Random Thoughts About My Anti-Gun Mother’s Passing

Daphne Farago (above) passed away quietly on Sunday, at the ripe old age of 94.

It was the end of a tough life for my Mom, psychologically speaking. She lost both her parents at an early age. She left her native South Africa as soon as she could, met my father in post-war Germany, emigrated to the States and raised three boys. But she never found the inner peace she needed. That we all need.

Truth be told, Mom made my life tough, too. To be fair, even the worst of us do our best to raise our kids, trying to give them the tools they need to survive. In my case, guns weren’t on that list. No sir.

But Mom taught me other skills. Like the value of sheer bloody-minded stubbornness. (More charitably, persistence.) And I learned something important about gun rights. Namely . . .

There are people who will never be comfortable with the idea of average folks carrying a gun (as per their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms). No matter what.

Pro-gun rights arguments using reason, statistics, facts and common sense were like water off a duck’s back for my Mom. Her anti-gun animus was resolute. Illogical. Unshakeable.

I eventually heeded Jonathan Swift’s advice — “Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired” — and gave up. But I discovered that love can lead to tolerance.

As my Mother headed down the final furlong, she gradually realized there was no reason to be so hard on her third son. As she mellowed/ran out of energy/found love, she became tolerant of my views on guns. Or, to be more precise, resigned.

While Mom could never bring herself to say the name of this website — calling it “your gun thing” — she eventually asked about TTAG’s health without the biting condemnation that typified her general view of my life choices. (Many of which did indeed suck.)

My takeaway from this evolution? Be nice to anti-gunners.

Sure, gun control advocates are trying to take away a right upon which your very life and all your cherished liberties depend. D’uh! But personal civility is the only way you’ll ever make progress with progressives.

If you don’t treat anti-gunners like scum, they might — not to say they will — but they might stop being such *ssholes. Which, I’m afraid to say, is sometimes as good as it gets.

As for my Mom, all is forgiven. In fact, it was a long time ago. Rest in peace, Mom.


  1. avatar A Brit in TX says:

    Sorry for your loss Robert.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Mega dittos, RF.

      Nice thoughts expressed here, but I know of no situation where being kind to a bully made the bully more kind to ANYONE.

      Bullying can only be defeated by a heavier counter force. You reap what you sow. Bullies sow hate. They reap abundant hatred in return.

      Now, to put this all in “gun terms” (or at least military and explosives terms), ignorance and stupidity both have an indeterminable lethal radius. To avoid the damage, you must remove the weapon.

    2. avatar Evo Shift says:

      Condolences for your loss. My mother is 94 and I dread her inevitable passing.

  2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    Oh Robert, prayers man…

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    I’m certain that the GOOD LORD rushed out to greet her. Sorry for your loss.

    I think you have to have an equal number of kids before you can judge your parents, and, when you do, even then you have to “put yourself in the picture” see yourself being parented by your parent, that is only working from their own experience and best guess.

    From where she’s standing (I’m sure she’s at one with THE LORD already) she can see what a true worldwide phenomenon TTAG is, and she is beaming.

  4. avatar Dcert says:

    Sorry to hear of your moms passing. RIP

  5. avatar YaDaddy says:

    My condolences for your loss, RF.

    Reading the above reminds me that I’ve got this all too inevitable and unfortunate life event in my near future also.

    I hope I can face it as well as you seem to be.

    Hang in there and keep up the good works.

  6. avatar Floyd says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, and very well written with good advice. Honey always wins more bees than vinegar.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Honey always wins more bees than vinegar.

      I recommend you take this up with Scipio Aemilianus, commander of the Roman army in Carthage in 146BC, and Numidian king Masinissa of the same era. Rome utterly destroyed Carthage, both as a city and as a nation. It was the end of Carthage as an unending irritant to the Roman Empire.

      I use the same example whenever some silly Pollyanna claims, “Violence never settled anything.”

