RENO, NV - Some people may think guns only belong in the hands of men, but there are plenty of women who will tell you otherwise. One Million United is a non-profit based in northern Nevada that recently launched a campaign to educate women about the importance of personal protection and their right to own firearms. The national coordinator for the group, Alisha Ketter, is trying to recruit women in other states to help the group spread its message.
"Whether or not you carry a firearm, I think it's important for women to realize that the right to carry a firearm is fundamental," she says.
One Million United founder Vicki Kawelmacher says that she hopes to reach women that have never even thought about owning a gun.
"I think it's really cool to take that mom or that school teacher that didn't think she could do this, and then she shows up at the range and realizes she can," she says.
Ketter says she had her eyes opened about the need for personal protection after being victimized more than once.
"I had a number of incidents in my life where I was violated. I had my house robbed, I was attacked, and I had a sheriff's deputy tell me to carry a gun because he wasn't going to make it in time," she says.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a major advocate for gun control, is currently pushing a petition that would require background checks for anyone trying to purchase a firearm, and there would be severe penalties against anyone that violates the provision. Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed similar legislation in 2013. Organizers for One Million United say these are the kinds of restrictions they are trying to fight against.
"The underlying issue here is the erosion of our rights to make those choices for ourselves," says Ketter.
OMU is not just about 2nd amendment rights. The group also wants to give women the tools they need to be safe and responsible gun owners.
"If you're looking for some firearms training we will put you in touch with a range or firearms instructors in the city and state that you live in," says Kawelmacher.
If you'd like more information about One Million United, there is a link posted on this website under "Hot Topics".