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The Continuing Saga of “Living with the Gun”

When Heidi Yewman first published her highly controversial piece in Ms. Magazine, I thought she was a bit irresponsible with how she approached the topic of gun ownership. After reading her continuing drama, now published by the Daily Beast, I believe she lacks the moral clarity, level headedness, and common sense required of someone being a gun owner. On this we agree. Where we disagree is that the government’s job is to enforce responsibility, and that training can fix the problem for someone like her. Training will not help Heidi Yewman; she quite simply lacks the emotional makeup necessary for gun ownership. Perhaps that is her point, but her real problem is not something the government can successfully evaluate, and she should really stop projecting her own inadequacies onto other people. I thought a bit how to deal with her article, but a good old fashioned fisking is about all I can come up with.

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.

If you’re a forgetful person, off body carry is not the correct option for you, and this is why. Also, your 15 year old son is old enough to be trained in responsible gun handling. If he had proper training, if he managed to find your Glock in your purse, it would be no danger to him. If you have small children, or unruly children, you quite simply need to learn to be more responsible, and perhaps consider a different carry option.

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

No, it’s not. This is based on a study that has been long discredited as junk science.

 I lie awake thinking: “Is someone breaking in? How fast can I get to the gun? Will they hear me? How much time do I have before they get to my bedroom? What if they go to my son’s room first? Will I shoot them in the face or heart or stomach?” And then I think: “How in the world would I live with myself knowing I took a life?”

I generally encourage anyone buying a firearm for self-defense to give serious thought as to whether they are capable of killing another in self-defense. Not everyone has the emotional makeup to do it. It is a serious question, and I don’t blame her for giving it thought. But nonetheless, she seems awfully fearful. As her article continues, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that her fearfulness rises to the point she ought to consider counseling.

For example, do I tell my 15-year old where the gun is so he can help if someone breaks into our house? My husband travels a lot, so often it’s just the teen and me.

That depends a lot on the teen, your relationship with him, and whether he’s been properly trained in safe and responsible gun handling, as is your moral duty as a gun owning parent to teach him.

A few years ago, a friend of mine’s 16-year-old son was given the combination to their gun safe so he could help protect his family. The very next day, after being cut from his basketball team, he opened the safe, went to the back yard, and killed himself with that gun.

Do you think your son is suicidal? If he is, why aren’t you getting him help? And yes, if he is suicidal, or your relationship with your son has issues, then no, he should not have access to the firearm.

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.

This would land you in jail, and rightfully so. The solution to this, if you’re concerned about a strange man in your house with you alone, is to use on-body carry with the firearm concealed and in a holster. Pointing a gun at someone not attacking you is morally wrong and illegal, but you know that, of course.

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.

If you were carrying concealed on-body, you’d have an element of surprise on your part as well. Learn how to draw and fire from concealment safely and properly. It’s not rocket science here. If you’re suspicious and fearful of people, this is something you really ought to seek help with, as it amounts to an unhealthy phobia.

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.

I would strongly advise you to not take self-defense advice from Oprah Winfrey. I’m pretty certain she is not a subject matter expert. Also, if anyone came to me an recounted this experience to me I would advise them to immediately stop carrying a firearm in public, and rethink whether they had the emotional and psychological makeup to continue the practice. This isn’t something training can fix. This is an emotional problem that you need psychological counseling to overcome. This is not an issue with carrying the gun.

Already, I’d been to the grocery store, church, the bank (yes, in a bank!), business meetings, restaurants, Starbucks, and even yoga.

Were you planning to rob the bank? If not, then what’s the problem? You’re not a bank robber, are you? Did you even think about robbing the bank?

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.

I can’t even begin to tell you how utterly irresponsible this is. You are not the kind of person who should be carrying a firearm in public. This is a situation where the gun is best left in a locked vehicle or at home. Though, I’ve managed to keep a firearm safely concealed while playing tennis, just wearing some shorts and an untucked t-shirt.

The worst part was running into friends as I ran errands. I’m a hugger, and I learned very quickly that hugging is not a good idea when wearing a weapon. I stuck my hip out awkwardly to avoid detection.

This part makes me skeptical she was actually carrying. How do people hug you? I’ve never had this problem, expect when children hug me who can only reach up to my waist (the only time I’ve ever been made is by children, actually). But then again, most new carriers are very awkward, and believe that other people can see or detect the gun when they really can’t.

couldn’t go into Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and I had to leave the gun in the car when I spoke at a community college about gun violence, which was ironic, because 89 of the 90 crimes reported there last year were car break-ins. About half a million guns are stolen every year, putting them directly into the hands of criminals. I should have just left it at home.