      1. avatar larrylarry says:

        i’d take this article as more of “know which battles to pick”. some people will never change their minds. recognize it, and work on convincing someone else. that’s what the gun rights battle is really about anyway, convincing the fence sitters and the people that hate guns because their friends do. if you’re going around preaching to hard core anti gunners, you’re wasting your breath. since the anti’s like to portray us as bad people, staying courteous and polite is the best way to show them for what they are.

        1. avatar Timmy! says:

          “if you’re going around preaching to hard core anti gunners, you’re wasting your breath.”

          Not necessarily. If there are fence-sitters around, you might just convince one or two of them. (Full disclosure: I’m terrible at making solid pro-gun arguments no matter how often I read TTAG so “Do as I say, not as I do!”)

          Also, much sympathy for your loss Mr. Farago.

      2. avatar Floyd says:

        I’m fully aware of the history of the Punic Wars. I was referring to this particular story, which was about Robert’s relationship with his own mother. Would you have him use violence in his disagreement with his own mother?

        And yes, while it may be futile, it is often the more honorable route to try to get along first. Then, when they won’t, you may raze their buildings and salt the earth with impunity.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          As applies to RF’s situation (and those similar), apparent capitulation, rather than honey, is likely to be most effective. If mommy ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.

  7. avatar JTVickers says:

    Prayers for your family RF.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      Apparently, Google is not MY friend. kjgh?

  8. avatar FlamencoD says:

    Sorry for your loss.

    1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

      Sorry for your loss RF. Losing a parent is not easy.

      1. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

        My mom passed away @ 85 years old. Passed away 10-09-2011
        RF, my deepest sympathies for the passing of your mom!

        We got along great until I had to mother my mother! It’s when I realized there was a reason we had to go to War with the Germans twice in a 100 years. I stayed with her until I realized she wouldn’t let go as long as I was with her! My sister in law stayed with her and my mother passed within 20 minutes.
        Know your mother loved you very much and she knew you loved her very much ❤️

  9. avatar Scott Greer says:

    May your mother rest in peace.

  10. avatar Rabbi says:

    Deepest condolences, Robert.

  11. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    Well written, condolences. You created meaningful content out of personal loss, not the easiest thing to do.

  12. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. May her memory be a blessing.

    Yes, my mom never really accepted my interest in firearms. (She was less accepting of my purchase of a motorcycle, though.)

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      As a parent it’s hard to blame her for that.

      Being a parent really does change your perspective.

      At 20, volunteering for “peacekeeping” duty in the former Yugoslavia seemed like a great adventure. Yes, I was too young for the First Gulf War (and anyway the only Canadians who saw real action in that one were pilots), and 9/11 was still years away. And it turned out that Canada would fight its biggest battle since Korea (and prior to Afghanistan) at the Medac Pocket in the Krajina region of Croatia. But the point being that for a young, single guy it seemed like a worthwhile risk to take.

      Now when I look at my boys, the idea of sending them somewhere where they could be shot at seems just beyond the pale. Fortunately I have a few years to go, but I am pretty sure the older one has the soldiering bug.

  13. avatar LHW says:

    Sorry for your loss, and may the Lord bring you peace and give you strength.

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    RIP RF…I am also the 3rd of 3 sons. I can relate. No motherly animus and never any condemnation. Gone for 40years.

  15. avatar Steve says:

    My condolences to you and your family.

  16. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    94 and never understood what you were saying? Now, that’s persistence! But you shared so much love anyway, and that is the true measure of your relationship. Peace to her and to your family.

  17. avatar Madcapp says:

    I’m sorry Robert. My condolences.

  18. avatar John Boch says:

    I am sorry to hear this terrible news, Robert.

    Wendy and I extend our deepest condolences.


  19. avatar EJQ says:

    I’m so sorry, Robert.

  20. avatar Gregolas says:

    Praying for you and your family, Robert.

  21. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Robert, I know all too well that nothing anyone can say will make this easier to bear.

