The story of the young Oklahoma mother who defended her home against invasion has already been chronicled on TTAG and throughout the mainstream media. Within hours, eighteen-year-old Sarah McKinley became a poster girl for the right to bear arms debate in the US. And why not? Her reaction to a home invasion makes a pretty strong case for the cause. She dispatched a guy who, among other things, never listened to Sean Connery’s advice in ‘The Untouchables’ vis a vis the-knife-to-a-gunfight clause . . .
McKinley’s legal position is well-protected by Oklahoma’s Castle laws. Few would find any logical argument to criticize her actions in view of the situation. If the circumstances described in the media accurately reflect reality. I would emphatically agree that anybody faced with the same circumstances would be well-advised to pull the trigger.
My only concern stems from the aftermath of the shooting: the shotgun pose provided by Ms. McKinley for the ABC cameras. Watching the Nightline piece, I was amazed at her composure after the shooting. She was calm, cool and collected about the entire incident. Shock? Natural resilience? I can only imagine how I would react to the same circumstances.
One thing is certain: I would not agree to a photo shoot that included a long look down the barrel of a lovingly cradled shotgun.
Posing with my child as a strong argument for her defense of property and family? Sure. But I find the shotgun-packing mama image deeply disquieting. McKinley had just—and I mean just—made the biggest decision that can be made with a firearm: she pulled the trigger and took a human life.
It’s not that the image glamorizes guns or violence. It’s that the timing of the image trivializes the toughest decision that can be made with a firearm. No matter how righteous a shoot, gun owners do themselves no favors by macho posturing. Or what looks to be macho posturing.
When it comes to defensive gun use, TTAG’s advice to STFU should extend to photo ops.