A post by Maynard
Here is an interesting fragment of history, from a 1920’s-era catalog (I’ve got the actual catalog here). An article from the paper is reprinted, along with advertisements for small ladies’ guns.
CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE
CARRY PISTOL TO STOP ATTACKS, WOMAN ADVISES
President of W.P.A. Urges Drastic Steps
As long as lawmaking is left exclusively in the hands of men, inadequate protection against attacks by male degenerates will continue to make it unsafe for women to be on the streets alone at night in large cities, according to Mrs. David Hill Danek, president of the Women’s Protective Association.
“Only when women are sent to Springfield as members of the legislature will Illinois have laws which will adequately protect women,” said Mrs. Danek last night.
“This applies not only to their protection from fiendish street attacks in Chicago and the north shore suburbs, but to their protection from impositions of every kind which fill the columns of the press from day to day.”
Women Should Aid Authorities“I believe it is the duty of every woman who is a victim of these outrages to give every possible assistance to the proper authorities in the apprehension and punishment of these wretches. It is a duty they owe to all other women.
“I would urge women to carry and use a small pistol. If a few women would meet this situation in that way it would not be long before there would be a sudden lessening of the evil.
“In Virginia, where I came from, one does not hear of women being molested. In times past, when there were such things, the punishment was sure and swift. It brought about a cure.
“Women who find it necessary to be on the streets at night should be protected. If all women take enough interest in the subject they will be. Meantime, I would say, they should prepare to defend themselves.”
Wow. “Degenerates”? “Wretches”? Tell us how you really feel, Mrs. Danek! The last time I heard that kind of language in the media from a woman’s organization, was, lemmesee, back when the Los Angeles chapter of NOW was headed by a young firebrand named Tammy Bruce. OJ Simpson had just murdered his wife, and Tammy did not pull any punches. But I digress.
It’s interesting and rather sad that Mrs. Danek anticipated a more civil era would come about as women moved into positions of legislative authority. Instead, the fanatical efforts to disarm the good people of the city have merely delivered the meek into the hands of the ruthless and the evil.
At some level, I understand what the gun-grabbers are trying to do. They fundamentally believe that, if only people can be controlled enough, or rendered adequately impotent, then peace will prevail. The problem is, the degree of control required to forcibly render us “peaceful” stifles the humanity of the population at large. They demand we “save” ourselves by sacrificing the most vital part of ourselves.
Of course, in advocating that women be armed and prepared to defend themselves with deadly force, Mrs. Danek is herself advocating a rather strong form of control. The difference is Mrs. Danek’s coercive force falls upon the head of the evildoer, whereas the modern bureaucracy smothers us all. In Mrs. Danek’s world, we retain our human liberty until we transgress; in Mrs. Feinstein’s world, it is demanded that innocent and guilty alike preemptively forfeit their collective and individual liberties in exchange for an impossible dream.
Every free society must struggle with the dark side of humanity. This is the bane of every social order that ever has or will exist. Man in his natural state is neither exclusively good nor evil; we are a mixed bag from birth, and are drawn to both the light and the darkness. For justice and order to be maintained, our darkness must be shackled. The fundamental question we face is: Will we (or can we) shackle our own nasty inclinations, or must this shackling be done by an external authority? Are we to be controlled from within, or from without? If we are worthy of the task, then human liberty becomes possible. If not, then liberty will be forfeit.
I’ll close by recalling the lyrics of “America the Beautiful”. Of course you know the opening lines about spacious skies and amber waves of grain and the quest for brotherhood and liberty. But the lesser-known lyrics guide us in pursuit of these goals.
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
Is our self-control improving or deteriorating? Is our ever-growing body of legislation increasing our liberty or undermining it?