Can someone explain to me why Ms Yewman is upset about being called stupid…
When the whole point of her series of articles was that she was stupid and the law allowed it? Taking her own words, “the experiment was designed to show how easy it is to obtain a gun without being required to know how to use it.”
Before going any further, If someone suggested that she should kill herself, they are in the wrong. Flat out, without a question wrong, and if someone really did that, it’s time for them to do some real soul searching. I also do not support any attempt to reveal the address of gun owners, but remember, the main offenders in this are the anti-gun members of the media who on several occasions have obtained lists of CCW or firearms permits.
Many of the things she did were irresponsible. And the worst part is that she did things she felt were irresponsible. She went with a level of training that she felt was inadequate, because a political point was more important than being responsible.
I am guessing she thinks that’s many people try to skate by on the minimum, but in my experience it is not. I live in Wisconsin, and in the state there are several ways you can fulfill the training requirements, including classes specific to concealed carry, the state DNR’s hunter’s safety program, and proof of military service. I know several people that had the hunter’s safety certificate, but planned to pursue more training before getting a carry permit. If Ms Yewman primary objective was not making a political point, I have little doubt she would obtain the training required to feel confident with her gun.
Many of the things she experienced bear out what I have told people. If you are going to have a gun for self protection you NEED to be able to make the decision beforehand that in a case of self defense, you could take a life. I have wrestled with this, but feel that my responsibility to my wife and those around me is to come home tonight, and if someone is going to try to prevent that, I will respond with the maximum force available to me at the time. If this takes someone’s life, I know it won’t be me who started things, and they decided to gamble their life for whatever gain they were seeking. I pray this day will never come, but if it does, I have come to a decision about it that I can stand before a court, and my God, with.
The weight of responsibility she feels is normal, and most people who carry feel this, as well. It isn’t as empowering as someone who has never carried might think. If you are carrying, you have to have it constantly in mind that any confrontation could end in a deadly force situation. In these cases, even if it is legitimate self defense, you can quite easily find yourself in court, and maybe convicted of something, up to and including murder, if the state feels you started things or acted inappropriately. Because of this, most people that are carrying aren’t belligerent, but on the contrary are often much more careful not to find or give offense than the general public.
One part I really have difficulty even seeing her point of view on is the part about how she sees the world while carrying. I understand becoming more aware of the potential dangers, but I can’t see how a rational person sees that as a bad thing. The dangers didn’t increase because she was carrying, only her awareness of them. More importantly, the dangers don’t decrease because you aren’t thinking about them.
Maybe it’s about the idea that when you are more aware of dangers, you can assume there are dangers in a situation where there are not. Any time you are aware of dangers, you will at times overreact. Ever hit the brakes harder than you need to? Better that then rear-ending someone. While carrying a gun could make an overreaction quite serious, it seldom comes to that point. The vast majority of the overreactions are to avoid a deadly force situation. If you take a couple too many looks at someone, or cross to the other side of the street to avoid someone who’s not a threat, that’s a small price to pay for a little added safety.
She point out that people with guns have been killed in crimes. Yes, a gun is not some sort of talisman that protects you from everything, and I don’t know anyone who claims it is. I do find it interesting that the example she provides is four police officers, evidently in uniform, since they were wearing bullet proof vests. I am willing to be they were the first ones shot, since they were easy to identify as a potential threat to the attacker. That’s one of the biggest benefits of concealed carry: a criminal can’t easily identify the people able to defend themselves.
I would be interested to see what Ms Yewman thinks is adequate training. Mandatory training may sound like a good idea, but what is sufficient? I really don’t want to end up in a situation like Germany, where to get a hunting license you need to pass an exam that requires that ‘You have to learn “butchery,” “veterinary,” “ranger,” “groundsman,” “lawyer,” “gunsmith” and “ballistic.”‘
Bottom line, carrying a gun is a big responsibility. You need to take the time to learn not only the techniques of general self defense and using your weapon, but also the law, and most importantly when not to use your weapon. Most people follow the built in alarm system that lets them know when they not at a point where they can be effective. Ms Yewman’s articles actually prove that: the alarm went off, she silenced it because a political point was more important to her than being responsible.
Thanks to Sebastian for the link to the rest of the articles.
Ms. Yewman can point to incidents in which people were murdered even though they were armed. You could point to cases of non-smokers who got cancer, virgins who got AIDS (from contaminated blood transfusions), and motorists who got killed in car wrecks even though they were wearing seat belts. Nothing is 100%. As for mandatory training, I would be OK with it in theory. I know libertarians who would say that the burden of proof should always be on the state to justify restrictions, rather than on the individual to prove competence. But I don’t have the same expectation of privacy or complete freedom in public that I would at home. The obvious objection is that anti-gun groups would use training and qualification to get backdoor prohibition. That is, they would make the qualification test so difficult that Annie Oakley, Ed McGivern, Ray Chapman, and Wild Bill Hickok could not pass it. That’s why licensing is a problem with guns and not with cars; there are no political factions who want to ban automobiles (or, if there are, they have no power or influence). Maybe a state could require licensing and qualification for carrying a weapon, but with a stipulation that the qualification course must be no harder than the minimum standard for peace officers in that state.