I was honored to have been a Speaker at the Second Amendment Foundation’s 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference, as part of the Better Half Panel, featuring Robyn Sandavol, Sarah Cade, Rachel Malone, and Paloma from Defense Distributed. My remarks are below, and a video of the entire panel of female firearms owners can be viewed here.
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“An elaborate Viking Age grave in Sweden holds the remains of a decorated female warrior from the 10th century, providing the first archaeological evidence that women held high-status positions in Viking culture.
The remarkable find revealed (through) DNA analysis that the skeleton confirmed that the individual was a woman, older than 30 years old, who stood somewhere around 5 feet 5 inches tall. (Basically, just like me!).
Several weapons were buried alongside the body, including a sword, armor-piercing arrows, a battle knife, an axe, a spear and two shields, indicating that the skeleton was likely that of a warrior. Accompanying the wide array of weapons were two horses and a full set of game pieces and a gaming board. The gaming pieces suggest that the person buried was a high-ranking combatant who was knowledgeable of strategies and tactics.”
While I read that I kind of thought … well, DUH! Because I have known some amazing and strong and smart and strategic-minded women in my life. But, it is a noteworthy archeological find, because the remains are female. If the remains had been male, the archeologists would have turned their attention to the Viking’s implements of battle: what did he carry, how were they formed, etc. Why are we surprised when we stop to notice how powerful the feminine side of our natures are?
All of this caused me to start thinking about what my grave might say about me to future archeologists. What story does my life tell, when all that is left behind are the tools of battle I used to protect myself and others. Did I use those tools with skill? Did I ever hesitate to engage in decisive battles? Who was I fighting for? And what will history say were the results of the time I spent walking on this earth and breathing the air God placed in my lungs?
One of my greatest strengths is actually how ordinary I am, really. I am any-woman. I am that 5’5”, over 30-woman – just like our lady Viking. I am a wife of 33 years. I am a business owner. I am a mom. And … I am a grandma.
This ordinary-ness is empowering to other women who are part of this (almost-secret) sisterhood of patriots, and it is terrifying to those whose life-mission is to put us, and others, under the thumb of tyranny and Big Government. The Rights-Restrictors want to have a clearly defined caricature to vilify – they want us all to be wild-eyed, slow-talking, Southern-accented, camo-wearing, 50-and-over bearded dudes. And some of the finest people I have ever met in my life are exactly that – and I am proud of who they are and what I have learned from them. But, I am not that … I do not fit a mold of the Progressive-Politicians’ making. And, quite frankly, they do not know what to do with all of the people, men and women alike, who are so “ordinary,” like me.
So, when I read that article about the Viking Warrior Woman, I kind of wanted to picture her wearing polka-dots. Or a pretty Sunday dress. Her opponents would have sized her 5’5” frame as having no real threat to them; her sweet smile likely would have confused them just long enough for her to have out-strategized them, out-flanked them, and raised up a crop of children just like her. Ordinary warriors, fighting extraordinary battles, not even for ourselves, but for those who came before and for those yet to come.
So, among my implements of battle, future archeologists will find my battle flag of Legacy. Protecting and preserving the rights and values that were passed along to me by previous generations. Being a good Steward of History, and instilling the passion for patriotism that I see in my fellow warrior women and men who fight for the downtrodden and push back the line of tyranny and those who would place their thumbs over heads and their hands over our mouths.
Ordinary Warriors, wearing flowered dresses, minds sharp with knowledge, tongues quick with wisdom … we, my friends are the Better Half, and we are terrifying to our opponents.
Find out more about Cheryl Todd.
Cheryl Todd, owner of AZFirearms.com and cohost of Gun Freedom Radio, has more than 30 years of experience in the firearms industry. She holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, which allows her to bring a unique voice to the gun world. View all posts by Cheryl Todd