And maybe the solution is not creating situations where people have to leave a gun in their car. In Pennsylvania, because we have so few restrictions on places you can carry, I very rarely find myself in a situation such as this.

I thought the gun would make me feel more powerful, more confident, and less fearful. I was wrong. All I felt was fear. Physically taking the gun out of the safe and putting it in a holster on my hip literally reminded me that I was going out into a big bad scary unsafe world. There were days when I put the gun back in the safe and stayed home because it simply took too much energy to be scared. It was easier to be at home without the worry and responsibility of being “the good guy with the gun.”

You feel frightened because you have emotional issues. It may be that the gun exaccerbates the issue, but you probably assume most of us who carry also feel this way. We do not. You would need professional counseling to get over your phobias if you were really interested in carrying a firearm for personal protection. I would advise counseling if you were actually serious, before continuing with carry for personal protection.

The man in the stairwell probably doesn’t remember walking down those stairs. I will never forget it. The surge of adrenaline and fear made an imprint on my psyche. If I’d confronted him with the gun, would he have fought or fled? Either way, one of us might be dead or seriously injured.

If he had drawn his own gun and shot you dead, he would have been justified in the eyes of the law. If you had shot him, you’d have been indicted for murder. Why? Because you would have been the attacker.

She later went and turned in the gun to an artist who will turn it into a sculpture. This was the smartest thing she did during the whole series, because she is psychologically unfit to carry a firearm. But that was her point, wasn’t it? Because she knows she’s unfit. Her implication, and fallacy, is that you and I are likewise unfit. This is a classic case of projecting your own inadequacies onto others.

One of the fundamental differences between us and the gun control advocates is that we generally trust that ordinary people will, much more often than not, do the right thing. Even Heidi Yewman, as someone who is not generally criminally irresponsible, knows what she’s doing is wrong and irresponsible. She committed those wrongs to make a point. She believes the government needs to step in and restrict everyone. She would put the decision in the hands of a bureaucrat, because she assumes you and I, and most everyone else, are unable to make that call.

It’s clear that concealed carry permit holders, even in states that require no training, are extremely law abiding compared to the general population. Most people do not possess her fear of others. Heidi Yewman is writing a prescription for a disease that doesn’t exist anywhere except her own mind. That’s something she has to personally wrestle with, but in doing so, it would be nice if she left the rest of us out of it.

67 Responses to “The Continuing Saga of “Living with the Gun””

  1. Phil Wong says:

    This is an outstanding essay on the individual and societal benefits of keeping and bearing arms, and makes an excellent filter for, and response to, Heidi Ye woman’s blathering drivel:

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/guns/gun-ethics.html

  2. Matthew Carberry says:

    Most car break-ins, particularly in university parking lots, are simple smash and grabs using handy rocks and such. The window is broken, door opened and under the seats, in the console, and the glove box are rifled. The thief is in and out in about a minute. If they have “tools” it will usually be a large screwdriver for forcing the convenience locks on the console and glove box. Thieves know all the hiding places as well or better than you so merely hiding the gun is asinine.

    So, if the weapon is required to be off your body locked in your car, buy a lock box designed for gun storage that secures to the car and 99% of break-ins, even those with a large screwdriver, won’t result in them getting your gun. They simply won’t have the time or appropriate tools to defeat your lock box in the time they have available for the burglary itself.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      Yes — I have a lock box that’s cabled to the passenger seat in my car. I had that before I had my CCW, because I knew it would be an issue.

      She’s a person who wants to live as if there’s no danger anywhere, anytime. She’s free to do that — I certainly wish I could! — but her fantasies shouldn’t be imposed on the rest of us.

      • Matthew Carberry says:

        The lack of forethought in some people continues to amaze and astound me. It takes a few idle minutes to think out a few “what ifs” and either come up with solutions or go looking for them: it takes a few minutes more to put your solution in place. Once you have a plan and have taken action you don’t have to worry or be fearful about that thing again and can simply enjoy your life.

        Her response and the response of so many others is to play ostrich rather than exert the minimal amount of intellectual and physical effort required to act.

        So they live in denial until reality forces them to feel easily avoidable fear.

        I don’t understand the mindset that would make that choice.

  3. TS says:

    Guns are useless against someone behind you, because when you draw your gun out of the holster it’s pointing forward. [palm, face]

    Does she always have this anxiety whenever a man walks behind her down the stairs, or only when she is carrying a gun?

  4. Jacob says:

    Yep.

  5. Bill says:

    Sebastian, You are way too nice in your frisking. Based on her thoughts about owning and carrying a gun, I can only wonder what her driving habits and conduct are like.

  6. Jack says:

    But by projecting her fears and irresponsibilities on the rest of us, she makes herself feel less inadiquate. “Oh I’m not alone, everyone is like this.”

