3 years, 9 months ago
Prior: Ms. Magazine Does Guns
The Daily Beast has what we can only hope to be the final installment of Heidi Yewman’s month with a gun. I’ll quote extensively from her article because we learn some very important things about Heidi.
Ms. Magazine ran my initial post on the experience on June 12. More than 2,000 commenters responded to that article—most of them angry gun-rights advocates saying how stupid I was; one even suggested that I put the gun in my mouth. Most of them missed the point entirely: the experiment was designed to show how easy it is to obtain a gun without being required to know how to use it.
In a nutshell she tells us just how and why she did what she did. Her presuppositions are summarized for us, and it gets even clearer as the article continues.
I knew going into my 30-day experiment of living with a gun that I was putting my family and myself at risk.
Only two days into my experiment I went to breakfast with my two kids and some friends. After eating and shopping, my gun with me the entire time, I was anxious to get home to enjoy the warm weather. I put my purse on the counter and then spent the next hour out on the back deck. Walking into the kitchen to refresh our drinks, I noticed my purse with the 9mm Glock still inside it. I’d forgotten to lock it up! Panic set in as I realized my teen son was playing videogames just 10 feet away. What if he’d decided to get the socks I’d bought him from my purse while I was out on the deck? Thoughts raced through my mind and I pondered how I’d just straddled the fine line between being a responsible gun owner and an irresponsible idiot whose 15-year-old just accidentally shot himself or someone else with my gun.
A gun in a home is 43 times more likely to be used to kill a family member than kill someone in self-defense. With over 200 million guns in our country, most in our homes, it’s no wonder that over 19,000 people in America die from suicide and accidental death by a gun every year. So I decided to keep the gun in a locked safe when I was home. But that didn’t seem to soften my worry and overall anxiousness.
Heidi just knew beyond all doubt that she would put her family at risk by even having a gun, and her actions became a self-fulfilling prophesy by admittedly being stupid. Of course, this is the perfect pretext for citing all of her data on gun deaths.
I’ve said before that you could blindfold me at the doorway to my home and I could lay my hands on every weapon in my home and tell you whether each one has a round chambered. If you cannot do that, you should reconsider whether you have a gun. Additionally, if you decide to carry, openly or concealed, you should engage in self training for that responsibility before doing so.
The self training can seem a little overboard at first, but you must master the mechanics, whereabouts, condition, operation and location of your weapons, and become somewhat obsessive over their proper care, including trigger and muzzle control. This obsession doesn’t have to go on forever once you have engrained those choices and behaviors as habits. If Heidi had done this her actions would have led to a completely different experience.
But this isn’t much different than the freedom to purchase and climb ladders from which the fall will kill you, drive an automobile recklessly, or take medications in a dangerous manner. Guns are no different, but as I observed in my earlier article on her, she spends no time on the danger she causes to others on the road, or conversely, the danger they cause to her and her family – all without proper training by the state.
How accessible should the gun be when I’m home? A few nights ago, my son came home late, forgot his key, and knocked on the door. My first thought was, “Should I go get the gun?” I didn’t know who was on the other side of the door, and I was scared to find out as adrenaline surged through my body. I’m glad I didn’t get the gun because when I opened the door, I would have been a nervous, untrained mom pointing a gun at my son. The wrong split-second decision on my side would have been deadly.
Since having the gun I’ve had two repairmen, a carpet cleaner, and a salesmen in my home. If the gun’s for self-protection, it’s not going to do any good in the safe, but it’s not really practical to have the gun pointing at them as they work. How else would I eliminate the element of surprise if I were attacked? Suspiciousness and fear of people is new to me, and I don’t like it. Living with a gun has not been easy. There’s more worry, more responsibility, and higher risk for everyone who is in my home, especially my family.
Why would anyone voluntarily point a gun at their son, or a carpet cleaner or salesman? This is stupid, high risk behavior, not to mention illegal. As for the possibility of an attack on your person, one can carry concealed or openly as I do. That way it is readily accessible if you need it.
The urine smell was particularly strong in the grimy, dimly lit downtown parking garage’s stairwell. I was late for a meeting and barely noticed the large man enter behind me. When I got to the second floor I became nervous, and the Oprah episode where a man attacks a woman alone in a situation just like this played in my head. I thought about the 9mm in my purse as I clumsily continued down the stairs in my skirt and heels. He followed me. I looked back at him so he knew I knew he was there (like Oprah’s expert suggested.) I thought: “Should I pull the gun out? Should I point it at him?” I realized the gun wouldn’t do me any good because he was behind me. My heart racing, we finally got to the lobby door where the man simply passed by me. I’d grown paranoid. He wasn’t the bad guy I perceived him to be, and the gun did not make me safe.
No. You should not unholster your weapon (that’s brandishing) or point it at him (that’s assault, which includes perceived threat), both of which are dumb, dangerous and illegal.
I played two tennis matches with the gun in my backpack next to the court, and I went to three parties in homes where children played just feet from the pile of guests’ jackets and purses, including mine with the gun inside.
Then you intentionally endangered those children and you didn’t have to. You could have kept the firearm on your person. You should have left it in a locked car or carried it in a holster designed for weapon retention.
I learned guns are heavy and hard to conceal. And a seatbelt goes over the gun on your hip when you drive, making me wonder what happens if I get in an accident—does the gun crush my hip or does the impact squeeze the trigger and shoot me in the leg?
No, having a car accident doesn’t make your gun go off. Guns can in fact be annoying to carry, but they don’t have to be. You could have chosen to get a small J-frame .22 WMR or .38 revolver and an ankle holster.
As I said before, the drama is exhausting and breathtaking. But the thing that really worries me isn’t that she has a gun. It’s that bimbos like this can purchase an SUV the size and weight of my Ford F150 and drive it down the road with screaming kids in the back whilst jabbering on the cell phone attached to her ear, after qualifying with a driving test that a monkey could be trained to take. Makes you stop and ponder, no? It’s one reason I drive so defensively on the road nowadays.
Well, you’ve heard enough. Heidi went into the experiment choosing to endanger herself and others, be irresponsible, and conclude that we should all be controlled in the same way she needs to be. It’s called by various names, e.g., reasoning in a circle, assuming the consequent, etc., and it’s perfectly innocent and benign as long as you don’t try to prove anything that way. Heidi has proven nothing except her own predilections and predispositions. What she says basically has no bearing on responsible gun owners.
Prior: Ms. Magazine Does Guns