“Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns. When I Get A Question About Guns, What Should I Do?”

Bullets, shmullets, what’s the difference?

“Ask Amy,” authored by Amy Dickinson, is one of the mid-level practitioners of the syndicated advice columnist’s craft—not consistently brilliant like Carolyn Hax, not as persistently wrong-headed as the now mercifully retired Emily Yoffe at Slate.

A recent letter to Amy read,

Dear Amy: This week, I discovered that my intelligent, hard-working, responsible 24-year-old daughter (who lives with me) is a gun owner! And it’s not a normal gun, either — it is a 40-caliber semi-automatic, and she has hollow-point bullets to go with it. Amy, this is the kind of weapon a criminal would possess! She says it is for emergencies. There have only been two home invasions in our neighborhood in the last 11 years. I’ve given her three choices: She can either give her weapon to me, sell it or move out in three weeks. I love my daughter and would be so sad for her to move into a place that she would hardly be able to afford, but now I have to lock my bedroom door at night because I don’t know what she’s going to do. Now she says that I don’t trust her, and is barely speaking to me. How can I convince her to stop endangering us?—Dumbfounded Father

Let’s make a couple of observations right away.

  • The father has every right to refuse to let the daughter keep a gun in his house; she is his guest. Nor was it respectful, fair or honest for her to bring a gun into the house without telling her host. I don’t know what the writer thinks is a “normal gun,” but a 40-caliber semi-automatic is certainly one in this day and age.

The writer is apparently frightened by the scary “semi-automatic” part, which just means he is unfamiliar with firearms that wouldn’t be used by Hopalong Cassidy.

  • “Amy, this is the kind of weapon a criminal would possess!” is free-floating anti-gun hysteria.

It’s also a gun a law-abiding citizen would possess, except that such a  gun would be possessed legally.

  • “There have only been two home invasions in our neighborhood in the last 11 years” is a non-sequitur.  Emergencies, by definition, are not commonplace.

If there are home invasions in your neighborhood every day, the solution is to move, not to buy a gun.

  • “Now I have to lock my bedroom door at night because I don’t know what she’s going to do,” he says, but is shocked that she now  “says that I don’t trust her.” Gee, why would she ever think that? He doesn’t trust her! He equates gun ownership with being a criminal, and is now afraid to be in the same house with her.

Dumbfounded Father is officially irrational. If he thinks he has to lock his door against his criminal daughter when she has a gun, why would that change once she gets rid of the gun? She can still kill him in dozens of ways.

Now here’s Amy’s professional advice—I’ll interlocute to save time:

Dear Dumbfounded: According to my research, possessing hollow-point bullets is illegal in 11 states; is it legal in your state to own this sort of exploding ammunition?

Amy apparently thinks the daughter is a criminal too. By my calculations, 51 minus 11 equals 40, which would mean that there is a 400% better chance that the daughter is law-abiding than a criminal—IF Amy knew what she was talking about, which she does not. Her research was incompetent; she obviously googled hollow-point bullets, and was confused when the first source told her that armor-piercing bullets are illegal in eleven states. Armor-piercing bullets are not only different from hollow-points (see the photos above)  they are the opposite of them: they have reinforced tips, which makes sense if you think about it, Hollow-point ammunition is illegal in only one state, New Jersey.

They also do not “explode.”

In a report published in 2015, researchers at the University of Chicago found that 31 percent of households reported having a firearm in 2014, down from about 48 percent in 1980. According to this study, there are more guns, but concentrated in fewer households. Why must your household be one of them?

This is just anti-gun blather using a dubious study. (A very large number of individuals wouldn’t tell researchers that they have a gun, especially in the midst of the post-Sandy Hook anti-gun freak-out Nobody said the inquirer’s home “must” be one of them. The statement is straw man.

Where did your daughter get this weapon and ammunition? Has she received any safety training or certification? (Accidental gun death is a substantial risk of owning a gun.) Is she perhaps engaged in another activity outside of your household that exposes her to increased risks and makes her believe she needs to have a weapon?

