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“I have no illusions that I’m going to be the proverbial good guy with a gun. And even worse, I know the statistics that show I’m at risk, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself. I recognize that my decision (to buy a gun) doesn’t make the best logical sense. My head knows that. On the other hand, we humans are emotional creatures, and this decision helps me feel better. Perhaps there’s just some comfort in feeling like I’m taking action, even if all the statistics tell me I might actually just be making the problem worse.” – Trevor Hughes in Voices: Why I Decided to Buy a Handgun [at usatoday.com]

[H/T SS]

94 Responses to Quote of the Day: Against His Better Judgement, Reporter Buys a Gun to ‘Feel Better’

  1. You’ll only be making the problem worse if you decide to start engaging in gang activities that generally lead to violence. Things like drug dealing, turf wars, and human trafficking.

    If you are more like me and 99.9% of gun owners, you won’t make the problem worse because you’ll likely never use other than at the range, but you’ll know you have it just in case. You’ll also likely think through situations more and seek additional info on the being a responsible owner.

  2. And even worse, I know the statistics that show I’m at risk, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself.

    If you harbor concerns that you might self-harm, with a firearm or otherwise, please spend your money on appropriate, psychological help, rather than purchasing a firearm.

    • +1 If you’re thinking you might off yourself, the purchase of a firearm may not be the most rational decision to make.

      • The thing is, he’s not thinking. He’s a liberal, he’s reading some statistics, swallowing them whole, and taking someone else’s word for the conclusion. As in his gun purchase, indeed as in pretty much everything, he’s going on his own feelings stoked by somebody else’s “thinking”.

        • Anyone who blindly includes themselves in statistics like that… Maybe they aren’t bright enough to own a gun?

          This guy is a plant!

    • My thoughts exactly. If worry about killing yourself because you have a gun is where you go first, you probably shouldn’t have one.

      Alternately, perhaps he believes that the gun somehow causes the suicide. Well, I suppose if his gun is talking to him, again, he should probably not have a gun 😉

      • Nah, it’s Statistics that tells him that Guns kill. So what can he do? He’s just one guy and Statistics are so many! He feelz he must submit.

    • Personally, having and shooting my guns makes me feel better, and helps alleviate my suicidal depression. I have no illusions about whether a gun is the thing that will convince me to do it or not; it’s all up to the individual. That being said, I think this guy’s a total moron for thinking that if he weren’t suicidal, he’ll suddenly become that way not that he owns a gun. And if he is already, then that decision is up to him.

      • I went through a divorce many years ago. I was depressed, but I bought my first handgun and two Mosins, which were a gateway drug to an AK. Some people would probably want to prevent people going through a divorce from buying a gun, especially a pistol. I went to the range twice a month with one box of ammo for the pistol and 1 box for the mosin as that was all I could afford. I called it range therapy. It took my mind entirely off of what was happening in my life. It was relaxing, forced me to focus to improve my shooting, and was really fun. Especially when my friends and I went plinking together.

  3. We have created a nation of people afraid of their own shadow. You want to know why Colorado is so screwed up? 3 million people just like him moved here over the last 20 years.

      • I live in Commiefornia and what you are seeing in Colorado is nothing compared to what is brewing here. And by here I mean the liberal cesspools of southern California, the coast cities and the San Francisco bay area. It just goes to show that when a state reaches this level of liberal utopia, even liberals can’t stand it and start moving out.

  4. this guy don’t need a gun….he needs a shrink especially if he is having possible thoughts of killing himself…

  5. Afraid of using the gun to kill himself because of statistics? Are people really that stupid?

    Look at Japan. Only 77 handguns in civilian possession, restriction on swords to boot, and their suicide rate is TWICE as high as the USA.

    Besides, the premise is false. I own a gun because I want to defend myself if I’m attacked. That is diametrically opposed to being suicidal.

    • “Afraid of using the gun to kill himself because of statistics? Are people really that stupid?”

      Yes. The public school abomination that we kindly call “math education” has completely misdirected understanding. People really do think correlation = causation…

      Let’s set aside that he’s completely misunderstanding the available data on guns and suicide. Let’s start with what he thinks the data is: that there is a positive and high correlation between gun ownership and suicide (not gun ownership and suicide by gun).