    The only comfort I can offer is that it will get better over time. That, and to note that the reason this hurts is because there was joy and love.

    Condolences and best wishes.

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    My condolences for your mom. I very recently lost my dad (he was only 68), and he was very coherent and cogent (he was all there), and I wished so much that we could have had more time together to discuss all the aspects of existence more before he passed. I must say fortune is on your side for you to have your mom until the very long age of 94.

    In an ideal world none of us would need to carry guns and guns would have never been invented. But things aren’t ideal, and guns were invented, and for our own preparedness and oftentimes even expectation, some of us must carry guns to survive. And it seems your mom is one of these people that strived for this ideal, there is no reason to hold that against them. In the end they wanted you to survive and you want you to survive, you just see very different methods to attain such and both sides are strongly opinionated in that endeavor.

    Again my condolences. Be grateful fortune gave her a long life and in the entirety, life is miraculous, beautiful, and terribly tragic with “fortune” always striking down the strong man (or in this case – woman):


  23. avatar cmac890 says:

    My condolences. Wishing you nothing but peace in this difficult time.

  24. avatar Ed says:

    Condolences. R.I.P.

  25. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

    Eternal rest grant unto her oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen Be at peace RF, she is better off.

  26. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Mr. Farago, you have my sincere condolences. Our mothers nurture us, shape us, and influence us in ways we never fully comprehend. They teach us the meaning of unconditional love.

    “Be nice to anti-gunners.”
    We can be much more general than that. We can say, “Be nice to everyone.” There is just no advantage to behaving any other way. We can even be nice to those who seek to prey upon us, up to the point where they present an eminent, credible threat of death or grave bodily harm and we act to eliminate that threat.

    We have seen the vitriol and hatred from the left, which has boiled over since the Trump election. Does their behavior cause us to rethink our philosophies? Certainly not. It undermines their credibility and removes any hope of civilized discourse. Such behavior only serves to polarize our nation.

    So let’s not be that guy/girl. Let’s strive to live each day, proving that we are not the hateful/bigoted/dangerous people that we are accused of being. At the very least, it will drive the “progressives” crazy when we refuse to descend to their level.

  27. avatar Michael Bane says:

    Perhaps the hardest thing that we as children have to do is bury our parents. It may be our lot, but that doesn’t make it any easier…sorry for you loss.

    Michael B

  28. avatar RCC says:

    Condolences Robert

    I lost my mother to Parkinson’s 4 years ago at 84 and still miss her. Lost her very sharp brain to the disease years earlier.

  29. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

    Condolences, love em’ or hate em’, it’s always hard to lose somebody that one is close to.

  30. avatar MLee says:

    Lost my mother several years ago. She was 93. Like Roberts mom, she was anti-gun. While losing your parents, friends, pets and such hurts, that’s the reality of life. At 60 years old, I’ve lost a lot of friends. I just lost another close friend a few weeks ago who is ten years younger than I am.
    A friend asked me if miss my mom and the truthful answer was….no. She was a difficult woman and made my life hell.

  31. avatar Hank says:

    Very sad. My condolences. I can be nice to anti gunners if they’re just ignorant on the issue and not the foaming at the mouth BLM/antifa types. Also I notice that for some reason the baby boomers and the generation before them are typically pretty anti gun. Even though they lived through one of the most glaringly examples in history as to why the people need private arms ownership.

  32. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Sorry for your loss, Robert. When a parent goes, it’s always hard. One thing that’s hard to realize when you’re a kid, is that when your parent isn’t doing a good job it may just be that they’re doing the best they can do. While kids usually
    aren’t very good at getting that kind of stuff, knowing about it when you are an adult really helps. Looks like you figured that out ok. And good on you for it.

  33. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    My sincere condolences. I would like to point out, it seems that you both turned out alright.

    Tolerance is a subtle, yet powerful tool.

  34. avatar Carrucan says:

    A nice thing to write. Makes me think of and miss my mom.