    And by demenading the goverment come in and “solve” this problem, she doesn’t have to chagne her behaviour or worry that she need to fix herself.

    See her problem isn’t *her* problem. And it’s not *her* responsibility to deal with it.

  7. Bubblehead Les says:

    Someone who worries THAT much about an Inanimate Object should just Keep It Simple, admit she’s a Coward who lives her Life in Terror, and sell it off.

    At BEST, MAYBE a Shotgun locked into some Brackets (we’ve all see the products that are available) placed in her Master Bedroom would be her level of Comfort, but I doubt even that would help in HER case.

    But SHE is why Adults who buy into the Nanny State probably will never be on our side. Just TOO much Programming in her Brain.

  8. dustydog says:

    I’d like to see a receipt posted for the gun, safe, and holster. Until then, I think the whole article was just a thought experiment.

    • Sebastian says:

      If I were her editor for all these I think I’d want some proof too. In truth, I am skeptical and think you may be right, but for purposes of argument, I decided to give her the benefit of doubt that all she says is true.

      • Zermoid says:

        “I decided to give her the benefit of doubt that all she says is true.”

        You mean that you believe she really is a moron with serious mental problems that probably shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets on her own recognizance?

        • Sebastian says:

          I don’t think she is a moron. I think if her story is all true, she has some emotional problems that make her the kind of person that’s unsuitable for gun ownership. If she were serious about it, she’d need some therapy. Her problem is she thinks everyone else isn’t self-aware enough to make the right decisions. There are a lot of people out there like her, and most of them are not the type of people who are going to choose to be armed.

  9. PubliusII says:

    Agree with your point that Heidi Yewman continually projects her own insecurities onto others, and then demands Big Wise Government to step in and take away her psychic distress.

    I think she’s genuine all right. The series has been useful because it has given us a good look at the immaturity and lack of emotional self-control by many on the left. They must think everybody is as loopy as they are.

    My hunch is that it comes from the permanent-adolescent style that seems to be the hallmark of the left. These folks refuse to grow up and become adults in the full sense of the word. They can conceive and rear children, but they never act as grownups.

  10. Joel C says:

    The “43 times more likely” has indeed been thoroughly debunked, but my favorite has always been the 22 times more likely to be taken and used against me by a mugger.

    Last time I heard it live was years ago from a young ex cop I was in training with. “Hot dog!” I said, “so all I have to do is leave my gun in my holster and take his away? 22 to 1 odds of success?”

    “Uh, no.”

    “So where is this super ninja/jedi school all the thugs in the world go to then?”

    He shut up about it after that. No scientific debunking necessary.

    • J says:

      It’s a mistake to think of all goblins as inept crackheads but I am often astounded at the superhuman capabilities ascribed to the run of the mill criminal.

  11. GBW says:

    And yet with all those problems she didn’t shoot anyone or have a negligent discharge. She still manages to prove how little the laws in her state increase gun related risks.

  12. Windy Wilson says:

    If she were to write this series of articles about her purchase and possession of another object that is considered a deadly weapon by the courts, i.e. an automobile, we would all (including the anti-self-defense mob) recognize her problems to be completely within herself. Because it is a pistol, misused by criminals practically everywhere, her essays are thought by her publisher to reflect on some greater universal truth about the population at large.
    “How in the world would I live with myself knowing I took a life?”
    Well, it might be hard, but if it were genuinely a self-defense situation, and not one where she kept her carpet layer covered while he tried to work, she could take solace in the knowledge that it was her attacker who kicked the lid off, and if it comes down to who should go home safely, society favors the non-mugger.
    “Were you planning to rob the bank? If not, then what’s the problem? You’re not a bank robber, are you? Did you even think about robbing the bank?”
    I am reminded of Chris Muir’s comment in “Day by Day”, where Zed asks if the pistol has showed signs of being possessed by an intelligent being. This woman is not one.

    Bubblehead, your remark reminds me of the “I am a coward, Doctor” scene from the 1939 “Four Feathers.” Just as a coward has no business leading men into battle, she as a coward has no business holding the means of delivering death to others.

  13. Three thoughts.

    First: Why CCW when repair people come to the house? I often open carry around the house. I’m nice to the repair/delivery people and tip them generously. It has never been a problem. Many of them talk about owning and carrying guns too. Turns out it is tough dangerous work delivering pizzas in some towns.

    Second: The author sounds like she had a rough awakening from condition white to condition yellow. For the first time in her life it seems that she thought about the potential hazards involved with letting a strange man get too close in a deserted parking garage after dark while walking alone.

    She should be thankful that she realized the world can be a dangerous place BEFORE she got mugged or raped. Most people seem to need to have a Significant Emotional Experience involving personal harm before they figure that out.

