Ms. Magazine Does Guns – Final Installment

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 10 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

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  1. On July 23, 2013 at 5:33 am, Kerry said:

    In my experience the ‘liberal’ reasoning can be stated thusly: “I can’t think,(imagine, picture, visualize, feel et. al.), why anyone should….., so therefore”. In the vernacular, “Because I can’t think of it, it does not exist”. I know someone whose frequent replies to questions includes “If France they don’t…” When I asked why the French should be copied he had no answer.

  2. On July 23, 2013 at 5:40 am, Kerry said:

    Oops, “In France…”

  3. On July 23, 2013 at 9:57 am, Robert Fowler said:

    “A gun in a home is 43 times more likely to be used to kill a family member than kill someone in self-defense”.

    Kellerman? Really? The most quoted and debunked study ever? Liberal gun haters crack me up. They latch on to crap like that and hang on like a pitbull with a ham bone. She should have gotten proper training in at least the basics.

    I like the part about getting shot in the leg in a car accident. When I’m in the car, my seat belt isn’t touching my gun and the muzzle isn’t pointed anywhere but the floor. Sometimes I’m just amazed how their minds work.

  4. On July 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm, MamaLiberty said:

    “…I’m just amazed how their minds work.”

    Minds, Robert? What mind? Lizard brains, I’ll grant you…

  5. On July 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm, MacBeth 51 said:

    Now, the question is, did she ever really have a gun, or was it all done in her imagination, the same as pointing of the gun at everyone?

  6. On July 24, 2013 at 9:44 am, Gordon said:

    Maybe I missed something, but no where did I see where she ever loaded the gun. She goes on about how dangerous it is and how quickly she could get to it. At that point it was no more dangerous than the hammer in her garage. In all actuality her 15 year old son probably knew more about it than she did and would probably have been much safer, providing she had not infected him with her irrational fears.

  7. On July 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm, C. Delta said:

    She writes as if she is imagining every bit of this. Where does she live? It’s a crime to leave a gun where children can get access to it in numerous states.

  8. On July 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm, Smokey Behr said:

    I don’t think she ever bought ammo for it, ever loaded a magazine, or put a single round anywhere near the firearm. That shows she’s even more stupid than she was before. It’s like buying a car, and never putting gas in it, or getting a cell phone and never charging the battery.

  9. On July 29, 2013 at 11:55 pm, Hardy said:

    I don’t know how to drive. Thousands of people die each year in auto accidents. I’m going to buy and drive a car for a month and see if anything bad happens. With an open mind.

  10. On July 30, 2013 at 9:17 am, Mooch has a fat ass said:

    Halfway through the story I found myself wishing she’d have shot herself in the foot by accident.

  11. On August 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm, Jonny said:

    This woman’s idiocy highlights something that isn’t often mentioned.


    She wasn’t required to have ANY before she bought a gun.

    Nevermind universal background checks, how about universal training?

    I don’t want to impinge on anyone’s 2A rights, but how about a little of thought into ‘well regulated’ by requiring folks to have covered the very basics first. Most folks can’t even grasp the 4 basic ‘rules’ of firearms.

    Before you poo-poo it out of hand Herschel, just because YOU know what you are doing doesn’t mean everyone else does and it shouldn’t be done. Most folks would benefit from training. Guess who might be best positioned to provide this training? Your local shooting club or organisation. Hell, they might even offer it for free as part of their 2A advocacy.

    Besides, it will give you something to do during your week cooling off period! ;)

  12. On August 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Except that “well regulated” doesn’t mean what you would like it to mean.

  13. On August 2, 2013 at 1:55 am, Jonny said:

    Herschel, you are right in a legal and technical sense, but you are wrong in a real world sense.

    Until responsible gun advocates like yourself admit that SOMETHING different needs to be done ( be it education, training, registration, licensing or something more cleve), then you will remain part of the problem rather than the solution.

    John Q Public isn’t that bright and probably should be trusted with OPEN and UNFETTERED access to firearms – no matter what the 2A says. It’s just plain dumb.

    There has to be a middle path.

  14. On August 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Here’s the sad part. At least Heidi was covert in her strategy. She fell on her sword (I imagine some wine and cheese party where she told her colleagues that she would willingly look like a moron in order to show how the state should step in and, ahem, make things better, like the state has ever made anything better by more regulation). If we can only convince everyone that there is a real life example like me, then perhaps our gun control schemes will stop their horrible skid to irrelevance.