  35. avatar H says:

    Thanks for sharing such a
    very nice tribute!!
    Peace be with you and yours.

  36. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  37. avatar Tom Moscone says:

    May her memory be a blessing.

    I am sure that in the world your mom would have wanted, if everyone would live up to her ideals, nobody would NEED a gun.

  38. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    I too had a Mother with a hard edge. It still can be tough. MY sincerest condolences.

  39. avatar Treedodger says:

    My deepest sympathies Robert to you and your family. I recently lost my father in his mid seventies. It is always difficult regardless of the age or circumstance. My prayers are with you.

  40. avatar patrulje68 says:

    My condolences, my father died just before my last deployment. We were too much alike to spend more than a few days together without getting on each other’s nerves. But the love we felt for each other was never in doubt. He was neither a gun guy nor an anti-gun guy, blue collar, thru and thru he saw forearms as nothing more than tools.

  41. Thoughts and prayers, Robert.

  42. avatar Ironhead says:

    Sorry for your loss Robert.
    Dealing with the liberal bs around illinois politics has made me a little jaded about anti gun people. Its more of a we dont talk about it because you will be proven wrong and you wont be able to accept it.
    Kind of like when i thoroughly embarassed michelle mushmouth in front of my entire block. I wasnt a jerk. I just corrected everything that she was wrong about. Which was unfortunately everything she said. Sadly she hasnt been back to visit me since.

  43. avatar DC Hannah says:

    Condolences to you and your family on your loss, Robert.

  44. avatar CCDWGuy says:

    I’m not sure how long I have been a TTAG reader but it has been awhile. I remember your early comments about your love/problematic relationship and am just so sorry for your loss, and also that she came to grips with your passion. I have a daughter who is not thrilled with my “gun hobby” but hope someday she can also understand.
    So sorry for your and the family’s loss.

  45. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    A simple prayer for you and yours Robert.
    May your mom Rest In Peace.

  46. avatar MyName says:

    Condolences, RF.

  47. avatar Doug says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Mr. Farago. May you find a strength greater than your own at this time.

  48. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Sorry for your loss Robert.
    My mom was the same way. Stubborn till her end about my love affair with guns. But resigned to it. As far as I knew.
    My moms been gone for over 10 years now. I miss her every day. Hopefully with you Robert that will never end too.

  49. avatar Serpent Vision says:

    Sorry for your loss. It is tough having a family who are bloody-minded in their belief that gun restrictions are a benefit to society.

  50. avatar Chris Morton says:

    My mother was completely anti-gun… until somebody hit her upside the head and robbed her.

    Of course by that time Apartheid Chicago had a handgun ban and she was SOL, and nobody cared, least of all the Chicago PD.

    Ironically, I had minimal interest in guns at all until one night while watching “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, she said to me, “Look at that funny looking gun!” My grandmother started buying me all of the popular gun magazines of the ’60s (just to piss my mother off, I’m sure). I got my first “Small Arms of the World” between the 7th and 8th grades.

    Now I’ve got more guns than Nancy Pelosi has functioning brain cells.

    Thanks mom!

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      “Now I’ve got more guns than Nancy Pelosi has functioning brain cells.”

      Dude! You need way more than two guns!

  51. avatar jwm says:

    Sorry for your loss, RF. I lost my mom when she was 49 and my dad when he was 85. We had a good relationship. Dad and mom were more Fudds about guns. They were both country and understood the need for a shotgun and a rimfire rifle. We hunted, my mother and sisters also, in my youth.

    I still miss them both.

  52. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Sorry for your loss.

    Your post brings to mind the adage – “Never try to teach a pig to whistle – it’s tough on you and irritates the pig”.


  53. RF: Condolences to you, my brother in arms.

    My mom was a member of her High School rifle team, and was generally tolerant of guns. After my Father passed, she slowly began to bend to anti-gun sentiments rampant in the Palm Springs CA area.

