A ray of hope in MA


January 31, 2003, 05:10 AM
Feb 2002

Coeds Want to Pack Heat

Michael L. Betsch of CNSNews.com

(CNSNews.com) -- At a women's liberal arts college in the liberal, anti-gun state of Massachusetts, something appears to be out of sync. A campus group called the Second Amendment Sisters is lobbying for students' right to carry firearms.

The Mount Holyoke chapter of the Second Amendment Sisters (SAS), now in its first year, is a recognized on-campus organization with a membership approaching 50 women.

Christie Caywood, the student who organized the Mount Holyoke chapter, said she basically stumbled upon the Second Amendment Sisters at last year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Caywood, now a junior at Mt. Holyoke, recalled seeing some SAS buttons while attending the 2001 CPAC convention with her fellow College Republicans. After participating in a hands-on firearms demonstration at the Smith & Wesson firing range, she asked the SAS about bringing their pro-Second Amendment message to her campus.

SAS spokeswoman Maria Heil said her organization was more than eager to help Caywood start up a chapter. Heil said promoting self-defense on the all-female campus of Mt. Holyoke is a priority.

"For many, many women, it's their first time out on their own, and it's the first time that they'll ever be actually responsible or semi-responsible for their own safety," Heil said. "They need to have this knowledge that there is a way to defend yourself and it is that firearms are the most effective means of self-defense."

But SAS campus outreach efforts are off-target according to Nancy Hwa, a spokeswoman for the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"I don't know where they get the idea that it's the number-one self-protection method," Hwa said. "It's unfortunate that these groups are spreading misinformation about the usefulness of firearms for self-protection."

Heil responded that SAS' main message to women is that self-defense is a basic human right. "If your right to own a firearm is infringed or delayed, it could cost you your life," she said.

"I'd assume these young women have enough sense to weigh the risks themselves and won't get sucked into propaganda from an extremist organization," Hwa remarked.

But Caywood, pointing to a "series" of rapes in the five-college area that includes Mt. Holyoke, insisted that firearms might have helped the women fend off their attackers.

Caywood believes that unarmed students are "almost completely helpless." She explained that the only protection Mt. Holyoke's campus security provides is a safe ride in a van for students who don't feel comfortable walking across the wooded campus, especially at night.

"Why wouldn't they want us armed?" Caywood asked. "I'm at a women's college and they talk about empowerment. We shouldn't have to depend on others to take care of ourselves, and that's what it's left at right now."

Caywood, who does not currently own a gun, says it is highly unlikely that students on the "liberal" Mt. Holyoke campus will be allowed to carry concealed weapons or keep them in campus housing anytime soon, so she is trying to arm Mt. Holyoke's campus police instead.

"If SAS can get campus security armed, then maybe we might be successful in trying to start a campaign to have students be able to arm themselves if they're properly trained and licensed," Caywood said.

Heil stressed that the Second Amendment Sisters organization is not responsible for training these young women. "Second Amendment Sisters advocate firearms safety education, but we don't advocate making it mandatory for anyone."

SAS says mandatory firearms training violates the Second Amendment by delaying a person's ability to purchase firearms. "That's not going to help a woman who's being stalked," she said.

But the Brady Campaign's Hwa considers that an extreme position. "Even the National Rifle Association supports gun owners to get training," she said.

"If they're going to promote gun use, then the only responsible thing to do is also to promote the training for the women or anybody that decides to purchase a gun," Hwa added. "It's bad enough that they're spreading misinformation about the usefulness of a gun in self-defense, but on top of that, to not even encourage these same women that they're encouraging to carry guns to get some training is ludicrous."

Caywood said although the SAS organization does not mandate firearms training, such training is readily available if anyone chooses to take advantage of it. "Everywhere we go there are people who are trained and can help train," Caywood said.

She added that the "gentlemen down at Smith & Wesson" have been helpful answering questions, and a local police department will host a concealed-carry course for any members interested in attaining a license in Massachusetts.

