Friday, June 14, 2019

Amy Dickenson: Ignorant About Firearms.

A hysterical correspondent writes to Ask Amy and receives an ignorant reply.  Let's first fisk the letter to Amy:

"Dear Amy: This week, I discovered that my intelligent, hard-working, responsible 24-year-old daughter (who lives with me) is a gun owner!"

Bravo! Good for her. She is a responsible woman who refuses to be a victim or to be dependent on a man to protect herself. I hope she has received, or will seek out, quality training to learn how to handle a firearm safely, and how to shoot in defensive situations effectively.

"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."

A .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol is a normal gun. I wonder what kind of gun Dumbfounded Father thinks is "normal"?

"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."

Millions of law abiding gun owners possess guns just like the one described for lawful purposes, including self defense.  Dumbfounded Father does not mention whether his daughter has a concealed carry permit, but hope she does. "Emergencies" are not limited to the home, and are more likely to occur outside of the home. Hence the ability to apply for and receive concealed carry permits in ALL 50 states. Except Hawaii, which has a concealed carry law, but does not issue permits. Young v. Hawaii will correct this, hopefully.

"I’ve given her three choices: She can either give her weapon to me, sell it or move out in three weeks."

Hey Dumbfounded Father, I thought your daughter was a "Intelligent, hard-working, responsible" woman? Here you are treating her like a child.  And if you're worried about safely possessing a gun in your house, it seems to me that you're hardly the most qualified person to possess it: your daughter is, because she obviously sought out a firearm for purchase.  Did she get any training?  If not, why not offer to pay for training, and then go together as a father-daughter bonding experience?

"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."

WTF! So, you're daughter owns a gun, and now she is potentially going to shoot you in your bed?!  Either there is more going on in this household than is stated, or Dumbfounded Father has MAJOR trust issues.  WTF!

"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"

Your daughter is correct, sir!  You do not trust her. I don't blame her for being angry. Dumbfounded Father obviously believes that firearms have no social utility, hates them, and wants them out of his house.  His feelings are irrational, he seems hysterical, but his house, his rules.  I gotta respect that. 

And now for Amys profoundly ignorant and equally hysterical response:

"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?"

Citation, or I call BULLSHIT!  If anyone reading this knows better, please cite a credible source or statute prohibiting hollow point ammunition in any jusrisdiction in the United States.

The only state that I thought prohibited hollow point ammunition was New Jersey, but I did some research and found that not even New Jersey prohibits hollow point ammo: they strictly regulate possession of hollow point ammunition in public places.  One may not carry a weapon loaded with hollow point ammunition in public unless at a shooting or hunting venue where hollow point ammunition is legal. Hollow point ammunition must be transported directly from and directly to places where it is legal to possess.  And even in NJ, hollow point ammunition is legal to possess, load in weapons, and shoot if one is on their private property or in their domicile. Even in Dumbfounded Father's house, if it is located in NJ.

Hollow point ammunition is legal in all states in the United States. Amy is full of crap.

"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?"

Undoubtedly citing the General Social Survey, very popular in anti-gun circles.  I dispute the accuracy of this suvey on this subject because many gun owners are reluctant to admit to owning firearms to a stanger calling on the telephone. But what does this have to do with the daughter owning a gun?

"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?"

Amy, are you implying that the daughter obtained the weapon illegally? That the daughter is some kind of criminal?  That owning a gun neccesarrily makes one a criminal, because only criminal own guns?  I agree with the desirablility of training, but accidental gun deaths are very uncommon, and have been fallen by half in recent years. See this LA Times story:

"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."

Fear mongering, Amy.  A bedroom door is no match for ANY gun. And in the South Carolina incident cited, the shooter violated all four of the rules of safe firearm handling.  There is no excuse for such a tragedy, and you're assuming, Amy, that the daughter is equally incompetent, with no proof.

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

There is no data to show that most gun owners are unsafe with their firearms, and much data to show that they tend to be very safe.  You're response is just spreading FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.  Shame on you Amy.  You could have used this letter to do something constructive, but instead you spread debunked anti-gun canards.