoid first, escape next, then try to reason your way out of the
situation, but if one has no options left, defend yourself vigorously and with all the
means at your disposal... and a firearm beats a pointy stick every day of the week!

My next point is to look at the physical side of being a women. We are smaller and
physically not as strong as a man. If not trained in martial arts, we really can not
physically compete against a stronger man and through the centuries bad men have
used this fact to subjugate women to their wills. Firearms make the ‘contest’ much
more equal and men rather have to convince and negotiate in the absence of the
ability to force women to comply. Right about here I should mention that in many
codes of sport shooting, men and women compete on an equal basis - firearms really
are the great equalizer.

If one looks at the original reason for “16 days of activism” it is to deal with societal
problems causing women and children to be victims. As a lady GOSA member, a
firearm owner, sport shooter, firearm trainer and senior firearm safety officer, I
would like to encourage ladies from across the age spectrum to enable and
empower yourselves. Get equipped with the tools you need, get trained and start
defending yourselves. We as female GOSA firearm owners are there to assist you in
any way possible on this enabling journey.
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
GOSA
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