But Mommy, I’m Scared of Guns!

In the wake of the horrific mass murders in Connecticut last month, the NRA held what it promoted as a ground-breaking press “conference” to offer its contribution to solving gun violence. (I put “conference” in the online equivalent of air quotation marks, because usually a press conference means reporters can ask questions, none of which were taken at this particular event.) Were they finally going to accept some reasonable limitations on automatic weapons? Or perhaps offer ways to strengthen background checks? (Okay, you can stop laughing now, but I’m an eternal optimist and for a few days I thought THIS could be the time when the NRA finally promoted the views of its own members, an overwhelming majority of whom support those types of very reasonable laws.)

As we all know, the press conference was simply an excuse to advocate for MORE guns, since the gun lobby is promoting the ridiculous notion of having armed guards in every school. Logic has never deterred this group, but you’d think someone might have noticed that there WAS an armed guard at Virginia Tech who couldn’t stop that particular mass shooting. Taking the NRA ludicrous logic to its own extreme, the only REAL solution is simply to have everyone armed – so our schools, and our society, will look like some apocalyptic futuristic movie about psychotic vigilantes (or like a particularly dark Monty Python sketch).

So far, the NRA isn’t offering to explain to our kids why they need to see guns in their classrooms, so I’ve taken care of it for them (tongue planted firmly in cheek), with a little ditty”¦


5 replies on “But Mommy, I’m Scared of Guns!”

Adult, female, legal gun owner here with my two cents from the other side. Going to stick with the laws I am familiar with, which means some federal laws and those from the state of MN.

1. Fully automatic weapons are already highly regulated and have been since the 1930s. It is very difficult and very expensive to acquire one of these.

2. If you pull the trigger once and one bullet comes out, it is a semi-automatic gun. These guns make up a large part of our modern hunting rifles and pistols. If you pull the trigger and it keeps firing until it runs out of ammo, it is fully automatic.

3. Buying a gun from a licensed gun dealer requires a background check per federal law. In Minnesota, buying guns at a gun show requires a background check. Selling privately varies from state to state.

4. Please explain how passing legislation to restrict gun ownership is going to make those who use guns for criminal purposes suddenly stop. I’m a little confused as to how restricting those who already follow the laws is going to affect those who ignore the laws in the first place.

That’s all I have for now. If you have any questions, please feel free to reply and I will do my best to answer. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know all the laws, but hopefully we can discuss the facts together.

I don’t want this come to come across as anything but genuine curiosity. I’m not judging or attacking. You’re the first woman gun owner I’ve had the opportunity to ask. So, can I ask you a question? Why do you own a gun?

I firmly believe in the right to (responsibly) bear arms. I understand why hunters would want to own guns, but I am curious about why people who do not use them for hunting would want to own a gun. I would just like to hear your personal opinion if you would care to share it.

Lauren- as always, I so enjoy your talent!

So I’m not lhinelle, but I’m another lady with a gun (a small caliber semi-automatic), so I thought I would contribute some additional perspective. Additionally, I took a Concealed Weapon class that was required for concealed weapon permits in my home state before that requirement disappeared, though I have never carried, concealed or otherwise. The gun I own is the gun I learned to shoot with. I own a gun because I was raised around them, and although I have a strong respect for them, I have had the rules of safety ingrained in me since forever, and I enjoy them. I like target shooting and cleaning my gun; I like learning about them, and I think the mechanisms are fascinating. I also have a gun because my dad gave it to me to use for defense for my 18th birthday. I have never carried a gun for defense, or carried it or had it out of its case for any reason other than shooting it at the range, transporting it to the range, or cleaning it. I actually have a Taser for self defense. (I’m an only child, so I don’t know if that explains the concern over defense, but anyway, for what it’s worth.) I don’t think I need a gun for self defense, and I really don’t think I would be able to use it safely in that situation anyway. I tend to panic when scared.

I’m totally happy to answer any more questions, although it will probably be tomorrow evening. :)

Thanks for your input, Annie. I’m always curious to hear the perspective of people with perspectives that are different than mine. Personally, guns give me the heebie-jeebies, so I could never see myself owning one. Of course, I’ve never been around guns of any kind. Some times I think I should go to a shooting range to learn about handling a gun safely, to ‘demystify’ them.

Hi there! Sorry it’s been so long.

Thanks Annie for the input! Nice to hear from a fellow lady-gun-owner out here on the interwebs :)

tl;dr grew up with guns, SAFETY you guys, for fun and for protecting myself. It’s better to be informed!

I too grew up in a hunting family, and safety was and is a huge concern. It’s fairly analogous to having a kid around any dangerous tool–chainsaw, moving car, power tools, etc.–you teach them how to behave around that object in a way that doesn’t endanger themselves or others.

For guns, there are 4 rules (I learned these in Hunter’s Safety at age 13):
1. Always treat a gun as if it is loaded. This means keep it pointed in a safe directions and keep your finger OFF the trigger. If you can have the chamber open (the part where a casing is ejected after a bullet is shot; not all will stay open by themselves, depends on the model you have) then keep it open so everyone can see your barrel is clear and nothing will go off by accident.

2. Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction. The muzzle is the end of the barrel where the bullet comes out, so pointing it at a person–even if you know it’s not loaded–is both incredibly rude, potentially dangerous, and begging for someone to treat you like the three-year-old you obviously are. Point it at the ground! Point it at the sky! Do NOT point it at anyone or anything you do not intend to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are prepared to shoot. I think this speaks for itself–keep your hand outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to eject a lump of lead at high speed at a target in order to punch a hole in said target. Can be a can, a paper target, a deer, or an axe murderer who broke in at o’dark thirty at night. Same rule applies.

4. Know your target and what is behind it. What are you intending to shoot? Will that object stop your bullet? What happens if you miss? If that deer is on top of a hill, your miss could mean someone’s damaged life or property on the other side. If that deer is on your side of the hill with an acre of dirt behind it, you’re much better off. Another scenario is home defense: using, say, a caliber 30-06 rifle round is great for taking down big game, but it’ll punch through walls and car doors like no one’s business. A small rifle round like .223, buckshot from a shotgun, or a pistol caliber are much better ideas since they are less likely to go through the perp and damage your house or other people’s things outside.

Gah. Sorry, that went longer than I originally intended.

To answer your question, I own a few guns and they are mostly for recreation. I have two rifles which I shoot for the fun of putting holes in targets at range and for the possibility of deer hunting, one black powder rifle which is both fun, pretty, and historical, and a handgun which is for both paper targets and two-legged predators if things go bump in the night. Am I afraid of criminals? Heck no! I train to make sure I know where to reach and what to do so that when the adrenaline dump hits it’s not my body that falls lifeless to the floor. I’m not trying to sound savage or anything, to me it’s just practical. I like living! and I don’t ever want to worry about what happens if I’m in a bad neighborhood–I know I can take care of myself no matter how many of “them” there may be or what a six-foot-plus guy built like the Hulk thinks he wants to do with me.
That said, I don’t yet have my carry permit, but I think I’m ready to get one soon.

This is not a decision I made quickly–it’s taken years of consideration. And there is a lot for me to learn yet, I’m no expert at all.

Hurray! I always think it’s better to be informed :) And knowing about a gun does help you understand how they work and dispels lots of myths about what one can and cannot do with them.

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