      He’s STILL wrong in concluding that the gun CAUSES the suicide from this simple (incorrect) correlation.

      That is, he fails to understand (or pretends to, which is just as bad) that if he does NOT have suicidal thoughts NOW, he won’t start having them after gun purchase. He seems to really be saying that buying a gun is likely to cause him to start thinking about suicide.

      I keep telling my children that math is a weapon. People will use this particular weapon to manipulate and seek control over you. The best defense is to understand the math yourself.

      So, in summary: his premise is wrong (the data don’t show what he’s saying) and even if it were, he’s misinterpreting it.

      Fail. Fail. Fail.

    • I remember some dude from Belgium was wringing his hands about the U.S. and our atrocious suicide rate because of guns on a new article! I then showed him his country had a higher suicide rate, even with very strict gun control laws. He stopped responding after a few more facts were dropped on him by other people.

  6. Really? He’s at a grater risk of killing himself? This is an example of how statistics are wasted on the public. Maybe even dangerous for the public.
    That end data point fails to take into account a plethora of contributing factors.
    Does he obsess, rocking back and forth, worried he may now kill himself at any moment because there is a gun in the house?
    Does he exhibit any of the many traits of a potentially suicidal individual? Long term depression, sustained high anxiety levels, recent significant loss?

    No? Then why the hell would suicide even factor into his decision? Because some report claimed statistics say of course.

    This guy is an example of a bad gun owner. The kind who forgets about it locked in the closet for 10 years only to have it stolen or worse, used against him. The kind who never once practices or trains and shoots himself in the face fumbling for it should he hear the sound of a breaking window at night.Then we get to those other great statistics “more likely to be used against you” and “stolen to be used in a crime.”

    Thanks for being an all around broken person, Trevor. And Merry Christmas.

  7. Good gravy, what tripe.

    If you aren’t confident enough to handle a tool, either get yourself trained and learn, or take a pass. To do otherwise is plain stupidity.

    Do you buy a hammer and think, ‘Gee, I might bash my brains in with this thing, but whatever, I’m gonna buy it anyway!’? No, you do not.

    The cognitive dissonance with these people is absolutely absurd. Can it be any more obvious that these people have an agenda, and this has nothing to do with journalism at all?

  8. I know the statistics, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself.

    Oh no. Don’t do that. Too messy. Just use your garage, your engine exhaust, and take a nap. Also, what if you mess it up and survive. You aren’t going to survive Carbon monoxide.

    I didn’t know the statistics were that specific. For some reason, something tells me the statistics for middle aged white men in Colorado isn’t very high.

    I recognize that my decision (to buy a gun) doesn’t make the best logical sense.

    A decision not to buy a gun doesn’t make logical sense either. Follow some simple rules and they are perfectly safe – kind of like rules you would apply to other things like gasoline, propane tanks, chemicals in your garage, etc. Really simple. If you knock over a giant can of gasoline – probably not a good time to say – light candles or a smoke. If you are working with pesticides, probably a good idea not to get it all over you or swallow any, and f you have a gun, keep in mind that a bullet comes out at high speed out of the barrel when the trigger is pulled.

    • ‘Oh no. Don’t do that. Too messy.’

      Good point. Don’t let the last thing you do in your entire life to be an a$$hole move like making some poor Serve Pro guy have to clean your brains off the ceiling. At least take it out to the woods were some possum will be happy to clean it up for free.

    • “I know the statistics, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself. “

      No you don’t, Trevor. You don’t know squat.

  9. “… as a middle-age white man…” Well, Trevor, why don’t you take your white-guilt liberalism to any American inner city and personally see if that protects you. As progressive as you are, I’m sure the subsidized inhabitants there will delicately consider their words and actions when interacting with you.

  10. I think there are basically two reasons someone becomes the owner of a firearm. One is to have been raised in the gun culture, or a similar culture that focuses on self-reliance, so that ownership is simply a consequence of being alive. The second way is because of fear. Not the fear-of-everything that seems to drive the left, but the specific fear that comes from realizing one’s own vulnerability. From that sense of vulnerability fear arises and, for some, the realization that you may just have to save your own life someday.

