Note to Amanda Marcotte: It Stops Being “Unlikely” When It Starts Being You

Maria Garate (courtesy San Jose PD)

You may recall our recent post Amanda Marcotte: Guns Are Like a Dildo in a Drawer. Ms. Marcotte argued that American gun owners don’t need guns because they don’t need guns. The odds of needing a firearm for self-defense are so low anyone who exercises their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is paranoid (or worse). As our readers pointed out, the odds of needing a fire extinguisher in your home are also low. People have them because the cost of not having a fire extinguisher when you need one are high. Same thing with guns. And there’s no getting around the fact that . . .

Bad things happen to good people. People minding their own business in places where you wouldn’t expect evil to appear.

Click here to read the story of an attack on an Asian family shopping at the San Jose Walmart. Short story shorter, a woman named Maria Garate [above] smuggled a crowbar into the store, approached the family and hit the four-year-old girl, who was sitting in the shopping cart. When Garate tried to swing again, the father stepped in to take the blow.

Bystanders helped subdue Garate, preventing further injury. The child survived the attack with non-life threatening injuries.

The DA said Garate targeted the family because they’re Asian. Garate told investigators she was upset that the child did not die. And Marcotte wonders why anyone would carry a gun for self-defense. That said . . .

Anti-gunners — for whom the term idée fixe was invented — will no doubt argue that a self-defense firearm would not have changed the outcome. Given the element of surprise, neither parent could have drawn a firearm from concealment before the initial strike. Even if they had, it wouldn’t have stopped the initial blow.

True, but that’s hardly the whole story . . .

Carrying a firearm tends to increas the owner’s situational awareness. Extra awareness may have given the couple enough time to prevent the original blow – by moving away, striking Garate with an object, drawing a firearm and perhaps shooting her. But that’s pure conjecture based on a supposition without any statistical evidence. Yes, but there are lots of ways this could have played out . . .

What if the father hadn’t been able to intervene? What if he wasn’t there? What if Garate had killed the father with her first blow, then turned to murder his child? I’m not saying the mother couldn’t or wouldn’t have been able to defend the four-year-old, but how? How do you stop someone trying to kill your child with a crowbar in a Walmart?

Shoot them. Why not? Who wouldn’t shoot someone trying to kill his or her child? Is there a more effective method of self-defense? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on the situation. But if shooting an attacker or attackers is the best solution, you’re going to need a gun. Which Marcotte doesn’t think anyone needs – even if someone does. Because that someone isn’t likely to be her. Or you. Unless it is. Then what?

Then, if you live in San Jose and you can’t get “permission” to carry, or you live somewhere else where you can carry and choose not to, you do what you can with the tools you have – without the one tool that gives you the best chance of survival. Good luck with that.


  1. avatar Jay Williams says:

    OFF TOPIC: I noticed you recently modified your RSS feed. I have always read the vast majority of posts in their entirety in Microsoft Outlook. If I was interested in reading the comments for a particular post, I would open the post in my web browser. Now that your RSS feed is showing only a few sentences of each post, I will be reading far fewer posts in their entirety. I doubt that this was your objective, but, at least for me, that will be the result. Just wanted to give you feedback on that change.

    1. avatar Ty King says:

      Ditto. Except I don’t use Outlook for my RSS.

    2. avatar Fabian B. says:

      I second that.

    3. avatar Michael says:

      Same here. I may end up removing this site from Feedly. I have enough firearm-related blogs to read through, I don’t need one that forces me to click through just to skim an article to see if I’m interested. I’ll stick it out for a little bit, but will probably delete it if there isn’t a change soon.

      1. avatar Bill says:

        One more in agreement. TTAG is going to lose another reader.

        1. avatar jon says:

          Well that’s a pretty stupid reason to stop visiting TTAG.

        2. avatar Jay Williams says:

          Right, jon. Whatever is important to you should be important to everyone else and whatever is not important to you shouldn’t be important to anyone else.

    4. avatar Michael C says:

      I use Gmail and have always had to click the hyperlink to read the full post for most posts other than Quote Of The Day and Gun Tweet Of The Day(and the occasional longer post in those two categories). I don’t mind and have never minded. I used to read every post in its entirety when I first found TTAG. But now that I’m employed full-time and TTAG posts 2 or 3 dozen articles a day, I only fully peruse the ones that interest me and I find the first paragraph or 2 to be sufficient to determine if I want to read the rest. I have noticed that less than 10% pull up in the site design that allows for mobile replies. Because I primarily use my phone to read the posts this has caused me not to reply to some comments that I was interested in responding to as I did not want to go through the hassle of pulling out my laptop, starting it up, and navigating to the particular post just to post one reply to a specific comment.