Yes, Amy presumes that because the daughter has a gun, she may be involved in something nefarious. The vast, vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding, but since they lust for the evil machine, they are obviously untrustworthy. Asking one’s child about her training if she owns a gun is a legitimate topic for a concerned parent to raise. Presuming or suspecting that she owns a gun because she is a drug-runner, a bank-robber or a hired assassin is not. Amy is mouthing the anti-gun zealot’s “nobody needs a gun because I don’t think I need a gun” arrogance. This is still a free country where individuals get to decide if and when they need a gun, not ignorant, gun-phobic advise columnists who write things like “Accidental gun death is a substantial risk of owning a gun.”

Accidental car, motorcycle, lawnmower, chainsaw and gas grill injuries are a substantial risk of owning cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, chainsaw and gas grills. Amy has all the facile anti-gun taking points on the tip of her metaphorical tongue, and hasn’t given the topic the serious thought she would devote to buying a puppy.

I have news for you: A locked bedroom door is no match for this weaponry; as I write this, just five days ago a father in South Carolina tragically shot and killed his own 23-year-old daughter through a closed door — when he mistook her for an intruder.

How to throw gasoline on an already smoldering hysteric, Amy! If Dad is so worried that his daughter is going to shoot him through the door, she needs to move out whether she has a gun or not.

I agree with your ultimatum; I also weep that there is yet another (likely unsafe) gun owner in this country.

Res ipsa loquitur.

Dear Amy: Since you are ignorant and phobic about guns, it would be unethical to presume to give any advice regarding them. Shut up.



45 thoughts on ““Dear Ethics Alarms: I Am An Advice Columnist Who Is Ignorant And Phobic About Guns. When I Get A Question About Guns, What Should I Do?”

  1. Welp… my head just exploded (unlike a hollow-point) from reading that. The stupid in that mess of advice hurts.

      • It is especially galling when the same people who are proudly, defiantly ignorant on the subject of guns (yet can’t help themselves from opining on every aspect of their use, regulation, and role in society) are the ones who insist that a man can’t have a legitimate opinion on abortion.

        I have lots of opinions on lots of topics. I refrain from voicing any of them unless and until I have educated myself on the topic such that I am fairly confident that I am not going to sound like a moron, and that my opinion is based on at least some actual facts.

      • Down deep, they fear that if they really know anything about guns and those who legally possess them they will see that their fears are misplaced and that the gun can live in a dresser drawer or a safe in the den for years, even decades, without harming anyone….unless someone decides to use it in an unlawful manner. They will become aware that they have wasted years of their lives on a nonissue.

        BTW, molon labe.

      • I think perhaps because they believe it unnecessary and irrelevant. Guns are bad regardless of the use or competence of the person owning them, and that badness is imputed, in large degree, to their owner. It’s a kind of guilt by association — if you own a gun, there is something fundamentally wrong with you based on that fact alone. Guns = Bad, and how they or their ammunition works is just a meaningless detail that couldn’t possibly interest an enlightened person.

        You can tell by the way firearms opponents argue their points that they neither know nor care about the function of firearms. They don’t think all that stuff matters, and in their minds, no amount of facts can overcome the one simple judgment that firearm ownership is undesirable in advanced societies.

        It is possible that the gun-haters actually fear knowledge about firearms — they fear they may be seduced by their apparently powerful evil, and thereby tempted to become what they not just despise, but actively want to despise.

        Amy’s research was so transparently superficial, and her fundamental understanding of the physics of firearms and ammunition so inadequate that it is impossible for her to opine with any authority on the subject whatsoever, even if she just confined herself to the social aspect. It would be like a person who speaks only Swahili and knows only pidgin English trying to critique the original manuscript of Oliver Twist — it’s doomed from the outset not just to failure, but to an unethical level of ignorant disinformation.

        Hollow points as “exploding bullets” is a construction that is going to give Second Amendment supporters giggles for … maybe generations. Even Eric Swalwell’s risible comment about nuclear weapons pales in comparison for sheer ignorance, ineptitude, and comedic value.

        One would normally have to listen to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to hear such cringe-worthy ignorance.

        • Glenn wrote:

          “It is possible that the gun-haters actually fear knowledge about firearms — they fear they may be seduced by their apparently powerful evil, and thereby tempted to become what they not just despise, but actively want to despise.”