    From that second group, a lot of them will buy a gun, put it into the nightstand, and say “done!”. For many others, once they start down the path to mitigate their vulnerability, the will practice, get some training, find some like-minded people to shoot with, and eventually become capable of true self defense. But that’s a journey for most people.

    I care not one whit for how a person became a legal gun owner. I’m just glad they made the decision. I hope, and try to support when I can, the neophytes in walking further down the path to be able to safely and effectively use the firearm.

    We all started somewhere. If people don’t start – as fearful and fracked up as they may be – by buying a gun, there is no way to proceed past that.

    Welcome aboard, Trevor. You have a lot of work ahead of you, but a ton of fun also.

    • “From that sense of vulnerability fear arises and, for some, the realization that you may just have to save your own life someday.” Exactly. This is the “fight” part. The rest is “flight” or “freeze.” As I have mentioned in other comments, I was more or less like this guy. I was brought up in the “city” and not exposed to hunting, guns, or the military. Then came to realize, through direct and indirect incidents that involved crazy people who could have become harmful to myself and others around me, that I am totally vulnerable, and that the police cannot possibly where you need them when you need them. So I got the gun(s) and the CCW and paid for training. I hope that this guy does the same. Give him your encouragement, not your contempt.

  11. “I know the statistics that show I’m at risk, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself.”

    aaarggg…. its like people have never heard of independent events. If 2/100 (made up number) white males kill themselves, it does NOT mean every single white male as a 2% chance of killing themselves..

  12. It’s not a decision to which I’ve come lightly. At least one co-worker came near to tears as she tried to dissuade me. But after a horrendous year of violence across the country, I’m left with the undeniable feeling that I ought to do something different. I’m no longer willing to wait for the government to protect me all of the time. As a former Vermonter and Boy Scout, I just can’t escape the feeling that I need to take more responsibility for my own safety.

    I like everything about this statement. Everything.

  13. ‘I’m no longer willing to wait for the government to protect me all of the time… I just can’t escape the feeling that I need to take more responsibility for my own safety.’

    Typical liberal having his conservative epiphany. You can’t count on the government to help you when you need it. You can’t even count on the government to not harm you (but that’s an epiphany for another day). He’s been raised a good little sheeple, doing what he’s told and trusting his masters, but he’s come to the inescapable conclusion that his protectors just won’t be there if and when he needs them.

    He’s going through the normal hand wringing stage over his decision, but if he gets to the range, gets a little training, he’ll gradually become more and more comfortable with his decision. Welcome to the club.

    • “He’s going through the normal hand wringing stage over his decision, but if he gets to the range, gets a little training, he’ll gradually become more and more comfortable with his decision. Welcome to the club.”

      And then, hopefully, he’ll begin to ask himself what else his progressive ideology is wrong about.

      Baby steps, but he has indeed taken the first one. The real world tends to cause that effect.

  14. Remember when people kept their purchases and opinions to themselves…good days gone by.

    Question of the day…what size firehose does Trevor need to flush the sand out of his crack?

  15. “But if me carrying a concealed weapon — just like millions of my responsible neighbors in this country — deters someone from attacking my friends and neighbors, maybe that’s worth it.”

    1) Do not carry a weapon you do not plan on using. The comfort you are feeling from having it is only coming from mental masturbation.

    2) Read the full article and it wil become very apparent, this guy needs to work out some of his own personal issues before he dives head first into the gun world.

    3) If this chump can muster the courage to put ammo in the gun, you know he will keep an empty chamber… And this is why we laugh at the empty chamber folks.

  16. Hmmmm, he may be onto something. I bought an apple peeler the other day. I am in constant fear that I will peel/kill myself with it. Statistics prove you are more likely to kill yourself and your family if you have an apple peeler in the house, plus it is Tactical black colored which means it was meant for wholesale slaughter of innocents. But I feel better having it in the house.

    • Got a pressure cooker? Because if you do, you’re statistically more likely to turn it into an improvised bomb than someone who doesn’t have one.