"Whether people agree with us or not," Caywood concluded, "we all agree that people who use guns should know how to use them properly." That's "one big selling point to the administration and to the other students," she added.

While Mt. Holyoke is the first campus to open an SAS chapter, it may not be the last. Michigan State University may be the next place to open an SAS chapter on campus, Caywood said. Caywood said she is involved in the effort to expand the group on college campuses nationwide.


I thank God every day that I escaped from the Peoples Socialist Republic of Massachew:cuss:s, but it looks like a few of those stuck there have a bit of a clue. God bless and keep them, and may each and every one of them someday have the pleasure of living somewhere in the United States.;)

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January 31, 2003, 07:50 AM
That's very good stuff. Those young ladies are right on target!

The penalties for rape have been escalated to the point where criminals believe not leaving witnesses is the perferred option. Protection from rape is nothing to play around with.

What planet is this Hwa person from? Does she not understand what she is hearing? It must be a general tactic of the Bradys to twist thier replies in an attempt to cause the audience to think the opponant has said something different than they actually did. Hwa's rebuttals were very disjointed.

So the gun lobby are extremists for wanting to excercise constitutiuonal rights? That's funny! I've always put antis on a par with the animal rights crowd.

January 31, 2003, 09:13 AM
I hate to say this, but perhaps Nancy Hwa opposes the use of firearms to fend off rapists because a sexual assault is her only hope of having some sort of sexual relations. Sorry, I just could not resist, might get reprimanded for such a remark, might get locked out of this thread. But, has anyone else noticed that so many of these women who are promoting a policy of passive resistance to assault just are not the least bit attractive? Same thing with many of the women who support abortion and pushed to get women into combat assignments in the military. Ok, I have doused myself with gasoline, so flame away.

January 31, 2003, 02:38 PM
I doubt you'll have to wait long...

And deservedly so, Cave-man:rolleyes:

TFL Survivor

January 31, 2003, 02:43 PM
Change always starts small until it gains momentum. The pendulum will swing back. Good story!

January 31, 2003, 02:46 PM
Rape while overtly a sexual act is one of great violence.

A woman should not have to depend on a man for her safety. I don't understand why women on the left cannot see how empowering firearms are to women especially in terms of their safety.

My daughter will be getting her first .22 on her twelfth birthday.
At eighteen she will be shooting a handgun and at 21 she wil be owning one.

I am all for women's lib. Empower women through the ablility to protect themselves. Why should a woman always have to fear walking alone?l

January 31, 2003, 03:11 PM
"I'd assume these young women have enough sense to weigh the risks themselves and won't get sucked into propaganda from an extremist organization," Hwa remarked.

I'd say they do.

January 31, 2003, 05:52 PM
No way it will happen. They would need written permission from the Dean to carry on college grounds. Any Dean in MA would be fired within a day of signing that, not to mention the potential liability issues.

Having the Group is a great first step, and I applaud them. The Valley is a very liberal area, although it's in the Western part of the state. Mt Holyoke are part of the "Five College area", which includes UMASS, Amherst College, etc.

If we get a few people around there to start thinking that CCW is a good idea, that's good for the future generations coming out of those schools. :cool:

January 31, 2003, 08:37 PM
The Valley is a very liberal area, although it's in the Western part of the state.(emphasis added)Them's fightin' words!

Anyone east of the Connecticut River is automatically considered to be a traditional enemy of my people, and although we do tolerate a few that find themselves trapped between the Hoosac Mts. and the river, we find that they are rare exceptions indeed.

The west side of the river wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for Northampton and Smith College and the freaks that they attract.:evil:;)

4v50 Gary
January 31, 2003, 10:12 PM
Excellent start. Now, let the seed germinate and many more SAS chapters start up. When these coeds leave school and become part of the workforce, I hope they continue spreading the word.

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