    But we all saw through her bad rhetorical device and considered it irrelevant. But you had to become overt about it. Heidi needed help. Idiocy, says you. SOMETHING needs to be done. And Heidi’s stupidity proves it!

    I’ll tell you what. If you press for training, registration, a cooling off period and clubs for hammers in order to control the scourge of assault hammers:

    I’ll listen to your requests for the same on guns. Let’s hear it. I want to hear your plans for hammer training and cooling off periods.

    And yes, the only thing you said that was correct is that I’m right in a legal and technical sense. Yes, I am. And that’s what matters.

  15. On August 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm, Jonny said:

    The hammer thing is just silly and you know it. You are rationalising things to draw a very poor conclusion.

    Sure, hammers can be dangerous if misused. Hell – I could stab you to death with a moderately sharpened pencil! I could probably beat you to death with a tightly rolled newspaper if I really put my mind to it.

    But that is just silly in a real and practical sense. I might also point out that hammers don’t kill a lot of folks at a distance of, say, an arm’s length. Apples and oranges, no?

    A better comparison?
    Car accidents are common and cause a lot of deaths. There is car licencing, registration, training and regulation (including enforcement of those rules).

    Taking your line of argument forward, do you think we should scrap all of that and just let folks loose to do whatever on the road? The young, the untrained, the old, the blind, the folks who are DUI, folks who go down the wrong side of the highway?

    I doubt you’d think that was a good idea.

    So why so silly with the hammer thing?

    You are a well trained and smart guy (I also presume with no criminal record) so you’d pass any of these training and regulatory requirements with ease and in a short time. So why does it bother you so to do it?

    You are the kind of folk we’d be happy to have a firearm. It’s the folks who won’t pass that we should be worried about – and these are the folks you seem to be worried about too. Why not help to get the outcome you want instead of being a hinderance?

  16. On August 3, 2013 at 12:05 am, Herschel Smith said:

    The hammer thing isn’t silly at all. Neither is the notion of training and state registration to climb ladders. As for that matter, I have three friends who have cut fingers off with power tools, one a concert pianist and organist.

    You’ve worn out your welcome now, Jonny, until you dialogue on an honest level. Don’t come back until you are ready to talk about assault hammers.

    Oh, and I knew about the “we’d be happy” part all along. I knew that you were just trolling for Heidi.

  17. On August 3, 2013 at 2:44 am, Jonny said:

    I’ve worn out my welcome simply because I don’t agree 100% with you – for no other reason.

    I have been honest and polite with my dialogue. Why the yellow flag?

    I’m not trolling for Heidi, I’m trying to demonstrate that the world contains grey and that a black and white answer is, well, not the answer. If you don’t agree that is fine. To refuse to believe that there is an alternative is not rational.

    I have experience with firearms in civil and military circumstances and would be a firearm owner if I were not currently living in a country where they are pretty much impossible to have (admittedly when I was back ‘home’ I also didn’t own any because I could just borrow whatever I needed from my father!).

    The USA doesn’t really have a gun problem. It has a stupid problem. The only worse thing about having a stupid problem is the refusal to see it.

    And I am happy that you have guns. I have read enough of your blog to get a basic feel your your character. The fact you have firearms doesn’t scare me at all. The fact you vote is more of a worry! ; )

  18. On August 3, 2013 at 2:50 am, Jonny said:

    Side note on the power tools…

    I used to teach high school workshop subjects. Not only did I have to have a fair bit of training in using powerful tools that would take fingers (or more!) off quickly – we had a whole set of training and procedures to stop the kids hurting themselves. Not always perfect as your friend’s misfortune will attest, but at least an effort is made and the risk minimised.

    So – why not for training for something a dangerous (by design) as a firearm?

  19. On August 3, 2013 at 9:34 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Jonny, you don’t listen very well. You come back to me with training, state registration, and universal background checks for power tools, ladders and hammers, then I’ll listen. Until then, you’re irrational because you separate out guns from anything else that can be dangerous. You do that because you’re a statist, and infringing on second amendment rights is EXACTLY what you’re trying to do, regardless of your lie to the contrary.

  20. On August 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm, Jim Harris said:

    “OOhh, …Lord have Mercy!!!”

    OK … @ Jonny: The reason people like Herschel (and myself) are distrustful of virtually all regulations on firearms (or any arms) as opposed to autos, tools, etc. is the current national political culture.