    I’m not saying that you draw down on every stranger in a garage; I’m just saying that there are some situations that SHOULD kick you up from “yellow” to “orange” and a stranger approaching me in a garage at night might be enough to do so. It is a rough awakening for those living in a fantasy world of unicorns and rainbows.

    Third: I have doubts about whether the whole thing actually happened.

    • Sebastian says:

      I don’t believe open carry is tactically sound, and often times if they are not going to be in the area I keep the guns (the safe is a dead giveaway), I don’t want them knowing there are guns in the house.

      • PubliusII says:

        Wise move. Once information like that gets out, you have no control over who learns about the guns in your house.

    • Amos says:

      Yeah, and I have real doubts about her story regarding the friends who had a kid who got the combination of the gun safe and killed himself the very next day. Seems rather convenient. ‘Seriously guys it happened to some friends of mine’. Uh-huh. Sure.

  14. CarlosT says:

    Maybe she’ll do a series at some point where she spends 30 seconds living with a clue.

  15. Jon says:

    The whole point of the article was to demonstrate that someone who should not have a gun (herself) was able to get one. Unfortunately she made her point when gun supporters commented in droves telling her she should not have a gun or she should get training. She can now point at all those responses and say “Look, even gun supporters think there should be restrictions on who has guns!” or “Even gun supporters think everyone who owns a gun should get training!” The whole thing was a setup and the pro-gun crowd fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    • Matthew Carberry says:

      Nope.

      The responses are uniformly that while she should have the choice to own and carry a gun or not, she in particular has demonstrated that she in particular appears to not be suited to own and carry a gun due to her own particular choices and mentality which have zero bearing on the freedom of others to choose differently. Saying she should not have actively avoided training, and that training is a good thing, and that it is readily available to any who seek it is in no rational way support for government defined and mandated training.

      Indeed, the fact that she actively chose to do everything wrong she possibly could, even to the point of negligence, and yet none of the “what ifs” the anti-rights crowd present as inevitable occurred -bolsters- the pro-rights position that the person who chooses to own and carry a gun for the purpose of defense, who will have a modicum of motivation to, say, at least read the damn manual, unlike this ninny, will also not inevitably become an anti-rights “what if”.

    • TMLutas says:

      Those sorts of comments are what is known to normal people as a self-policing group enforcing community standards for responsible behavior. It’s considered the best option for any regulatory issue because the costs of enforcing it are very low and it has a high effectiveness outcome.

      If there hadn’t been a large number of people coming forward to suggest training or counseling, I would worry.

    • Amos says:

      Yeah maybe I should go out and rape some people to make the point that society is insufficiently prepared to thwart rapists like me. Or commit suicide off the Golden Gate bridge to highlight the need for a better guard rail. Lefty logic: ‘Society is full of idiots like us! It needs to be controlled by an all-powerful government! Run by us!’

  16. ric says:

    Classic liberal projection. This is what the gun grabbers think!! That a traffic altercation will lead to a shoot out because THAT IS WHAT THEY WOULD DO.

    It applies to how they think daily. That is why the libs see racism everywhere because THEY SEE RACISM EVERYWHERE!!!

    I truly believe that liberalism should be a diagnosis….of mental illness.

  17. DensityDuck says:

    You know all those stories about women who filed sexual harrassment complaits and got people fired because they didn’t understand that a comment or remark wasn’t actually derogatory?

    The person in this story is that sort of woman. She has been taught by well-meaning fools that the world is out to harm her, that every random act has evil motives behind it, that she is always *always* being exploited or threatened or hurt.

  18. Yrral Dleifsarb says:

    Ms. Yewman is doing what Libs cannot resist doing: Making up or cherry-picking “facts” to support a pre-ordained conclusion. Whether she is lying about her reported experiences, or has generated them to support her series of articles is irrelevant. If she whas the moral, thoughtful, intelligent person Libs love to deem themselves, she would have realized early in this sequence of “experiences” that she should take her responsibility more seriously. If she is not outright lying, she has done what Libs do, which is to put their cause first, sacrificing the ethics more obvious to those who do not suffer from the Lib thinking viruus.

    In addition to her exhibition of gross irresponsibility, she is preening as Libs are prone to do. It’s really a disgusting display.

    • Weisshaupt says:

      I am quite sure if her negligence had produced an injury or death should would have been ecstatic. What is a child’s life to a liberal ( they advocate murdering them even after they are born!) compared to the the achievement of a social utopia. After all, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet

  19. Thnj says:

    What a pathetic attempt to smear all gun owners as weak minded and needing government to show their errors in judgement. Sorry to see that her son is suicidal but easy to understand. Thank God she got rid of the gun, although had her son found it and killed himself she could have used it to move her agenda. Missed opportunity.