          Just a quibble.: They don’t fear “knowledge” about firearms out of some apparent seduction. The fear knowledge about firearms will decrease the power they have/hold over people. For instance, the War on Drugs has been an unmitigated failure. Why? Because fear inducing tactics didn’t and will not work. We were told that smoking pot would turn you into a crazed lunatic. Then, someone tried it and found out they didn’t run raving through streets striking down man and beast alike. So, they (the smokers) thought, “Huh. If they got the pot thing wrong, then maybe the other stuff is wrong, too.” It undercut their credibility. The better argument would have been: “Pot in and of itself is relatively harmless. You get high and the munchies. However, what that does is open the door to other drugs. It is, in fact, a gateway to the drug culture, most of which is frickin’ awful. Addiction, poverty, family discord, overdoes, etc.”

          Here, the anti-gunners want to instill fear in the general public about guns and their ownership. If the general public is afraid of firearms, then it will not see a big issue for controlling or limiting the possession and use of firearms.

          Here is some anecdotal evidence: Our son is 15 years old and he fancies himself a hunter/fisherman. He loves outdoor stuff He has wanted a rifle for as long as I can remember. We held off until we felt he was mature enough to recognize that firearms are not toys and must be handled with respect. So, at Christmas time, we bought him a Ruger long-barrel rifle. That was an interesting purchase for me. I knew very little about firearms, mostly because I could not care less about them. I have very little interest in firearms, hunting, and I have a passing knowledge of fishing – why I can’t ever hook that stupid fish is beyond me! So, I had to spend (a lot!) of time thinking about and researching firearms before we made that decision. I researched safety mechanisms. I researched caliber and gauges (wow – there are SO many different gauges it makes the head spin),. I researched uses and licensing requirements. I researched a whole lot about a whole lot. The NRA had a ton of excellent information (as an aside, I gained a new respect for the NRA; they are all about safety). Then, came the decision about buying a damn safe to keep the thing. Sheesh! That was headcrushing. We also required our son to learn about firearms, from safety to cleaning to storage to use to handling. He did so and he has been very respectful and careful with his rifle. He cleans it after every use and observes all safety rules.

          So, therein lies the issue. If you no longer fear firearms, you might not take kindly to the government trying to regulate and/or confiscate them.

          • Just a quibble.: They don’t fear “knowledge” about firearms out of some apparent seduction. The fear knowledge about firearms will decrease the power they have/hold over people.

            Well, yes, I can see that. But it’s one thing to be deliberately ignorant and another thing altogether to just omit information in order to perpetuate ignorance, or more to your point, avoid educating people for fear the knowledge will decrease their power over them.

            My point was directed at people like Amy, who respond authoritatively from ignorance [ht: Humble Talent]. She could, assuming she’s actually as intelligent as she believes she is, learn how firearms work, and be able to make a statement equally uninformative but omit the obvious errors, like “exploding” hollow points and the difference between hollow points and ammunition designed for extreme penetration.

            I’m not disagreeing with you — I do think some anti-gun people deliberately suppress [see what I did there?] the information they provide in their arguments in order to avoid informing others on the subject out of fear it might work against them.

            However, I think more actually fear the knowledge itself, and actively resist learning any more than is necessary to support their politics.

  2. I own a Remington 1911 r .45 caliber pistol. I keep a clip of 8 230-grain Jacketed Hollow Points in the handle, but do not have a round “up the spout” m(chambered). I also live alone. For what it is worth, it would take me less than a second to rack the slide, chambering a round and cocking the pistol. Woe betide any intruder at that point. However, for the record, I’d never fire the pistol without having a clear line of sight to my target, for no other reason than I’d like to know who I’m shooting.

    • I also keep Old Painless (CZ P-09 9mm parabellum) in condition 3 (magazine fully loaded, round not chambered) by my bedside at night. I keep it that way for the same reason you do, although I have a wife and a dog.

      I’m a light sleeper, and if anything goes bump that can’t be explained, there’s no way they are getting in the door before I can rack the slide. Then it’s 18 rounds of JHP lead poisoning if they’re bad guys, and since my doors stay locked with only me and my wife having keys, the only person that would be coming through that door would have to knock it down.

      Oh yeah, and I have the magazine loaded with those “exploding” hollow points. 🙂

      I love 1911’s though, I had to qualify with that gun in the Navy, the old Series 70 back in my day. Great gun. Awesome trigger, even on the well-used GI range units. They are a lot more trouble to clean than Old Painless, though.

