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Women Take Prominent Role In Gun Debate

Ronnee Schreiber, a San Diego State University political science professor and author of "Righting Feminism: Conservative Women and American Politics," talks to KPBS about women's role in the debate over guns.

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available. A transcript has been made available.

Women are emerging as a major force on both sides of the ongoing gun violence debate.

Two of the strongest voices during last week's Senate hearing on gun violence in Washington were former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and activist Gayle Trotter of the conservative Independent Women's Forum.

Trotter testified that gun rights are essential to women’s equality.

“For women, the ability to arm ourselves for our protection is even more consequential than for men," she said at the hearing. "Because guns are the great equalizer in a violent confrontation. As a result, we protect women by safeguarding our second amendment rights.”

What women are saying about guns and how they're saying it has caught the attention of Ronnee Schreiber, a political science professor at San Diego State University and author of the book "Righting Feminism: Conservative Women and American Politics."

She said some women argue as mothers, saying the country needs gun control to keep children safe.

“Conversely of course, Gayle Trotter does the opposite, saying we need guns to protect women and their children," Schreiber said. "So it’s a really interesting debate going on here, and they’re both using these conceptualizations of mother to frame these debates.”

Women are more likely to support gun control measures than men. But a recent Pew Research Center poll shows that 38 percent of women prioritize gun rights over gun control.

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.

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