  20. theBuckWheat says:

    Liberals are liberals because of the way in which they relate to reality. Part of that relationship is to presume that everyone else thinks like they do, and suffers from the same failings and cannot control their internal rage and fears in just exactly the same way.

  21. Lilac Sunday says:

    Before I became a gun owner, I took a couple of NRA courses. One of the questions Ms. Yewman asked in her article, whether she could actually kill someone, is a question that our NRA instructor had us consider and discuss during class.

    I am a responsible female gun owner, and I think Ms. Yewman’s article just makes women look silly.

  22. Synova says:

    My son has taken a firearms safety course. When I got my pistol I made a point to let him know where it is kept or if I have moved it and where the ammo is. I make sure my husband also knows where to find the pistol and ammo. I plan to take my daughter shooting. Once I have, if she enjoys it, I’ll give her this information as well and sign her up for the safety course.

    I would never expect any of my children… the 16 year old or the 22 year old, to use a pistol for self-defense without training so telling them where to find it if “someone breaks in” would be pointless and even dangerous.

  23. Synova says:

    The compulsive going over of scenarios in her head sounds like what my karate instructor called “green belt nightmares”… it’s common at that point to imagine defending yourself and what you’d do. In my mind I played out car jackings and no end to other ridiculous scenarios. I even planned for how my hands would be broken during… Then you get over it. (When you get your brown belt you start planning your own dojo… you get over that, too.)

    Anyhow… I personally am not fond of purse-carry because purses are not attached to you. If/when I have to decide on carry options I might still use that, but only as a last resort. Other people feel differently, and I figure they know what they’d feel comfortable using.

    Which is what it comes down to in the end.

    This lady seems to have decided that she’d make a point by doing all of those things that she did not feel comfortable doing and wouldn’t have done. Which proves nothing at all.

  24. Arizona CJ says:

    For a lot of reasons, I am not competent to have pets. I travel overseas a lot (often at short notice), I live in a remote area where, if a dog or cat got out, it would probably be killed (mountain lions, coyotes, etc, are very common here). I’m also not a good nurturing person – I don’t have the patience for it. I have more reasons but you get the idea; I love pets, but I’m just not cut out for being a pet owner (and for much the same reasons, I’d make a truly lousy parent).

    The huge difference between me and Heidi is that I am not calling for depriving everyone of pets and kids just because I’m not personally competent to have them.

    • Sebastian says:

      Presumably you also wouldn’t go buy one and mistreat it in order to make your point that it’s possible to obtain a pet without having to demonstrate you’re responsible ahead of time.

  25. Steve Skubinna says:

    Her son probably has no idea how close he came to being a statistic. When I read the first installment I wondered if Ms. Yewman would shoot him just to prove the validity of the “45% more likely” claim. The other scenario I imagined her enacting was the mush vaunted shootout over a parking spot, which the Brady Bunch always -ALWAYS!!!! – trots out whenever a state relaxes carry laws.

    I wonder why statists such as she hold their fellow citizens in such contempt yet seem to believe that a bureaucrat would ipso facto be a paragon of rectitude and judgement.

    • Sebastian says:

      The bureaucrat’s default will be to deny you your right, because that’s safest for the bureaucrat. That would be just fine by folks like Heidi Yewman.

    • Henry Bowman says:

      “I wonder why statists such as she hold their fellow citizens in such contempt yet seem to believe that a bureaucrat would ipso facto be a paragon of rectitude and judgement.”

      Royalty was like dandelions. No matter how many heads you chopped off, the roots were still there underground, waiting to spring up again… It was as if even the most intelligent person had this little blank spot in their heads where someone had written, “Kings. What a good idea.” Whoever had created humanity had left in a major design flaw. It was its tendency to bend at the knees.
      –TERRY PRATCHETT

      The answer to your question is: because some people are natural born slaves. It’s not a politically correct truth, but there’s no getting around it. Some people actively arrange their lives to be free of the burden of making any decisions for themselves. There has never been any shortage of natural submissives at sex clubs. Give a hundred random people on the street some choice that involves more personal freedom and responsibility, or more obedience and illusory security, and be disgusted at how many choose the latter.

      “Peter I. Kallander, a pilot who has a private airstrip in [Southborough] and is a member of the committee, said he tries not to bother his neighbors. ‘I’d like to create a climate where neighbors control what I do,’ Kallander said…”
      –WORCESTER TELEGRAM & GAZETTE

      You can’t force people to be more responsible for their own lives. All you can do is not subsidize the consequences.

      • Kirk Parker says:

        Re the Pratchett quote: responsibility is such hard work.

