Conservative Media Attack Cosmopolitan For Highlighting The Issue Of Women And Gun Violence

Conservative media are attacking Cosmopolitan magazine for working in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety to run a feature highlighting the dating issues surrounding gun ownership and domestic violence. Conservative media attacked the feature, comparing it to anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda and labeling it a “war on men with guns” while saying Cosmo wants its readers to be “slutty and defenseless.” Several conservative media critics expressed skepticism that Cosmo was capable of publishing serious reporting.

Cosmo Teams Up With Everytown For Gun Safety To Inform The Public About Guns, Dating, And Domestic Violence

Cosmo: “It's Time To Talk About What Guns Have To Do With Dating.” Cosmo published a February 10 feature along with the companion website that discussed issues surrounding gun ownership and dating “to raise awareness among unmarried women of the risk for gun violence.” The feature highlighted that “1 in 3 women will experience abuse in her lifetime” and “when a gun is present in a domestic-violence situation ... it raises a woman's risk for being killed by 500 percent.” The feature also included information about how current laws that target gun ownership by abusers put unmarried women at particular risk because many of these laws do not cover dating situations:

“So can we talk about your guns?”

You've watched pundits and politicos debate the issue. Maybe you've joined in the hashtag chorus, whether #NotOneMore or #ProGun. But in order to truly save lives, the conversation has to get intimate. “We need to start talking about gun safety in our relationships -- now,” says Rob Valente, vice president of policy for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.


While no one wants to imagine her partner would hurt her, the stats tell another truth: 1 in 3 women will experience abuse in her lifetime, according to the CDC. Nearly 1 in 5 may be stalked. And when a gun is present in a domestic-violence situation, a study in the American Journal of Public Health found, it raises a woman's risk for being killed by 500 percent. Single women are especially vulnerable, because laws give them less protection than married women, argues Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of the gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety.

That's why Cosmopolitan and Everytown are partnering for a campaign called Singled Out, to raise awareness among unmarried women of the risk for gun violence and the gaps in the law. Visit for info and action you can take. And keep talking. Bringing up guns can be awkward, but as with abortion and STIs, you should know where your partner stands. “It's crucial that single women understand the risk factors and tackle talking directly about the role guns may play in their daily lives,” says Watts. “Being armed with the facts isn't anti-gun, it's pro-information. And it may save your life.” [Cosmopolitan, 2/10/16] Has Information About How “Lax Gun Laws Put Single Women At Risk” And “How You Shut Down The Gunsplainers.” The website's resources include an explanation of “the boyfriend loophole,” a gap in many laws meant to disarm abusers, “myths vs. facts” about gunsplainers' claims that more firearms make women safer, examples of “real life gunsplainers,” and a humorous video about how to respond to “gunsplainers”:

[, accessed 2/12/16]

Conservative Media Criticize Cosmopolitan's “War On Men With Guns”

Conservative Gun Blog: Cosmo's “Gunsplainer” Video Is Like “Anti-Jewish Nazi Propaganda.” Gun blogger Robert Farago compared a Cosmo video that accompanied the feature to “anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda,” calling it “by far the most egregious anti-gun agitprop I've ever had the misfortune of seeing”:

This video reminds me of nothing so much as anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda. Yes, I went there. Because this is by far the most egregious anti-gun agitprop I've ever had the misfortune of seeing. It's part of Cosmopolitan magazine's war on men with guns, launched in their March issue in conjunction with anti-ballistic billionaire Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety. The issue comes complete with an editorial pull-out section, an attendant website (“Singled Out”), a new term of anti-gun owner derision (“gunsplainer”) and a fresh SMBD (something must be done) problem (“the boyfriend loophole”). [The Truth About Guns, 2/11/6] Attacks Cosmo Magazines As “12-Pound Monthly Advertisement Catalogs With The Occasional Fellatio Quiz.” questioned how Cosmo could run a serious feature on gun violence:

But regardless, the vid comes as that ode to 12-pound monthly advertisement catalogs with the occasional fellatio quiz, Cosmopolitan magazine, is set to run an editorial in the March issue on weak guns laws which includes how to talk to a “gunsplainer” such as Gary (before cutting away to an ad page) .

“When I was dating, it never occurred to me to ask a guy if he owned a gun,” said Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, in her March 2016 Editor's Note. “But given the numbers - more than 8,700 women in the U.S. were shot to death by their partner between 2000 and 2013 - it's time to discuss what's in your guy's drawers, and I don't mean his CK boxer briefs.”

Wait, did Cosmo just drop an ad in their editorial note about gun violence and murders? Like literally in the same sentence? Could be. [, 2/11/16]

Media Research Center: "Cosmo Likes It's [Sic] Readers Slutty And Defenseless." A February 12 blog at MRC's Newsbusters blog suggested that the issue of domestic violence was “too serious” for Cosmo to cover, and argued that two cases of intimate partner homicide discussed in Cosmo's feature were “outlandish examples,” apparently because both happened to involve Eastern European men:

Cosmo likes it's readers slutty and defenseless. The same publication that features “13 Naughty Sex Games You Need to Try” and “Lost Your Valentine's Day Underwear? Uber will Deliver a Fresh Pair” is advising women to fear men who own guns, while ignoring women's ability to arm themselves.

Over the course of three separate articles, the magazine incapable of embarrassment treats the Second Amendment like an embarrassing personal issue and veers into PC buzzword land. A “gunsplainer,” as defined by Cosmo, is, “Someone (usually, although not always, a guy) who buys into myths propagated by the gun lobby. A small-but extreme-subset of gun owners that dominates conversations on gun violence.”


Welch gave two outlandish examples of gun violence against women by their partners. A 22-year-old girl was shot to death by her Russian national ex-boyfriend who had already threatened her and whom she had filed a protective order against 10 days earlier. Also, an Eastern European stalker bought a gun privately and shot an American woman he met online.

So women should fear Slavic guys? Nope. Just their guns, and all the sneaky ways they have of getting them. Online sites like, private gun shows, and sales between friends have contributed to people who would not pass a background check being able to purchase guns.


There probably are places where laws and the background-check system can be improved, but short of a 100% ban and confiscation, government action can't completely eliminate gun violence.

And merely having a gun around does not precipitate violent behavior. Guns don't victimize women. Some men with guns do, as do plenty of men without guns.

But admitting those truths means abandoning cherished notions of victimhood, something Cosmo and Everytown aren't prepared to do. [Newsbusters, 2/12/16]

Gun Blogger Bob Owens: Cosmo's Feature Is “So Sophomoric And Dismissive Of The Intellect Of Their Female Audience.” Owens alleged that Cosmo wants to “attack firearms ownership” in order to benefit Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

Marie Claire and Cosmopolitian are two magazines targeted at young adult women who have suddenly decided to step outside of their normal content to attack firearms ownership simultaneously. Nah... there's no “in kind” campaign contribution here when Hillary needs help the most.


Cosmo contributed to the Clinton campaign by creating a condescending “boys who like guns are icky” campaign in conjunction with Everytown for Michael Bloomberg's Ego Gun Safety that is so sophomoric and dismissive of the intellect of their female audience. [ 2/12/16]