      • By bedside pistol of choice stays in Condition one. Having a well proven safety that requires a conscious act to arm is enough for me. When I carry a pistol (if it meets this requirement) it is condition one as well.

        That is how I train: racking the slide (or cocking the hammer for those favoring a wheel gun) is not something I want to do under duress.

        • That’s fine, different strokes. I think there are valid arguments both ways, and I chose my setup for aforestated reasons.

          I don’t disagree with you at all. We are talking about, in my view, very fine, subjective points that have limited practical consequences.

    • I don’t know about keeping it unchambered. When it’s late at night, things are murky, you might not have the wherewithall to cock it in time, before it’s too late. Isn’t the carry protocol for a 1911 “cocked & locked”? Much quicker to engage from that condition. And it’s perfectly safe in safe or whatnot like that.

      • They are designed to be carried that way. But as a home defense firearm, depending on your risk assessment of your home, I think it’s more logical, and definitely more safe, to leave the round out of the chamber. Racking the slide is only slightly more difficult than remembering to disengage the safety. And the result of both actions are a single-action trigger pull and loaded chamber.

        It’s a debate. Some people prefer a loaded chamber for the reasons you mention, but I feel better leaving the chamber empty at home. No gun with an empty chamber has ever discharged negligently or accidentally.

        • Glenn,

          Your home, your rules. You said all that need be said at “I feel better leaving the chamber empty at home.” As long as you train that way, muscle memory should work when the mind is fuzzy.

          If and when I have grandkids, my views may change as well!

          • Exactly.

            I do train that way. When I go to the range, I close the slide and decock the firearm before loading so always remember to rack the slide.

            If I had kids around, I’d do a few things differently than I do now, including carrying the firearm on my person rather than leaving it on the table when I’m at home. But I don’t, so I’m comfortable that my setup is as safe as possible while still being effective.

  3. The vast, VAST majority of gun crimes are committed by career criminals. These are people who have decided to break laws for a living. They’ve always completely ignored gun laws and regulations, neither of which has any effect on them.

    Then there are mass shooters, who typically plan their rampages carefully for months or even years. Once you’ve decided to break every law known to God and man and kill your way through a church or school, getting around gun laws presents no real issue. It’s just another detail in a complicated scheme.

    The Left’s insincere push for more gun laws only negatively affects a third group: lawful gun owners. NRA members, sport shooters, gun collectors, etc. generally lean right-wing and rural, so liberals love to needle them, harass them, and blame them for problems they have nothing to do with. Lawful gun owners and collectors are so distant culturally from the first two groups that no mass shooter has EVER been an NRA member, something that you’d think would happen at least once, if only as an outlier.

    Gun laws also reduce the number of lives saved daily by people using guns for defense (often women who need them as equalizers against male stalkers or predators.) Even if you estimate conservatively, there is no question that more lives are saved with legal guns than are taken by illegal ones.

    Jimmy Kimmel weeping about how the NRA has blood on its hands is, perhaps unknowingly, an angel of death of sorts, spreading the entirely wrong message, blaming bad guys’ actions on the good guys, while keeping the focus off of any real, working solution. All just to score political points. I’m finding it harder and harder to say that the Left genuinely cares about victims. I’m quite sure the politicians and celebrities don’t. It’s impossible that they couldn’t take the time to learn 5 minutes’ worth of gun facts on Google.

  4. The ignorance concentrated in that column would lead me to suspect that the advice columnist concocted the whole thing to provide an opportunity to share her woke “wisdom” concerning firearms. As one who carries concealed almost every day, I am occasionally questioned by “gun ignorant” folks who ask, “Are you carrying a handgun because you expect trouble?” I always reply, “No if I expected trouble, I would have a rifle.”
    And I would never reveal to any “researcher” that I owned a firearm, or ten.

    • “Are you carrying a handgun because you expect trouble?” I always reply, “No if I expected trouble, I would have a rifle.”

      “What are you afraid of?” “Why, nothing at all!”

      : I would never reveal to any “researcher” that I owned a firearm, or ten.

      You only own ten? 😉

      No joke about the ‘researcher’ either. This is a reason most polls are wrong: people are careful to not broadcast their support for unprogressive issues and politicians these days.