      • Weisshaupt says:

        “If a man cannot be trusted with the government of himself, how can he be trusted with the government of others?” -Thomas Jefferson.

  26. Joe Doakes says:

    She could do the same article, this time with a chainsaw. Purchase without training. Nuisance to lug around. Raises friends’ eyebrows. Risk to children if left in the kitchen. Far more likely to hurt herself or others than actually drop a tree. 30,000 injuries per year, 500x more likely to injure self cutting down the tallest tree in the forest with chainsaw than with herring. So what, government intervention? Or just don’t buy one if you can’t put up with the hassle. Silly.

    • Weisshaupt says:

      Once I was on a plane next to a Boston Gun Hater. She told me she was afraid to be around police with their guns holstered- convinced they might go off. I asked her if she was also afraid of chainsaws. She said no- and I told her that you were far more likely to hurt yourself or others using one of those than with a gun. To help my point,the guy in the row ahead of us, raised up his arm, showed us a deep, .5 inch wide scar running from his wrist to his elbow and said “chainsaw”
      Of course, the liberal remained unfazed. Facts don’t matter, and thew world really does become a safe place if you don’t acknowledge the danger by carrying a weapon.

  27. richard40 says:

    So what this Heidi Yewman is saying is I am a mentally and emotionally crippled leftist, who is completely unsuited to owning a gun, and I would not benefit from owning a gun if I did. But because I am a leftist, I also believe that what is unsuitable for me personally must also be unsuitable for everybody else as well, and I have the right to dictate that choice for them.
    Good article, you nailed this idiot leftist completely.

    • Kirk Parker says:

      … also believe that what is unsuitable for me personally must also be unsuitable for everybody else as well, and I have the right to dictate that choice for them and have men armed with guns force you to accept that dictat

      FIFY.

      • Weisshaupt says:

        Yeah, Leftist never advocate disarming the govt. The thugs they can order about should always have guns, and that gives them plausible deniability – after all it wasn’t THEM who busted into a house without a warrant. They just voted for it to happen. Just a raindrop in the flood. They bear no Personal responsibility – which really is the ultimate purpose of liberalism. She even admits it- the personal responsibility of being the “good guy with the gun” being far to great for her to bear.

  28. Paul says:

    I think it was Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit who said that a rich conservative needs to buy a major women’s magazine and this article is why. The point of this series of articles is that “guns are dangerous and scary and women should not have them” which is nonsense on stilts.

  29. fisker again says:

    I think this lady seems more like a polemicist than a diarist. Someone should Fisk that story about her mother’s sister’s husband’s brother who had a son who committed suicide “the very next day” after getting the combination to the gun safe.

  30. theBuckWheat says:

    An Analysis of the Arrest Rate of Texas Concealed Handgun License Holders as Compared to the Arrest Rate of the Entire Texas Population,” William E. Sturdevant, September 1, 2000; Florida Department of Justice statistics, 1998; Florida Department of State,

    http://concealedguns.procon.org/sourcefiles/sturdevant.pdf

    From page 23 of the report:

    6.3.3.1 Males
    The average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 7.9 times more likely to be arrested for the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and assault than the average male CHL holder. The
    average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 20 times more likely to be arrested for committing a non-violent crime than the average male CHL holder.

    Looking at violent crimes individually, the average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 1.9 times (rate of 9.0 v. 4.8) more likely to be arrested for murder; 68 times (rate of 25 v. 0.4) more likely to be arrested for rape; 49 times (rate of 45 v. 0.9) more likely to be arrested for robbery; 3.2 times (rate of 207 v. 64) more likely to be arrested for aggravated assault; and 11 times (rate of 914 v. 82) more likely to be arrested for other assaults than the average male CHL holder.

    No male Texas CHL holder was arrested for negligent manslaughter during the 1996 through 1999 period.

    6.3.3.2 Females
    The average female Texan who is 21 years or older is 7.5 times more likely to be arrested for the violent crimes of murder and assault than the average female CHL holder. The average female
    Texan who is 21 years or older is 16 times more likely to be arrested for committing a nonviolent crime than the average female CHL holder.

    Looking at violent crimes individually, the average female Texan who is 21 years or older is 1.7 times (rate of 1.3 v. 0.7) more likely to be arrested for murder; 2.2 times (rate of 48 v. 22) more likely to be arrested for aggravated assault; and 20 times (rate of 180 v. 9) more likely to be arrested for other assaults than the average female CHL holder.

    No female Texas CHL holder has arrested for negligent manslaughter, rape, or robbery during the 1996 through 1999 period.


    7 CONCLUSIONS:

    7.1.1 Arrest data for Texas CHL holders indicate that violent crime is not a consequence of handgun ownership or possession.