  2. avatar Mina says:

    Is this your first experience with Amanda Marcotte? She is the worst of the worst fat, obnoxious, and grotesque Feminists that the Femo-sphere has yet produced. Lest you perceive this to be ad hominem I encourage you to pull up her own reports of being too fat to squeeze herself into Coach Airline seats and how that may impact her Oreo consumption. Gross.

    This is the women that Feminism run amok produces: Overweight, out of shape, lazy whilst simultaneously shrieking “Love me for ME! – If a Size 2 is Beautiful, my Size 20 must be Glorious!”, Entitled, Programmed by the Left to spew nonsense based on circular logic that has everything to do with her solipsism and hypergamy and zero to do with the rights and real-life existence of anyone else.

    Ugh. Shall I go on?

    1. avatar benny says:

      Sounds like my 3rd grade teacher…

      But this is why we at TTAG love you, Mina.

    2. avatar Roscoe says:

      Wow Mina!

      You sure are pretty when you get angry.

    3. avatar danthemann5 says:

      I had to look up the definitions of solipsism and hypergamy…

    4. avatar neiowa says:

      #24. Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to
      the mainstream of society.

      1. avatar Mina says:


    5. avatar ready fire aim says:

      and wash that face..have some dignity for god’s sake

      1. avatar Mina says:

        Picture is not Amanda Marcotte.

        And … I have erred, in general. Amanda Marcotte is a nasty feminist but the fat, really gross nasty feminist is Lindy West.

        Amanda is just your stereo-typical heinous self entitled feminist wench, minus the pannus of some of the nastier selections.

        Writes for all of the Leftist femo-rags: Jezebel, RawStory, Slate. You get the idea. Radical man-hater. Ball-hater. Which translates into (poof! magic): Gun hater.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Well, of course she hates guns, they’re phallus objects.

          Cannot be having any of that

    6. avatar Lee says:

      RoK red pill…fuck em all!

    7. avatar KCK says:

      Are you sure you have the right Amanda Marcotte as far as the fat stuff.
      She looks OK but what she writes, I agree, a lot of BS.
      She doesn’t look fat at all in the pictures I can pull up.

      1. avatar Mina says:

        Yes, I posted my correction at the same time you were posting yours.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Well, you can retract or correct a statement. Bullets, on the other hand, are off on their merry way once you pull the trigger. As someone who has retracted a few statements, I respect your honesty.

  3. avatar Hal says:

    Fire extinguishers, health insurance, car insurance, seat belts.

    Rifles, pistols, shotguns, sub guns, silencers, machine guns, crew served weapons.

    The first group of items are mandated by law. The latter are banned, heavily regulated, discouraged, maligned and confiscated. All are unlikely to be used.

    Die statists.

  4. avatar michael nieto says:

    grammar police “Who wouldn’t shoot someone trying to kill their child?” the ‘their’ is plural and the who is singular you should say his or her

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      “Their” is ascending as a gender-neutral proxy for “his/her.” I don’t like it, but their it is!

      1. avatar Jake F. says:

        I see what you did there.

        1. avatar Randall Meadows says:

          “they’re” FTFY 😉

    2. avatar John says:

      That’s just, like, your opinion, man.

      Seriously, though, their has been used to refer to a singular possessor for centuries (e.g. classic English literature).

    3. avatar danthemann5 says:

      Shakespeare was ok with it. If it’s good enough for Willie, it’s good enough for me.

    4. avatar JasonM says:

      Grammar Internal Affairs:
      “who wouldn’t” could be plural or singular, although he likely meant it to be singular and used their instead of his (which is grammatically correct, when gender is unknown or unspecified), because our PC culture considers it sexist.

  5. avatar benny says:

    RF, some people just don’t get it. Whether by willful ignorance or being fed misinformation, there are people who just CANT and WONT see a need for civilian firearms. Miss Mascotte Is one such person. To each their own, and we can honestly (GOD HONESTLY) say we tried to tell her…

    1. avatar benny says:


  6. avatar Roscoe says:

    One’s SA should be piqued at least as high if unarmed, because of being unarmed; though I get the inference that one who is not a believer in self defense and guns may well be lax about their personal security as well.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      That’s the truth. If I am for some reason out and about unarmed, I do get a bit on edge, keep my eyes open better. But I’d guess folks way out in the don’t even own a gun, much less carry zone, probably don’t pay any attention to the dangers around them, until bitten once or twice.