    There is little or no serious opposition to cars (except for a few environmentalists) or most other types of tools. (Even most environmentalists travel or do other things in ways that burn something other than body fat.) There is a dangerous element that thinks that the elimination of firearms owned/operated/stored/carried by private citizens is a desirable objective; and they actively work for it. If auto ownership and firearms ownership had the same position and status in the national culture, MAYBE some of us would resist less. For example, when we start bringing firearms competition BACK TO HIGH SCHOOLS and colleges/universities, as we used to — with teams and competitions at the same level as football, basketball, etc.; if we make firearms training part of the curriculum the same way we do shop classes — perhaps even required at a basic level — when firearms owners are no longer treated like lepers by a large part of the ignorant, uneducated public — then MAYBE we’ll relax a little. It’s a TRUST issue — and I/We don’t TRUST THEM!! Simple as that.

    And … Herschel’s point about Hammers (etc.) isn’t the Red Herring you say it is — it is very much to the point as far as emphasizing the focus on firearms or other self-defense means more than other potential hazard points. Again — IT IS A TRUST ISSUE!!

  21. On August 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm, Jim Harris said:

    A case history example: I’m living in Virginia, which is reasonably “gun friendly;” but I’m from Utah, which in many ways is “more gun friendly.”

    The Orem City recreation center — in addition to cardio equipment, weight facilities, Olympic swimming pools, etc. — has an indoor, small caliber shooting range.

    Maybe there are other such PUBLIC facilities elsewhere in the country; but I don’t know where they are!!! I certainly know of none in Northern VA.

    The facilities available for shooting here are all owned/operated by the NRA or some other private organization. (Possible exceptions are the nearby military bases for those with MilIDs; but those have their own bureaucratic, pain in the @@@ issues.)

    Beiong “Conservative,” I suppose I should say that private ownership of ranges is a good thing!! BUT — the fact that the City of Orem allocates public funds and space for this activity (in addition to the private facilities available there) is telling about the kind of attitude differential I’m talking about. (I believe they also sponsor or provide space for some shooting teams and competitions also.)

  22. On August 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm, Josh said:

    @Jim Harris,
    Here in South Carolina we have several great public ranges (handgun, rifle and clay fields) managed by DNR and funded by the state. I actually prefer the range in Pickens County over any private indoor range in the upstate.

    It’s a longer drive, but not by much. Zero range fees. Zero ammo fees. Free glass to use on the rifle range. All you have to do is bring your own targets and not be an idiot.

    The same can’t be said for the likes of Allen Arms. I’ve purchased three firearms through them. I lost all my range passes in the wash and they refused to honor them, even when they could spend 5 minutes and look up my purchase history with them. Add on to that the deplorable attitude of the staff and I’ll never, ever spend my money with them again.

  23. On August 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm, Jim Harris said:

    Josh: Thanks for the info.

  24. On August 5, 2013 at 2:15 am, Jonny said:

    Jim Harris – good point. I’ll admit that in the context you are putting it I am not viewing a ‘big picture’, but rather focusing on a single (related) issue.

    I agree that folks have every right to be somewhat distrustful of many parts of and levels of government in the USA at the moment. The reporting of screwed up SWAT raids and ‘no-knock’ warrants in this blog alone demonstrates that. Then you only need to glance at the NSA fubar situation.

    What is the solution?
    It’s not like you can easily vote the culprits out. Who are they anyway?
    It’s not like it is a Dem/Rep issue – it has bridged different administrations.

    What to do? Where to start?

    There is a great paradox in the “land of the free” actually being accused of being an undemocratic police state!

  25. On August 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm, Josh said:

    The solution is a culling. A culling of elected officials, judges, agencies and lobbyists. I’ll leave the method of culling to the reader’s imagination; one can only hope it could be peaceful.

    The systems and people are too corrupt and mortified to be fixed. They need to be excised.

    Unfortunately, for a capitalist such as myself, there very many corporations that have crossed the line as well. I don’t have a clue how idealistic world views such as captilism and small government can be reconciled any longer; everything has become to mingled and muddied. All I know is we have much larger problems in America than gun violence.

  26. On July 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm, NavyFlyer1325 said:

    What a true idiot … she set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is no scientific merit in her “study”. IDIOT, pure and simple. No one should attempt to own a gun without knowing how to use it, and why and when to use it. Just the same goes for owning an automobile, which are much far likelier to kill a citizen of this country, but no one is trying to remove autos from the hands of the public. Her very stupid grandstanding proves nothing, nada, nil, jack carp. STUPID IDIOT WOMAN. The Greeks were correct in associating hysteria with those that have a womb.

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You are currently reading "Ms. Magazine Does Guns – Final Installment", entry #11040 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Guns and was published July 22nd, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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