      I recently inherited my father’s firearms: sis-in-law won’t allow them in her house until her kids are older (but she encourages ‘range days’ so no worries). Dad had firearms ranging almost a century of family history, and since he was the only child they all came to me. And quite a bit of ammo, too. If I get raided the story will be all about the number of bullets and guns they found… Lol.

      • …and no doubt the talking heads will say you had “an arsenal,” as if they had any idea what an actual arsenal of weapons would look like.

  5. Columns seem to wallow in PC knee-jerk reactions to normal questions. They seem to think they can and should give advice in fields they have no training or experience in: child care- when childless, work and HR- if never worked in corporate offices, and the law- without training and don’t even read a site like here. Emily, despite a progressive slant, veered far less often into woke platforms than the nuPru. The readers’ comments are far more useful and balanced, and there were serious flare-ups of reader ire with especially tone-deaf advice about holding approving and supportive family responsible for other people’s offenses.

  6. Perhaps this type of thinking is the real reason that Parkland student’s admission was rescinded.

    It is obvious Harvard does not see racial animus as a disqualifer because they maintain Cornell West, who has written numerous anti-white screeds, on their faculty. I suppose faculty output is not a measure of character.

    • I should have mentioned the student whose admission to Harvard was rescinded is on record as pro 2nd amendment.

      • Dr West has been on numerous programs decrying white oppression for years. I will look up examples of his work to back up my statement today.

        Most recently in a debate with Candace Owens he made the claim that conservatives push a xenophobic narrative the instills fear in blacks.

        You don’t have to come out and say that one group is inferior to behave in a racially divisive manner. Obama and West have oratorical skills that at deliver their racist messages that make the smell like roses but result in creating more division.

        • Followup:
          Sorry for the delay but I wanted to ensure that I went about explaining my thoughts accurately and this type of work requires me to use my computer rather than my cellphone.

          I made the statement that Cornel West has delivered racist screeds to which you asked which ones. Let me first suggest that racist screeds, in my opinion, come in many forms. Some are blunt and in your face such as decrying that all your problems result from some other race that you describe with the usual nasty epithets.

          In other cases racist screeds are far more subtle. I place Professors West and Gates from Harvard as well as Michael Eric Dyson in the camp that can effectively and eloquently cast the blame of all the ills of the black community squarely on the backs of another race. Like Goebbels, each has a superior command of the language as well as an understanding of base instincts of the less educated. They use these skills highly effectively in order to ensure that they remain in a prominent position of power over the masses.

          Fundamentally, the common theme of all racism is excuse making. Racism requires the belief that someone outside your race is getting something you are not – but feel entitled to. Psychologically, racism boils down to feelings of inferiority in one’s self; not that another is inferior. Think about it. If whites as a whole truly felt superior why would white supremacists fear other races having opportunities if they knew they would always come out on top? The more we reinforce the race based beliefs in marginalized communities, both black and white, that another race is getting something unearned at your expense the more we will see racial division.

          Professor West loves to couch his rhetoric in religious overtones whereby he refers to people regularly as “brothers” and “sisters”. He is adept at moving in and out of his race commentary by combining it with his socialist ideals. His interplay of thought on matters of race and the distribution of wealth and resources helps cloak his racial beliefs.

          For example: (pulled from Wikipedia) West believes that “the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s ugly totalitarian regime was desirable,”[77] but that the war in Iraq was the result of “dishonest manipulation” on the part of the Bush administration.[78] He asserts that Bush administration hawks “are not simply conservative elites and right-wing ideologues”, but rather are “evangelical nihilists – drunk with power and driven by grand delusions of American domination of the world”. He adds, “We are [now] experiencing the sad gangsterization of America, an unbridled grasp at power, wealth, and status.” Viewing capitalism as the root cause of these alleged American lusts, West warns, “Free-market fundamentalism trivializes the concern for public interest. It puts fear and insecurity in the hearts of anxiety-ridden workers. It also makes money-driven, poll-obsessed elected officials deferential to corporate goals of profit – often at the cost of the common good.”[79]

          By itself, this appears not to be racial at all but instead a statement of belief on political economy. In one breath he says that the overthrow of Hussein is desirable but then ascribes attitudinal sets to the decision makers. Look at the words he uses to describe the behaviors of the Bush administration. I submit that he uses “capitalism” as a proxy for white dominance. A common theme he uses in much of his rhetoric is that “it” puts fear and insecurity in the hearts of the working poor. He never truly defines what “it” is.