  7. avatar Xbonesrider says:

    First off, sad that someone could hit a 4 year old girl in the head with a crowbar. This is exactly the reason I would be carrying. There was a recent furor in my town over a father taking his kid to a playground and seen openly carrying. I would think that is exactly where you should be carrying…

    I do take umbrage to the term “anti-gun”. The left is fine with guns so long as they are under their authority and control. They are not anti-gun. They are anti YOU having a gun.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      I just tend to use anti-freedom. No AR for you. No concealed carry permit for you. No racist jokes for you. No 20 ounce sodas for you. No saltshaker for you. Dissenting comments will be summarily deleted. Now go pay your exorbitant taxes to fund our programs while we drive the debt even further. It sums up the left nicely. You have no freedom except to get an abortion whenever you want at taxpayer expense.

  8. avatar James says:

    “People have them because the cost of not having a fire extinguisher when you need one are high. Same thing with guns. And there’s no getting around the fact that . . .”

    Oh sure there is a way of getting around that fact. Simply ignore it and never ever acknowledge the fact if it upsets your anti-gun faith. Modus operandi for MDA isn’t it? But remember, the antis just want a rational reasonable debate so STFU and turn over your guns.

  9. avatar Rob Aught says:

    I hate to say this, but I think you’re reaching to draw a conclusion as to how having a gun would have helped in that situation. ASSUMING situational awareness is not one of them.

    Now, a better argument would be that an attacker would be reluctant to ambush someone if their victim may be armed. I bet she would have thought twice had this been Florida or Texas.

    However, sometimes having a gun simply won’t help. We have to admit that and not go into logical contortions to prove our side is right. That’s what the anti-gunners do and we should not engage in that type of “debate”.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I have to disagree. The attacker here was clearly nutso, so thinking you could predict her actions in this situation or that is an exercise in futility. I suppose it is POSSIBLE that OC of a large pistol might have caused her to choose a different target, but I wouldn’t even bet on that. Hope the kid forgets this shit and his dad does not.

    2. avatar TT says:

      I agree with Rob Aught. In fact, I think the whole “should have been a DGU” concept is questionable. Better to just report real DGUs than coulda, woulda, shoulda, sorta, kinda, maybes.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I disagree. I believe that concealed carriers and open carriers have 10 times the situational awareness of disarmed sheep. Perhaps more. I would welcome a sociological study of the matter based upon my thesis. In fact, I’ve laid a dollar bill down in front of a movie theatre main entrance and have had it trampled by dozens of people.

  10. avatar JasonM says:

    I’m against the death penalty (primarily because it can’t be undone if new evidence appears), but people like Ms. Garate make me want to change my mind.

  11. avatar Gurney Halleck says:

    Why in the world would you smuggle a crowbar into Walmart. Were they sold out?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Could be it was theirs and they are disowning it in attempt to avoid the coming lawsuit.

  12. avatar Jack says:

    Anyone who has been the victim of violence should be highly offended at smug, ivory-tower claims that violence is statistically unlikely and that security precautions are for the paranoid. Those claims show a profound lack of empathy.

  13. avatar former water walker says:

    True that Jason. I’m not against the death penalty. They don’t have it in the Peoples Republic of Illinois. If you attack a 4 year old with a crowbar you NEED killing.

  14. avatar DaveL says:

    The question is not whether or not I’m likely to need it. The question is who ought to make that determination for me and my family.

  15. avatar Logan says:

    We don’t carry because of the LIKELIHOOD of an attack, we carry because of the STAKES of an attack.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      This is an application for the classical analysis of risk versus reward. The “reward” of carrying a firearm is almost zero. The risk is being severely injured or dying. Therefore, even though the “reward” for carrying a firearm is almost zero, I’ll carry one anyway.

      I suppose you could also look at a risk versus risk analysis. The “risk” of carrying a firearm is a negligent discharge which could result in no injury, severe injury, or death. The risk of NOT carrying a firearm is no injury, severe injury, or death. So what about the probability of each event? The probability of a negligent discharge leading to death is exceedingly small. Out of something like 100 million people who own firearms, less than 600 people negligently discharged their firearms causing accidental deaths last year according to the Centers for Disease Control. On the other hand violent criminals murdered approximately 13,000 people last year. Therefore the risk of a bad outcome for carrying firearm is lower than the risk of a bad outcome for NOT carrying a firearm.