  17. After reading the whole article, it almost sounds as if two different people wrote the same article.

    He starts with the typical progressive hand wringing that having a gun is more dangerous for the owner than to protect against any predator.

    Then he ends the article with the fact that mass shootings does not happen where there are a lot of people carrying a gun and ends with the Quote, “an armed society is a polite society and one that is highly resistant to attack”.

    Weird.

  18. Did you all miss the part about A NON-GUN OWNER BECOMING A GUN OWNER? As usual, everyone’s dumping on this guy for his lack of ideological purity. Clearly, he’s an urban progressive who’s opened his eyes to the fact that the government isn’t going to protect him. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a very good thing.

    We have a new gun owner here, one who despite his fears, saw a need to join us. Trevor, welcome to reality.

    • +1–Having actually read the article, I see he actually comes to a lot of the right conclusions: Armed citizens can deter crime just by being armed, crooks, nuts, and terrorists favor unarmed victims, and seek out places where they are concentrated, and the police do not/cannot protect you. He may think he’s just being emotional, but those are rational conclusions he has reached.

  19. That’s gotta be one of the “richest” things I’ve seen–a bloomin’ gun muggle positing that it is the gun owners who are operating primarily on emotions. But for all that, if you read the article, he actually makes a lot of sense–and not just emotionally, whether he realizes it or not.

  20. Another Clown with touchy feely emotions! if he’s that afraid of a gun {weapon} sorry Staff Sergent} maybe he should have bought a flame thrower! or Sling Shot, Spear, Machete ETC,
    that way, we can know that he had to work at offing himself instead of accidentally playing with his new toy and it goes bang, he might have a serious problem with a Revolver

  21. Christ can this guy even grow a set! Must have spent weeks in a sweater vest sipping herbal tea AGONIZING over this epic decision!

    • Ummm–I believe it has been said here many times that owning a gun and carrying a gun are things to be taken seriously, with some thought to the responsibilities and implcations thereof. Let’s cut the guy a little slack.

  22. I for one say “Welcome to the people of the gun!”
    You are on the right path to becoming a true man who is self reliant and willing to protect and support himself and his family.
    Off to the range with you for some fun target practice
    Careful! Self reliance is addicting!
    You always need one more gun.
    Some more ammo stored away wont hurt either.

  23. The whole “it makes me feel better” thing is what we call the instinct for self-preservation. I blame this defenselessness among Progressive people of the male gender on their fathers. Throughout history, fathers were tasked with protecting their families and teaching boys to be men. We don’t see that with this new “enlightened” generation.

  24. Laugh; even when they cross over from “the dark side” the anti’s hypocritical rhetoric continues to intimidate.

    Clearly Hughes needs to work on separating his emotionally driven non-logic from reality.

    A dose of recognizing that he himself is empowered to exercise his own self discipline and independence without the nanny state to direct him might open his eyes to the insight and freedom that awaits outside ‘the dark side’.

  25. Trevor,

    You’ve taken an important step and you are right to realize that you’ve taken on a huge responsibility. But taking it on was the right thing to do, your friends’ opinions to the contrary notwithstanding.

    You’ve clearly done a lot of thinking and are realizing a lot of the attitudes, etc., of those friends and acquaintances don’t quite jibe with what you’re seeing. Some things on the other hand, you still haven’t shaken off. For instance, you seem concerned you’re more likely to kill yourself now that you have a gun (if you aren’t, I can’t see why you believe that statistic to be relevant), but the fact of the matter is that what other people do with their gun doesn’t in any way affect what you will do with yours. If you weren’t suicidal before, the gun won’t make you so. On some level you probably realize this, but on another level, you seem not to. A contradiction you will have to resolve someday.

    I hope you invest in some education on how (and when) to use the gun you are (rightfully) hoping you will not need to use to save your life. It’s not a talisman, you have to know how to use it, in case your hopes don’t come true, and you find yourself needing to.

  26. As for the ninety percent of you commenters who dumped on this guy for beginning to realize he’s wrong about a great many things, and having the courage to act on it in the face of opprobrium from the people in his life, thanks for extending a such a warm welcome to the newest gun owner. With attitudes like this we’ll surely win ’em over!

