Author. Conservative Thinker and Commentator. Atheist who nonetheless decries the Mainstream Media’s treatment of Christianity. Talk show host. Hunter. All these words and more describe the vivacious, articulate, stunning SE Cupp, the woman who proves, conclusively, that brains, beauty, logic, reason, and wry humor can come in a single package. I am in awe. Although the peripatetic Ms. Cupp’s travel schedule precluded a phone interview for now (although hope springs eternal), I was able to get her to answer some questions in writing about guns, the 2nd Amendment, and how a hunter can survive in the asphalt jungle of New York City . . .
We’ve heard that you are very comfortable around guns. How old were you when you first began to shoot?
I didn’t shoot a gun until I was 23. I’d always wanted to, and in fact tried to take a pistol class in college but my schedule wouldn’t allow for it. But one year my friends got me a shooting lesson at an indoor range in Manhattan. Spent one hour with a .22 rifle spraying paper targets and I was hooked. A year later I was shooting skeet, hunting whitetail and picking out my own shotgun.
Why do you think more women than men seem to be reluctant to learn to shoot, and do you see that changing?
I don’t find that to be the case at all. I meet plenty of women shooters, and most of them are just as enthusiastic and passionate as I am. I think it’s probably true that most girls don’t grow up shooting guns, so when they come to it later in life they’re really into it, whereas guys who grew up shooting probably take it for granted.
We don’t want you to reveal any info that would expose you to cranks and nutjobs, but we’d love to hear about your experience with handguns. How often you shoot, what kinds and calibers you prefer, and your general experience/thinking/opinions on handguns and personal defense.
While I’m not comfortable talking too much about my own system of personal defense (!) I can tell you that I much prefer shooting long guns to handguns. My wrists and fingers aren’t nearly as strong as my upper back, so using my shoulders, upper carriage and forearms to anchor, aim and shoot a long gun is a lot easier for me. I love shooting handguns, but I’m a much better shot with a rifle or a shotgun.
How often do you go to the range?
Living in Manhattan, it’s not that easy. But I’ll take any opportunity I can get to shoot. There’s a skeet range I like to go to when I’m in Dallas, for example. And a friend has a place in upstate NY where I like to go and target shoot. I hunt every winter of course. And I’m always meeting nice people who want to take me shooting…I happily oblige.
How often do you go hunting?
I hunt whitetail every winter, and have been doing that for about 5 years. I’m going on a bear hunt in Alaska in May with Alaska’s Healing Hearts, an organization that takes disabled veterans hunting, fishing and on other outdoor activities as part of their social reintegration process. Really looking forward to that. I have a hunting bucket list, that includes pheasant in South Dakota, hogs in Texas, and elk in Idaho. But I’m sure that list will only get longer, not shorter.
Since most of the nations original gun laws date back to the end of slavery, several historians and gun authorities have noted how the effects of “gun control” has been the most severe on the poor and minorities. What’s your position overall on the current state of our gun laws, especially in states like Illinois, New York, and in Washington D.C.?
Gun control is largely a myth. Crime statistics, which are well-documented and very easy to find, show that the states (and cities) with the strictest gun laws often have higher crime rates than those with more relaxed gun laws. A safe citizenry is an armed citizenry, and people forget that criminals don’t respect gun laws. The same kind of theory can be applied to so-called “gun free zones,” like schools, hospitals, and churches. Cho Seung Hui ignored the “gun free zone” at Virginia Tech. Columbine, the New Life Church in Colorado, Fort Hood…all gun free zones, where a total of 60 people were killed and 82 were injured. There’s a reason you don’t see these kinds of mass shootings at gun shows or NRA meetings.
What do you think about the “Constitutional Carry” (i.e.: “open carry”) movement that seems to be spreading?
I’m a fan of relaxing most gun laws. And we have data to prove why we should. In 2009, Idaho, a gold star open carry state, had 5 firearms murders. In the same year, Illinois, a non-permissive open carry state, had 386. Nevada, another gold star open carry state, had 91 firearms murders in 2009. South Carolina, a non-permissive open carry state, had 197. I could go on and on. Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens just doesn’t make sense.
Women seem to have fewer options to conceal carry, based on their body types and clothing. What are your thoughts on women and concealed carry?
I’d happily start wearing belts if I were allowed to conceal carry.
We spoke to a former prison guard who told us that a majority of the low-income murderers incarcerated in the prison where he worked had used not a handgun or a knife, but a hammer as their weapon of choice. How long do you think it will be before Bloomberg and the Brady organization try to regulate “assault hammers”?
Well this, of course, is the absurdity of the gun control argument. I could kill someone with my hands if I were that determined. No one used a gun on 9/11, or in Oklahoma City, or at Jonestown. More women are killed in rapes and beatings than by handguns, and most often handguns aren’t even present during their attacks. We saw the same kind of gun paranoia after the Gabby Giffords tragedy, when the liberal media decided Sarah Palin’s target metaphors were to blame for inciting violence. Metaphors don’t kill people. People kill people. No one buys a home security system to keep metaphors from breaking in. It’s the same with guns. Focusing on hardware and rhetoric entirely misses the point.
Obama famously claimed that people in “flyover country” cling to their religion and their guns” irrationally. Since you’ve just written a book on the subject of the media’s attack on Christianity (here’s your chance for a shameless book plug), what are your thoughts about the media’s attack on gun rights, and their linking it with their simultaneous attacks on Christianity?
The liberal media is notoriously terrible at covering two things: guns and religion. It’s not JUST that they’re biased against both. It’s also that they fundamentally don’t understand either, and make no effort to. They have outright dismissed both institutions as entirely unnecessary, dangerous, extremist, and antiquated, forgetting that the vast majority of the country would vehemently disagree.
It used to be kind of cute, and many of us were content to allow the liberal media to remain in their insulated bubbles of ignorance. But now, with the Obama administration aiding and abetting this assault on American values, the problem’s become way too serious to ignore. I’m hoping there’s a significant backlash among the 2nd Amendment and Christian communities that helps right the ship. Soon.
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SE Cupp is a conservative commentator and columnist who’s show appears every weekday @ 1pm on Glennbeck.com. Go to Glennbeck.com/secupp for more information and make sure you tune in every Tuesday for “Trigger Happy Tuesday.” Her latest book, Losing Our Religion – The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity – is available in bookstores now.