    7.1.2 The total population of Texas has an arrest rate for violent crime that is 5.3 times higher than Texas CHL holders, based upon data from 1996 – 1999.

    7.2.1 Arrest data for Texas CHL holders indicate that murder and non-negligent manslaughter is not a consequence of handgun ownership or possession….


    7.5.2 The total population of Texas has an arrest rate for robbery that is 48 times higher than Texas CHL holders, based upon data from 1996 – 1999.


    7.9.1 Less than two percent (1.9%) of the arrests of CHL holders for violent crimes that possibly involve weapons (murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault) were
    classified as “family violence” crimes.


    7.10.2 The total population of Texas has an arrest rate for non-violent crime that is 14 times higher than Texas CHL holders, based upon data from 1996 – 1999.

    from:
    Concealed Weapons/Firearms License Statistical Report,” 1998; Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Census Bureau, reported in San Antonio Express-News, September 2000; Texas Department of Corrections data, 1996-2000, compiled by the Texas State Rifle Association

  31. theBuckWheat says:

    The rate that concealed carry permit holders are now losing their permits for gun related violations:

    Between, October 1, 1987, and November 30, 2008, Florida issued permits to 1,439,446 people, many of whom have had their permits renewed multiple times. Only 166 had their permits revoked for any type of firearms related violation – about 0.01 percent. I was just looking up the new numbers. Updating those numbers to January 31, 2010, Florida has now issued permits to 1,704,624 people. The number who have had their permits revoked has risen to just 167. In 14 months, just one person with a Florida permit has lost his permit for a fire arms related violation. There are currently 692,621 valid permits. That is a revocation rate of 0.00014 percent.

    http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/2010/02/rate-that-concealed-carry-permit.html

  32. Thucydides says:

    The reactions she is reporting seem so far off the scale that there is a very good chance that she never purchased or carried a firearm at all, and is simply making this all up.

    Either that or she is emotionally crippled or has psychiatric disorders (besides being a progressive) that should have her confined to a care facility.

    I’ll go for number one and say this is a badly done hoax, and people in the real world should be asking MS Magazine and The Daily Beast why they are carrying and promoting a hoaxer. Maybe we should also ask their advertisers why they are supporting the delivery of this hoax?

  33. Mark says:

    “I shot him as much as I could.”

    The crying woman told a 911 operator she “shot him as much as I could” and moments later police found her would-be attacker dead in the back yard of her Gwinnett County home.

    The woman was getting out of the shower when 34-year-old Israel Perez Puentes, armed with a knife, dragged her to the bedroom where he planned to rape her, police said. Her fear was evident in the recording of her call for help – obtained by AM 750 and now 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

    “I was in the shower and the lights cut out in my house,” the sobbing woman said moments after she shot and killed Puentes on May 11.“This man came at me with a hood on. And he had a knife in his hand.”

    He forced her into her bedroom, she later told police, and that is where she retrieved her gun.

    “I shot him as much as I could,” said the woman. “I shot him with a .22 but he just kept running.

    “He was going to rape me, kill me.

    http://tinyurl.com/lz38m5r

  34. damion blackthorn says:

    It’s obvious the Heidi is not mentally equipped to be a safe gun owner. Her fearfulness reflects her serious lack of understanding of herself, even her son.
    If she considers everyone to be as incapable as herself, then she’s just a typical liberal. One who thinks that some faceless beaurecrat can make her life decisions, better than herself.
    She’s truly a danger to those around her and yet, she decided to continue to make wrong decisions to make her point….I guess that typical backwards thinking of a liberal….
    But, even though she’s rather nuts…her gun has not killed anyone…amazing isn’t it?

  35. NRA Instructor says:

    I am a NRA Certified Instructor and a Utah Certified Concealed Firearm Instructor. I intend to make this essay (and the articles that engendered it) mandatory reading for all of my students. As the essay states Heidi Yewman has no business owning much less carrying a firearm. Were I to have a student like her in my class I would immediately as her to leave.

    Yewman’s problem is not that she couldn’t be a responsible gun owner. Just about everyone with a desire to learn and to be a responsible gun owner can be taught the skills, attitude and knowledge to make them good gun owners and carriers. Yewman’s problem is that she doesn’t want to be one. She would rather be an irresponsible gun owner in order to make a point. There is nothing that anyone can do for her. So, as for her point that she shouldn’t be carrying a firearm I can only say that I wholeheartedly agree. Don’t come to any of my classes with that kind of attitude.

  36. Sherri says:

    From Heidi’s article: “Over 30 days, I followed four rules: carry it with me at all times; follow the laws of my state; only do what is minimally required for permits, licensing, purchasing, and carrying; and finally be prepared to use it for protecting myself at home or in public.”