  27. “I know the statistics that show I’m at risk, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself.”

    I mean really? Just the shear act of owning a gun means you are more likely to kill yourself with it than use it save yourself?
    Really? Really?

    That just doesn’t even make logical sense.

  28. This guy will get his pistol about the same time I get my degree in Rocket Surgery. Change a few words and it reads like thousands of anti-freedom screeds you can find every day.

    A person afraid of guns should not carry one. If he proves me wrong (and gets some damn training) I will apologize. I’m not too worried.

  29. I’m waiting to see if he does a followup article about shooting it at the range for the first time, and if it includes the phrase “I peed a little”.

  30. Just an example of dna pushing the reset button.
    I say congratulations are in order!
    You just joined the real world, now go from a crawl to a walk then run.

  31. The statistic that owning a gun is more likely to harm you than protect you is a statistic that exists because of stupid and/or irresponsible gun owners. Like the guy that doesn’t safety clear his gun before cleaning it. Around 2010 or 2011, I heard about a college student who accidentally shot his friend (fatally) because he as twirling a Glock on his finger like a cowboy and didn’t know the gun was loaded. ALL GUNS ARE LOADED!

    If you know yourself and you know the people who are living with you, you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not owning a gun poses a threat to you. Basically just 1. Don’t be an idiot, 2. Don’t let any known idiots access to your gun(s).

    • The statistic that owning a gun is more likely to harm you than protect you is a statistic that exists because of stupid and/or irresponsible gun owners.

      Actually, it’s not a statistic to begin with – and more importantly, it is a specious claim. There are between 200,000 and 2.5MM defensive gun uses annually, against about 600 accidental firearm fatalities annually.

    • “The statistic that owning a gun is more likely to harm you than protect you is a statistic that exists because of stupid and/or irresponsible gun owners.”

      Nope. As Chip points out, such a statistic does not exist at all.

      What you have stated here is a bastardization of the oft repeated trivial notion “You are more likely to harm yourself with a gun if you have a gun than if you don’t have a gun.” It’s a stupid claim (as for being trivial, and thus without rhetorical, persuasive or syllogistic content) intended solely to manipulate the weak-minded that can’t do logic (especially mathematical logic) on their own.

      It’s like saying “You are more likely to be hurt in a car wreck if you ride in cars than if don’t ride in cars” or “you are more likely to cut yourself if you use knives than if you don’t use knives,” etc.

      Someone somewhere stated the obvious, non-informative statement and others have extrapolated it to mean “more likely to hurt yourself than protect yourself” meme, which is about as non sequitur as it comes.

  32. F’ing idiot.
    Anyone thinking emotions are not logical is stupid.
    Emotions are “macros” that speed up our decision making without forcing us to think too much and to make mistakes because we sometimes do not perceive consciously what we have perceived subconciously. Emotions are the result of 4 billion years of Darwin, you bet it works most of the time.
    Using logic is not wrong, but sometimes the preposterous self-righteous feeling to remain rational is anyting but.

  33. Oh I wish wish I was a Colorado weenie,that is what I truly wanna’ be…missed the sing-along yesterday LOL

  34. It seems like we get too hung up on statistics these days. Especially this guy.
    “And even worse, I know the statistics that show I’m at risk, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself”
    Dude, if you can examine yourself and say “Hmm, do I want to kill myself? No?” Then, despite the statistics, you should be just fine.

  35. Weird, I know those same statistics and yet I’ve never considered myself at risk of suicide ‘by a gun.’ Maybe because I don’t want to kill myself or maybe because I know that if I DID want to kill myself- say because I had some terrible, relentless disease or looked like Rosie O’donnell, whatever- not having a gun would not stop me.

    So either our new gun owner should seek some therapy for suicidal tendencies or grow a spine.

  36. Ummm, maybe someone should point out that owning a gun isn’t going to make him more likely to decide to end his own life. It only means that if he does make that decision he is more likely to use the gun to do it…

    He makes it sound as though the gun is somehow going to talk him into it.

    You know what, just send the dam thing to me, I can always use another or the trade in if I don’t care for it. I don’t want to chance him walking into another gun shop and having the displays talk him into anything.

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