The Truth About Guns

Rolling Stone Doesn’t Pitch a Hissy Fit About Armed Self-Defense. This Time . . .

Rolling Stone isn’t exactly a friend to civil liberties. Whether it’s running a hagiography of billionaire plutocrat Mike Bloomberg’s offensive against the rights to keep and bear arms, publishing pure invective against civil rights activists, or uncritically parroting extremist talking points about the so-called gun violence epidemic in America, it’s clear Rolling Stone’s no fan of guns. That’s why I did a double-take when . . .

I read an article by Donna Young [above]. Ms. Young is a midwife in Vernal, Utah, where fracking is one of the big drivers of the local economy. She’s worried that fracking is causing an increase in local infant mortality. After sounding the alarm, Young faced death threats and personal attacks. For peace of mind, she sleeps with a revolver:

Every night, Donna Young goes to bed with her pistol, a .45 Taurus Judge with laser attachment. Last fall, she says, someone stole onto her ranch to poison her livestock, or tried to; happily, her son found the d-CON wrapper and dumped all the feed from the troughs. Strangers phoned the house to wish her dead or run out of town on a rail. Local nurses and doctors went them one better, she says, warning pregnant women that Young’s incompetence had killed babies and would surely kill theirs too, if given the chance….

[I]n Vernal, a town literally built by oil, raising questions about the safety of fracking will brand you a traitor and a target. “Me and my kids are still cautious: If someone kicked in my front door tonight, it’d take an hour for the sheriff to get here,” says Young, whose house on 60 acres is well out of town and a quarter-mile clear of her closest neighbor. “The first person they’d meet is me on the staircase, pointing that .45 dead at ’em. And I know how to use these things — I can nail a coyote in the pasture from 100 yards.”

I’m ignorant about the science of hydraulic fracturing. After reading the article I still don’t have a strong opinion about whether or not Ms. Young’s concerns are valid. But I do have a strong opinion on guns — and so does Rolling Stone.

Somehow Ms. Young avoided Rolling Stone’s usual sneering treatment of gun owners. Perhaps that’s because the mag was so intent on attacking fracking that it chose to “overlook” Ms. Young’s armed self-defense. I’d like to think it represents a change of heart. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

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DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.