    Heidi didn’t follow those four rules: she failed utterly in preparing herself to use a gun to protect herself, as she acknowledges.

    She failed to learn how to safely use her gun (Did she ever actually fire it?); to practice with it at the range; to perfect her draw; to learn about the legal implications of self defense; and on and on.

    Further, she was negligent when she left her gun unsecured in the presence of her son and the children of her acquaintances on multiple occasions. Are those acquaintances outraged? They should be. Were I to learn that an acquaintance of mine had behaved in such a manner, they would be shunned, cut from our circle.

    Shame on you, Heidi. You’re lucky you weren’t visited with a tragedy.

  37. Anna Keppa says:

    I linked to the claim that about a half-million handguns are stolen each year, and found only a vague reference to “surveys”.

    Anyone got actual surveys and results?

    Are almost 1400 handguns stolen in America each day of the year???

  38. submandave says:

    This “experiment” makes as much sense as someone opposed to Demon Rum ™ to decide to drink alcohol with every meal to see what life is like as a drinker. It is reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous, and has only tangential relevance to how people actually do drink responsibly.

    • Sebastian says:

      There’s a lot of European cultures that drink with every meal without it descending to alcoholism. A more apt analogy would be spending a month in a bar doing nothing but drinking to prove that ordinary people are too irresponsible to have easy access to alcohol.

  39. PJ says:

    Good article. She is an idiot.

    However the bit about hugging is correct. It’s all too easy to figure out someone is armed that way. When I have carried, going to my mom’s house, I always hug with my right arm down and left arm up so I, not she, is covering the gun on my right hip. It must have taken me all of 10 seconds to figure that strategy out.

    Did I say she is an idiot?

  40. Joe says:

    I was reading with great interest and actually learning here. Then I came to Sebastian’s comment about carrying openly being not tactically sound. Those two words tell me he makes his money as a permit instructor. Every study, every interview of a criminal being asked who they target without hesitation say unarmed people. Carrying openly shows clearly to any criminal I’m armed rather than being unarmed and a potential target. Unlike every instructor I have heard that decries open carry, I have no desire to unholster and shoot someone. That does not mean I am not prepared to do so, it simply means I don’t want too. The worst thing I have heard, worse than any thing from the anti self defense people, is “just let someone try and mug me. I carry concealed and will shoot them before they know what hit them”. To me, that screams vigilantism. Not pro self defense. Just as the left misquotes or make up anti gun facts, so has every one I have heard blast open carry. I have not seen one credible source say it makes you(me) a target. To the contrary, in the last TEN years of open carry, my experiences tell me I’ve been safer. I’ve even had numerous LEOs tell me they wished everyone carried.

    • Matthew Carberry says:

      Way to overreact.

      First off, “unsound” is an opinion based on an individuals evaluation of risk. You can disagree with that evaluation based on your own opinion but that doesn’t make either opinion right or wrong.

      Here is an incontrovertible fact. A person known to be in possession of something of value can be specifically targeted for theft of that thing, conversely, a person not known to be in possession cannot. The can be targeted for theft, but it will be random, not specific and the thief cannot -know- the totality of what is available for theft.

      As an example, the Boston bombers specifically targeted a policeman to gain the things of value, firearms, they -knew- he would have. His OC made him a target yet did not protect him. Conversely, they did not kill any number of people who they encountered but could not -know- would have a firearm to steal.

      That is an extreme example, but puts the lie to people “not being targeted due to OC.”

      To address the other angle, that -most- criminals wisely choose to avoid victims known to be armed, that is true, but not universal. It in no way constitutes a refutation of tbe very reasonable observation that, if a criminal willing to do violence is determined to achieve a goal, even if potential threats are present, it is equally wise for that criminal to use surprise to eliminate the most visible threat first. That’s just good tactics on his part. As I first noted, a CC-er may end up being first shot, but it will be essentially random or for other factors, not because they are the obvious threat. That’s just logic.

      Since both CC and OC are still so uncommon that the likelihood of either type of carrier being present at a crimescene, it is not rationally supportable by actual evidence to claim that my two risk assessments are invalid. Certainly not to justify disparaging the people who note them as having an actual agenda against OC.

    • Bitter says:

      Those two words tell me he makes his money as a permit instructor.

      Where’s your evidence for that? Besides the fact that he makes no money training people, is not formally certified to train people, and lives in a state with no mandatory training requirement…

      Do your research before throwing around baseless accusations just because you don’t 100% agree with what he says. Feel free to challenge his position, but deliberately lying about him as a person just to try and prove your point when you know that you have zero evidence to back up your claim is not okay by me.

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