The Second Amendment Foundation today defended the right of women to defend themselves with firearms during testimony at the United Nations regarding the proposed Arms Trade Treaty.
Speaking for SAF was Julianne Versnel, who was also representing the American Conservative Union and the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR). She told the world body that “the right to life must be given real meaning” and that “A right to life must include the fundamental right to defend that life.”
“The right of self-defense is particularly important to women,” Versnel stated. “As women, we have a right to protect our bodies and to protect ourselves against assault and rape. No one questions that violence against women is endemic.”
There are genuine concerns that any international gun control treaty would ultimately strip individual firearms rights from people all over the world.
“Most of the delegates here know that in the U.S. there is extensive firearms ownership,” Versnel testified. “What they do not know is that almost half of the handguns in the US are owned by women. They are used daily for self-defense. I fully endorse, as should every person in this room, the idea that women must have the means to defend themselves. Nothing that is in an Arms Trade Treaty should affect a woman’s right to defend herself.”
She reminded the panel that former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a staunch supporter of the United Nations and the first U.S. ambassador to the organization, also carried a handgun for personal protection while working in the South on civil rights issues.
“Eleanor Roosevelt was known and revered for her beliefs in woman’s rights—including the right to defend oneself with a firearm if necessary,” Versnel stated. “Mrs. Roosevelt practiced what she preached. In 1958 Mrs. Roosevelt drove though the American South by herself. The Klu Klux Klan had put a $25,000 bounty on her head and the Secret Service told her not to go. She went anyway and on the seat of the car was her own .38 caliber revolver.
“We can learn from Mrs. Roosevelt,” she concluded. “No one supported the U.N. more than she did, but at the same time she insisted on her right, as a woman and as a person to have the means to defend herself.”