The Dumbest Writing About Guns In 2016.

Our good friends at The Trace have just published what they call the gun violence reporting which inspired them in 2016.  It’s a good, solid list and it contains some reportage that I hadn’t previously seen, so I recommend it highly for everyone in the gun violence prevention (GVP) community, as well as for everyone in Gun-nut Nation (I’m trying to be more compassionate and inclusive as we head into 2017.)

ccw             I’m going to steal a little thunder from the folks at The Trace and publish my own list of don’t-miss gun journalism, but in this case I’m going to nominate one article for my list known as The Dumbest Gun Article of the Year.  Now you might think that I would nominate something written by John Blowhard Lott, or maybe an editorial from NRA-ILA, or perhaps a prancing video produced by Colion Noir, but nothing from Gun-nut Nation comes even close to making my dumbest list for the simple reason that I expect gun messaging from the Gang That Can’t Think Straight to be dumb. Anyone who sincerely believes that owning a gun makes him ‘free’ is simply incapable of understanding any discussion about anything that uses language taught beyond the second grade. Consequently, I reserve my concerns about dumb gun journalism for writers who should know better because they are allegedly crafting their messaging for folks from our side; i.e., the population that is concerned enough about gun violence to think and talk about it in intelligent terms.

Okay, enough with the forshpayz and here we go. For dumbest writing about guns in 2016 I nominate an article just published in GQ, written by someone named Ashley Fetters, entitled “Why Women Own Guns.” I did a quick online search and I can’t find any other article that Ms. Fetters has ever written about guns; her reporting specialties appear to focus on pop culture, a smattering of political stuff and some articles about restaurants and food. Now maybe she knows how to hold a knife and fork, but she sure doesn’t know how to hold a gun. Just take a look at the pic which leads off the story and notice that the lady’s trigger finger is stuck behind the trigger which is one place your trigger finger should never be.  But that bit of stupidity pales with what comes next.

The article’s second sentence states that “a curiously large proportion of U.S. gun owners are women,” and then cites the standard NRA noise about women getting into shooting which has never been validated at all.  She further says that a Harvard-Northeastern study found that 50% of gun owners with one gun are women, but what she doesn’t say is that most male gun owners own more than one gun. She then gushes over the comments made by four women gun-toters, including a woman who hucksters a product called the Flashbang Bra Holster which both gives her more ‘lift’ and puts her on equal ground with anyone who might do her harm.

Now here’s where things get about as stupid as they might get.  The author wants you, the reader, to know why she’s writing this piece.  Because she believes that “a gun isn’t just a weapon – it’s also an unambiguous way to signal to someone that they should fuck off and leave you alone.”  Wow! How decisive!  How hip!  How cool! How…GQ! We are then treated to the requisite stories about the bad guy standing on the back porch and the stranger at the front door, both to convey the vulnerability of womenhood in the modern age.

Let me break the news to you gently Ashley.  Gun-nut Nation has been peddling guns based on fear for the past thirty years, and the idea that women constitute a special type of victim if they venture outside the home is really rather quaint.  Women are as capable today as men (if not moreso) of making informed decisions about everything in their lives. And grabbing a gun just isn’t all that informed.

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11 thoughts on “The Dumbest Writing About Guns In 2016.

  1. Polls show that the rate of gun ownership among women has remained stable at about 10% over the last three decades. Women have not bought into the NRA’s fear mongering. This is despite the fact that women are more likely to head households than they did a few decades ago.

    • And I am talking about the GQ piece being glib since there was some confusion as to what I was referring. Apologies.

  2. No one in their right mind would tell a stranger anything about gun ownership. That includes a health-care provider. With electronic medical records; everything you say can and will be used against you. If you spend time reading EMRs, you will notice that no one ever drinks alcohol, for example. The connection between being armed and being free is very basic. The oldest discussion in politics is between a would be tyrannt and his intended victim: “Hey, you need protection and I can provide it.” If you want to remain free, you must be able to give this answer: “Thank you for your concern, but I can protect myself.”

    • Define tyranny.

      I doubt most people buying purpose-designed self defense firearms are doing so to ward off governmental tyranny. If we are worried about Big Gummint tyranny, I would start with stuff like the Patriot Act, not gun control. We are already on that downward spiral. As far as guns, quoting the founding fathers sounds nice in theory but has little to do with 21st Century reality. Hell, even the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Liberation Front folks fled when the pizza ran out.

      More likely the real or perceived threat of danger from criminals or disaffected spouses. In that context, the GQ article, in its glib (and Mike, I was talking about the GQ article being glib) association with concealed weapons being some sort of magic against danger ignores most of the deeper issues involved in self defense. Such as training to use a firearm, experience handling firearms under stress, knowing when lethal force is justified (it is not justified in just wanting someone to f-off) and knowing what the odds are of actually having a defensive gun moment vs. shooting yourself in the foot. That is highly dependent on individual circumstance, not broadly based statistical models.

      A couple years ago I read a story about an Idaho National Lab scientist, a mom, who was packing in her purse and took her tyke on a shopping trip in a safe neighborhood. The kid retrieved the gun from her purse and killed mom. So the notion that there are costs vs. benefits of carrying a firearm, and that these deserve careful individual consideration, should not be lost on the citizenry.

      • Agreed Khal. The calculation will be different regarding the costs and benefits of carrying or owning a firearm. While the evidence indicates that the average owner is more likely to pay for rather than benefit from guns kept at home, a single woman being stalked by a boyfriend will have a different calculation from one with no domestic strife and young children in the home.

  3. The organizing principle of the constitutional settlement was intended to be that a central government would become supreme over all other political units within the USA but that certain rights would belong to “the people” to protect their individual and collective freedom. The 2nd amendment must be read thru this lense. That is, the object of the amendment, “the security of a free state” must be read as “the security of the state of being free (of the People).” States, towns, territories, whatever, were absolutely not free under the new constitution. Any assertion of freedom (ie independence) by any entity was henceforth nothing less than rebellion. From this perspective, keeping and bearing arms was for the ability of the people to do our own needful fighting, under color of law, not for the freedom of any poltical entity. Freedom, in other words, of the people to not be totally dependent on the “authorities” for vital self defense. And anyone who asserts that the militia clause within the 2nd amendment defines the context of bearing arms and self defense must answer this: The existence of a militia presupposes a high degree of organization within society. Western expansion was often carried out by small groups on the frontier well outside of civilization or any stable order at all. So, would you have told them that they must fight lions and tigers and bears and Comanches WITH THEIR BARE HANDS until order was at last, at great cost, imposed – at which time they could form a militia and finally exercise their 2nd amendment rights?

  4. Pingback: Liberals And Gays Getting Into Guns? That’s What The BBC Says. | mikethegunguy

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