It’s a little-known fact that advice columnist Abigail Van Buren (born Pauline Phillips) kept a Colt Python on her night table, resting on a special scratch-proof doily. Her twin sister Ann Landers (born Eppie Lederer, for some reason) favored a Charter Arms Bulldog .44, which she sold after David Berkowitz neighbor’s dog convinced him to become a serial killer. Just kidding. About the pistol-packing etiquette empresses. The dog thing is fo’ shizzle. Anyway, here’s the letter [via kansascity.com].
DEAR ABBY: My parents told me that a member of their congregation carries a licensed gun when he’s in church. He is not a law enforcement officer or a private security guard but keeps the gun on him “for protection.” When I asked what the pastor has to say about this, I was told, “He doesn’t know or can’t do anything about it.”
I suggested that Mom and Dad speak to the congregation board of directors because they are legally and financially responsible for the church. They refused, even though they are not happy about this gun issue.
My parents have a long history of complaining about things but doing nothing to resolve them. I feel that if someone needs to carry a gun at all times, I don’t want to be in his presence. If he’s the target of an assassination, the killer might shoot the wrong person. I will not set foot in the church as long as that man is there.
I’m not sure what bothers me more — that this man is packing heat or that my parents have valid concerns and won’t speak out. What do you think? — Gun-Shy in N.Y.C.
DEAR GUN-SHY: If the man has a license to carry the gun, then he is breaking no laws. You are certainly within your rights to refrain from being in his presence. If your parents were really concerned about their safety, they would either talk to the pastor or go somewhere else to worship. They have done neither, so you should let it go.