      Once you get a chance to wrap your brain around that last paragraph, the risk of a bad outcome for carrying a firearm gets even lower when you account for a few factors. For example a significant number of negligent firearm discharges which caused a death were the result of children finding a firearm and squeezing the trigger. The good news: this is a risk that responsible people can manage! If you make it a point secure firearms (either in a safe or on your hip), the risk of child acquiring a firearm and discharging it are almost zero. Second, people who failed to clear a firearm before handling it also caused a significant number of negligent discharges that caused a fatality. The good news again: this is a risk that responsible people can manage!

      When you are a responsible person and sensibly manage the risks associated with firearm ownership, the probability of a bad outcome from owning a firearm is, from a statistical perspective, effectively zero. However, the risk of being a victim of violent crime, while relatively low, is most definitely NOT zero. I’ll keep my firearms thank you very much.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    Well, the father could have instantly stopped the attack by hitting Maria Garate in the face with Amanda’s dildo.

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      If Amanda herself did the honors, that just might have solved both of their problems. As for the father, he should’ve snatched that crowbar and gone Gordon Freeman on her crazy ass. I don’t give a damn what your beef is; if you hurt a kid, your only hope should be that bystanders can pull their parents off you before they finish stomping your head into the Linoleum.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      515 P.2d at 1.

  17. avatar Dale says:

    I usually make the point thusly during my concealed carry classes.

    Imagine you are in a car, you don’t wait until you see a car careening towards you to say “gosh I should click on my seatbelt now” because by then it’s too late. In order for safety equipment to work it has to be ready to roll AHEAD of time.

    Or to paraphrase another quote, “A gentleman will most likely never need a gun, but if he should he will need it VERY BADLY and RIGHT NOW.

  18. avatar Mike says:

    People are exquisitely adept at manufacturing defense mechanisms to project risk unto others. We are so good at it that we impose imaginary borders on real city streets to feed the delusion of safety: “No, THIS is a good area — nothing ever happens HERE. Now, two blocks over that way, someone was shot just last week.” Crime is always something that happens “somewhere else” to “someone else”. Unfortunately, we are ALL “someone else” to someone else. Each man looks at all the others, wondering who is going to be struck next, convinced beyond all doubt that the hammer will never fall on him.

  19. avatar Lfshtr says:

    It’s like carrying a simi-auto pistol and none in the pipe, the weapon of choice should always be ready.

  20. avatar Average Joe says:

    Yeah.. she would’ve been shot immediately. Who hits a baby? I would’ve taken the crowbar and hit her with it if that were my child or family member. Sometimes I think we need more of an for an eye law here in our country.

  21. avatar Erik says:

    When I first read her (Amanda Marcotte) argument I thought she was pro gun. The tool sitting in the closet waiting to get used on the off chance it’s needed. I’ve never had to use any of the tools that came with my car to change a spare tire, but they’re still there because I might need them someday; that’s the same reason I own guns, guns just have the advantage of being fun to shoot while still being ready for the day they’re needed. A person’s reasons for owning a dildo or a gun are their own, and they don’t need to convince you or anyone else that they have a “need” to own that tool; at the end of the day it’s their damn business, not yours. Amanda Marcotte’s lack of logic in her argument is staggering. (I’ve also heard that some dildos fit in 37mm flare launches, which would seem like a very entertaining projectile)

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    We don’t need guns because we don’t need guns…

    Well, I don’t need forks either. Or spoons – or golf clubs – or steak knives – or bowling balls; but I would like to have them and your reason is not reason enough.

  23. avatar Alex says:

    A New Mexico woman is repeatedly stabbed by her ex-husband in a Walmart before a 72-year-old man shoots the assailant and stops the attack:

  24. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Since this article touches on attacks at Walmart stores, we cannot forget the 2013 event in Oklahoma where a man snatched a two year-old child and held a knife to her throat for over 30 minutes. That was a scenario where a concealed handgun might have been exceedingly helpful.

  25. avatar ChrisB says:

    Ms. Marcotte employs three classic logical fallacies. I see she apparently also anti-vaccine. Is that as surprise?

    In terms of her risk statement, it s not the odds of needed a gun, it is the high risk of the consequence of not having one when one needs it. By Ms Marcotte’s logic, no one should have insurance, no one needs access to the fire department or police. She also apparently is arguing it is irrational to wear a seatbelt and irrational to think you are safer for a motorcycle helmet.

    Ms. Marquete apparently does’t care that according to the CDC 500,000 to three million crimes are prevented each year, and doesn’t get the fact that less than %0.1 of the time guns are not fired in self defense but merely shown or brandished to end a threat.

    As far has the phallic issue, I think all of use know who fetishizes and sees a phallus when they see a gun: those who know nothing about guns, and who unconsciously pile up all their ignorance driven fear into some kind of sexualized paranoid response.

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