The idea still persists in society that men will protect women when they are in danger. All too often, however, when a woman is attacked in a parking lot or beaten up by her husband, no one is around to help. Although women use various methods for dealing with violence, some are choosing to arm themselves. While some bought their guns for sport, many bought them for self-defense. These women often belong to groups such as “Armed Women Against Rape and Endangerment” or the “American Women’s Self-Defense Association.” Stopping Power is about some of these women and about guns.
THERE ARE THREE PARTS TO THE PROJECT:
•Part one is a series of portraits of women gun owners. I am interviewing women who own guns, women who have used guns in self-defense, women who use guns for sport, and women who train other women to use guns. Along with a portrait of each person there is a statement describing, in her own words, why she owns a gun and how she feels about it.
•Part two is a series of portraits of women who are opposed to guns. I am interviewing women who are part of the anti-gun movement, as well as women who have personally experienced the effects of gun violence. As with part one, along with the portrait there is a statement describing, in her own words, why she’s opposed to guns.
•The third part of the project is a series of staged photographs that are meant to illustrate women’s changing attitudes towards gun ownership, including both positive and negative aspects.
I’m interested in going to the source, to the women themselves, and hearing what they have to say about gun ownership. By focusing on women, Stopping Power becomes a relevant, critical look at the women who choose to enter the gun debate.