          If that was all that I know of him I could not make the claim that he traffics in racist screeds. But because he was often a foil for Bill O’ Reilly I wanted to learn more about this man.

          Also from Wikipedia.
          “West has called the US a “racist patriarchal” nation where white supremacy continues to define everyday life. “White America”, he writes, “has been historically weak-willed in ensuring racial justice and has continued to resist fully accepting the humanity of blacks.” This has resulted, he says, in the creation of many “degraded and oppressed people hungry for identity, meaning, and self-worth.” West attributes most of the black community’s problems to “existential angst derive[d] from the lived experience of ontological wounds and emotional scars inflicted by white supremacist beliefs and images permeating U.S. society and culture.”[69]”

          “In West’s view, the September 11 attacks gave white Americans a glimpse of what it means to be a black person in the United States—feeling “unsafe, unprotected, subject to random violence, and hatred” for who they are.[70] “The ugly terrorist attacks on innocent civilians on 9/11”, he said, “plunged the whole country into the blues.”[70]+

          “West was arrested on October 13, 2014, while protesting against the shooting of Michael Brown and participating in Ferguson October,[71][72] and again on August 10, 2015, while demonstrating outside a courthouse in St. Louis on the one-year anniversary of Brown’s death.[73] The 2015 documentary film #Bars4Justice includes footage of West demonstrating and being arrested in Ferguson.[74]”
          West was also an advisor to Sharpton’s 2004 presidential campaign.

          Michael Eric Dyson wrote, (New Republic, April 19, 2015) “Cornel West’s rage against President Barack Obama evokes that kind of venom. He has accused Obama of political minstrelsy, calling him a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface”; taunted him as a “brown-faced Clinton”; and derided him as a “neoliberal opportunist.”

          Once again, he even linguistically characterizes Obama as an “Uncle Tom” when Obama first appears on the scene. Later, after Obama proved his blackness bona fides West embraced Obama and his policies.

          I don’t want to get into an Alizia style manifesto to document what I consider West’s racially divisive rhetoric the fact that he involved himself in the Ferguson fiasco is signature significance that he views the world first through the lens of racial inequity in which all the problems in the black community are laid directly at the feet of wealthy racist white owners of capital.

          Labeling wide swaths of society with negative behavioral characterizations is a hallmark of racism.

  7. “and hasn’t given the topic the serious thought she would devote to buying a puppy”

    Jack Marshall, marshalling metaphors like a demon. As usual. Montaigne may be dead, but the essay lives.

  8. I showed my brother the original column, and he immediately recognized the father was clueless what a semi-automatic even was. He also lost faith in the answer very quickly when he pointed out how a “hollow” bullet is the opposite of an “armor piercing” bullet (coincidentally quoting you verbatim).

    He is was no more than a Tenderfoot in Boy Scouts, and certainly more liberal than me, but even he could recognize just how ignorant Amy and the father were. It shows how just a tiny bit of knowledge about guns (and firing them at least once in in your life), can tremendously change one’s perspective.

    I then showed him your column, and he thoroughly enjoyed your total dismantling of Amy’s.

  9. In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, recently defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted out:

    I…. can’t imagine what more ignorance looks like crammed into a smaller package. Let’s dig into this.

    First… There is no such thing as a silencer. This might seem semantic, and there are plenty of gun rights advocates who use semantics…. It’s not important, for instance, that the AR in AR-15 stands for “Armalite Rifle” instead of “Assault Rifle”. But it’s not semantic because…

    Second… A suppressor does not silence anything, and anyone who thinks otherwise is getting their information from television. I suppose if you see it on TV, it must be true, no? The misconception is that the suppressor reduces the sound of a shot into a little air fart that sounds kind of like a spitball. In reality, a suppressor dampens muzzle flash and reduces the decibel level from that of a shot down to that of a jackhammer, converts that energy to heat, and distributes that heat down the barrel. One might reasonably ask at this point “Well, if a suppressor doesn’t silence the shot, what’s the point? Well. I’m glad you asked, my virtual Watson! Suppressors are designed to augment or replace hearing and eye protection. They are safety devices. Which might be why the bill the Republicans were trying to pass with the support of the NRA was called the “Hearing Protection Act”. Because at that point, it was harder to get the safety device to attach to the end of the gun than it was to get the gun itself, probably because Democrats had watched too many Bourne movies and were afraid of super assassins shooting up everyone. Moving on to…

