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A Rape Survivor -- Now She's An RKBA Activist Who Carries a Gun

September 4, 2002

Mr. Puckett,

Regarding your recent article
"Visiting A Psychiatrist Could Get You Killed", you've hit the nail on the head, Sir...

But I wish to counter-sink it a little with another point. Rape survivors typically suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, an emotional disorder that is treated by psychiatrists. If they do not receive treatment, they can be deeply scarred by the trauma of the rape. In my experience, one of the largest obstacles to healing from this trauma is the near-paralytic fear that the perpetrator of the crime will return to repeat the act, and that the survivor will be unable to defend herself, once again being powerless as she was the first time. In this manner, the trauma keeps repeating over and over in the survivor's mind, keeping the mental "wound" open and preventing healing.

It is my firm belief that arming a rape victim with a firearm is the single most effective means of breaking this cycle of fear and granting them the means to feel re-empowered, no longer feeling helpless in the face of a terror that can be all-consuming. They can now progress in their therapy, no longer being continually re-injured by the ongoing fear of their assailant. Yes, the firearm is a form of crutch, but not in the unhealthy sense, but in the healthy sense of a crutch given to a person with a broken leg -- it gives them support while the damaged limb heals.

Later, their reason for carrying the weapon may change from a "security blanket" to a more logically-arrived at reason, based upon knowledge of the benefits thereof, or they may set it aside as they prefer.

I am not a medical practitioner. I am a rape survivor, and an RKBA activist. I speak not from experience of witnessing others use firearms in this fashion, but from feeling the benefit myself. I no longer carry as a defense against the terror in the night, afraid my attacker may return, but simply because it is the sensible thing to do. It is also my right, a right that I cherish, and wish to protect.

I have worked with my own therapists extensively on my PTSD, and they both know that I am a gun-owner. Neither has ever felt my guns to be a threat to myself or any other person. To the contrary, they have found them to be a healing benefit to my mental state -- and one of my therapists is a member of the Million Mom March, so I know it isn't because they agree with my politics.

Now I work with the Second Amendment Sisters [http://www.sas-aim.org/] and the Pink Pistols [http://www.pinkpistols.com/index2.html] to assist others in securing their rights, and defending themselves. I will fight to the bitter end the attempts of enemies of freedom to rob me, and others like me, of those rights. I have counseled my sisters to fight against efforts to stigmatize those with treatable medical problems from owning firearms. If we don't fight those efforts, soon anyone who has ever taken so much as a single Prozac or visited a school counselor will be barred forever.

-- Gwen P


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