The People of the Gun greeted part one of Ms. Magazine’s “My Month with a Gun” series with universal opprobrium. Deservedly so. “I drove to where a police officer had pulled over another driver. Now, writing this, I realize that rolling up on an on-duty cop with a handgun in tow might not have been fully thought through. I told him I just bought a gun, had no clue how to use it. I asked him to make sure there were no bullets in the magazine or chamber. He took the magazine out and cleared the chamber. He assured me it was empty and showed me how to look. Then he told me how great the gun was and how he had one just like it.” No surprise that Ms. Magazine bailed on Heidi Yewman’s anti-gun CCW project—or that thedailybeast.com picked it up. But surely part two couldn’t be as bad, right? Wrong . . .
Only two days into my experiment I went to breakfast with my two kids and some friends. After eating and shopping, my gun with me the entire time, I was anxious to get home to enjoy the warm weather. I put my purse on the counter and then spent the next hour out on the back deck. Walking into the kitchen to refresh our drinks, I noticed my purse with the 9mm Glock still inside it. I’d forgotten to lock it up! Panic set in as I realized my teen son was playing videogames just 10 feet away. What if he’d decided to get the socks I’d bought him from my purse while I was out on the deck? Thoughts raced through my mind and I pondered how I’d just straddled the fine line between being a responsible gun owner and an irresponsible idiot whose 15-year-old just accidentally shot himself or someone else with my gun.
Heads-up Heidi! That’s no fine line you’re
snorting walking. A gun should either be on your hip or in a safe. Note: on your hip. Not in a purse. If you’d spent any time researching gun safety (especially hereabouts) you’d know that off-body carry is inherently dangerous. The gun’s hard to get to when you need it and there’s an excellent chance the firearm will not be under your control at all times.
As you learned. Oh wait. “I went to three parties in homes where children played just feet from the pile of guests’ jackets and purses, including mine with the gun inside.”
You’d think that a woman who’s so paranoid about firearms that it’s [allegedly] keeping her up at night and making her afraid of her own shadow would spend a little less time obsessing and a lot more time training. Not our Heidi. Home carry? Never heard of it.
Since having the gun I’ve had two repairmen, a carpet cleaner, and a salesmen in my home. If the gun’s for self-protection, it’s not going to do any good in the safe, but it’s not really practical to have the gun pointing at them as they work. How else would I eliminate the element of surprise if I were attacked? Suspiciousness and fear of people is new to me, and I don’t like it. Living with a gun has not been easy.
Not for Heidi it hasn’t—even though the “inconvenience” of it all led the not-so-reluctant reluctant gun blogger to argue for national concealed carry reciprocity. So she decided to ditch her gat. But how?
So what do you do when you no longer want a gun in your home? There are hundreds of turn-in programs, but some take a more creative approach. One artist melts down seized guns and turns them into jewelry; there’s a sculptor who turns melted-down guns into public art; and one local government office turns guns into plaques that include inscriptions from school kids about ending gun violence. My gun is now a piece of art.
Really? Internet rulez: if you don’t post a photo, it didn’t happen. Anyway, it’s over. What should have been an ongoing series turned into a two-part journey into Ms. Yewman’s heart of darkness.
I felt a huge sense of relief the day I got rid of the gun. I no longer had to worry that my teenagers or their friends would use my gun when I wasn’t home. I didn’t have to worry that I would be in a situation where I would make a choice about taking another life. I didn’t have to worry that my gun would be stolen out of my car and then used to murder someone. And I didn’t have to worry that one day I would get a diagnosis or have a personal crisis and have a gun on hand to turn on myself.
Reading between the lines, this woman needs some serious psychological counseling. Or not; people who don’t want a gun shouldn’t have one. But that doesn’t mean that people that do shouldn’t. Oh, and when it comes to an anti-gunner strapping-up and opting out, Dan Baum did it better.