    Third… Remember what I said about the function of suppressors? That they convert light and sound energy into heat and disburse that heat into the weapon? Well, they do that, and they do that fairly well. So well in fact that the heat can become a problem. In small caliber handguns, it’s fairly insignificant…. but in a bump-stocked AR-15? Now I’m not going to say the weapon would melt in their hands, or that you could tie the barrel into a bow, but you would probably damage and warp your weapon, and almost certainly cause a misfire.

    If it hasn’t struck you yet…. Had the shooter been stupid enough to attach suppressors to his weapons, everyone would have still heard those shots, there’s a chance they might have failed, and fewer people would have died.

    So to tie that into a neat little package: The woman who might have been president of the United States of America tweeted authoritatively from ignorance, having no idea what the device was called, what it did, or what the effects of attaching it would be, but she’s watched enough television to be afraid of them, so she capitalized on the post-Vegas heartstrings of America to push a “common sense” narrative that would maintain restrictions on safety devices.

    My normal line is “How are you supposed to know what common sense gun control looks like when you barely know the shootey end of the gun from the grippey end, and why on earth should we listen to you?” I think that can be re-purposed for preachy ignoramuses sowing unnecessary fear of weapons they have absolutely no conception under God regarding their function.

    “Exploding ammunition….”

    Piss off.

  10. I think anti-gun activists are ignorant about guns is because the facts aren’t on their side. If they research firearms and crime, they will discover this. They will quickly discover that there are millions of self-defense by firearm each year in this country. It is almost certain that banning legal firearms would result in a higher murder rate for that reason alone. If they discover that their position is not supported by the facts, they either have to drop their anti-gun activism or lie. If they decide on the latter route, they are likely to discourage any of their followers to research the matter, for the followers are sure to find the same thing.

    I think the father’s comment about a .40 cal being a criminals gun is just hilarious. You may not be aware, but .40 S&W is not the most popular round. Its popularity is mainly in the law enforcement community (it was developed for the FBI, which is an interesting story of government lack of accountability and waste in itself). You can pick up handguns chambered in .40 S&W fairly cheaply as law enforcement buy backs because there is a greater supply than demand for firearms chambered in this particular round. Yes, a law-enforcement favored round is the round of criminals. Priceless.

    Now, it is well documented that legal firearm owners are more law-abiding than the average citizen. People with concealed handgun licenses are MUCH more law-abiding than the average citizen. For example, in 2015, out of 16,000 felony crimes, only 16 were charged to concealed carry holders in my state (and some of those were self-defense cases). Only 0.006% of felony convictions went to concealed carry holders and over 20% of the adult population has a concealed carry permit, so concealed carry permit holders are 400x less likely to commit a felony than non-permit holders. So, if anyone should be afraid in this situation, it should be the daughter. Her father isn’t a legal gun owner. He and Amy are the most likely dangerous criminals in this scenario by hundreds of times! This is why I think only people with legally concealed firearms should be allowed in schools and around children. How can you justify allowing people that are HUNDREDS of times more likely to commit a felony or violent crime? Think of the children!

  11. Hi Jack —

    1. Being new here, I just came across this June 2019 post in January 2021. When I looked into the story, I learned the Amy Dickinson penned a follow-up correction (of sorts) a month after the original column, and I thought you’d be interested: https://lacrossetribune.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/ask-amy-correcting-the-record-on-ammo-and-guns/article_48a3077c-3acd-5c04-85c8-e0006eb5537b.html

    2. The reason I even found this post in the first place is what appears to be a pic of Ralphie Parker, hero of “A Christmas Story,” in your title collage. Being a big fan of the film, I searched your blog for whatever you may have had to say about it. But I found nothing. Did you do a post (or even just a passing comment) on the film? And if not, why did you include Ralphie’s mug up there?

    Thx much …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.