1996 U. Ill. L. Rev. 467 (1996)
Why Annie Can't Get Her Gun: A Feminist Perspective on the Second Amendment

handle is hein.journals/unilllr1996 and id is 477 raw text is: WHY ANNIE CAN'T GET HER GUN: A FEMINIST
PERSPECTIVE ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT
INGE ANNA LARISH*
The Second Amendment speaks of the right to bear arms in
gender-neutral terms. Yet, participants in the gun control debate
portray women most often as the victims of gun use, rather than
actors with the right to protect themselves. This exclusion ignores
the realities of women's lives: women are subjected to violence by
strangers and spouses, unable to call on the police for effective pro-
tection, and bound by male-oriented views of self-defense. After
examining each of these circumstances in turn, the author analyzes
the impact on women of specific gun control measures, drawing on
feminist jurisprudence and current interpretations of the Second
Amendment. The author concludes that, in this arena, society cur-
rently denies women the liberties possessed by men; in doing so, it
enforces both physical and political subordination. Finally, the au-
thor constructs an inclusive view of gun control measures and self-
defense doctrine that gives shape, for women, to the Second
Amendment's guarantee of self-protection.
God created men-Colonel Colt made them equal.
Anonymous1
Men and Women were created equal... And Smith & Wesson
makes damn sure it stays that way.                 Advertisement
I. INTRODUCTION
Murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault are violent
crimes.' Violent crime against women has reached epidemic propor-
tions in the United States, and the trend shows no signs of abating.'
* J.D. 1994, University of Illinois; member 1992-94, University of Illinois Law Review.
1. Gary Kleck documents the Old West saying and its alternative, Colonel Colt made all
men six feet tall. GARY KLECK, PoINr BLANK: GUNS AND VIOLENCE IN AMERICA 156 (1991).
For the modern version in advertisement, see infra note 2.
2. Pam McAllister, Feminist Law-Challenging Actions, in FIGHT BACK: FEMINIST RESIST-
ANCE TO MALE VIOLENCE 212, 217 (Fr~d~rique Delacoste & Felice Newman eds., 1981) (repro-
ducing a Smith & Wesson advertisement from the 1970s).
3. For a complete definition of violent crime, see FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION,
UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS 5 (1991) [hereinafter UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS].
4. Violence Against Women: Victims of the System: Hearing on S. 15 Before the Senate
Comm. on the Judiciary, 102d Cong., 1st Sess. 189-91 (1991) [hereinafter Violence Against Wo-
men 1991] (summary of findings: Judiciary Committee Majority Staff Report).

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