    She never begrudged our rights, wishes, or beliefs. A more loving and devoted mother there never was and never will be. She passed suddenly about 4 years ago, and I’ll probably not ever spend a day without a thought of her flitting across my heart.

    When she first settled in her winter home near Palm Springs, the United States Representative there was the very Conservative Patriot Sonny Bono. As a life-long hard-working, self-reliant Republican she was tickled that Bono was her mouthpiece in Washington DC.

    When she passed, the Congressman for her district was Raul Ruiz – a Liberal Democrat and Mexican National, born in Zacatecas Mexico after I graduated from High School.

    What a Pity.

  54. avatar Cubbie says:

    My prayers and condolences, RF.

  55. avatar Dredd says:


    You have my deepest sympathies… Thank you for letting us know.
    Peace be with you brother.

  56. avatar GS650G says:

    My step father is 94 as well. We’ll see how far he goes down the road. He’s in good shape for his age but when he’s called he’ll have no regrets. He’s supportive of gun rights 100% so at least he’s easy to talk about guns with.

  57. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    My condolences, Robert.

  58. avatar BDM-Brat says:

    It’s a sad club, but as you see, not a lonely one. You’re in my thoughts man.

  59. avatar skykingmn says:

    My deepest condolences sir.

  60. avatar racer88 says:

    A very nice tribute. Sorry for your loss, Robert.

  61. avatar Swobard says:

    A heartfelt tribute to your Mother.

    Sincere condolences to you and your family, RF.

  62. avatar Dan in CO says:

    RF, I’m sorry for your loss. May she rest in peace.

  63. avatar Hazzard says:

    So sorry to hear this, Robert.

    This was an excellent, thoughtful piece.


  64. avatar joe3 says:

    Baruch Dayan Emmet.

  65. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

    My condolences on your loss Robert.

  66. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Condolences, RF.

    Won’t be many years before mine goes…

  67. avatar 16V says:

    My condolences on your loss Robert.

  68. avatar Stoney Man says:

    Only the good die young. Congratulations on your liberation.

  69. avatar TStew says:

    My condolences for your loss, Robert. While she may not have appreciated all of your strongly held convictions, she was your mother and I’m sure the loss hurts. May peace be with you and your family.

  70. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …heartfelt sympathies.

  71. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    My condolences as well Mr. Farago.

    And I say this having just attended my grandmother-in-law’s funeral today … she was 94 years old as well.

  72. avatar silvewarloc says:

    My condolences and prayers RF. I know it was difficult for me when my mother passed away…while I was on deployment. The following year after that deployment, my father passed away as well. Double whammy, I guess. The only thing I could do was to move on….that was 11 years ago.

  73. avatar Jake Nguyen says:

    My condolences…

    1. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

      Absolutely beautiful?
      Amazing Grace on bagpipes.
      Doesn’t get better than that!
      A huge Thank you for posting

  74. avatar Ralph says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Robert. I lost my own mother when she was only 50, and that was almost 50 years ago. Maybe your mom didn’t “get it,” but she was your mom, and that’s enough. For having your mother for so long, I envy you.

  75. avatar Chier says:

    Condolences on your loss, R.F.
    You will see her again in dreams from time to time — she might even be Pro-Gun occasionally.

  76. avatar Smoke Jensen says:

    RIP Mrs. Farago.

  77. avatar Larry says:

    My mother is also anti-gun, but at the end of the day, mothers love their sons; and that’s good enough for me. Sorry for your loss.

  78. avatar Crowbar says:

    My most sincere condolences Mr. Farago. Very well written article.

  79. avatar LJM says:

    Robert, My condolences on the passing of your mother.

  80. avatar William says:

    Sorry for your loss.

  81. avatar Rita and Len Nazareth says:

    Bobby, Tried to find your address and came across your article. Len and I are sending you our sincerest sympathy on the passing of your Mom. We met your parents probably 35 yrs ago and they have always been special people for us.
    Know that we are thinking of you and your family

  82. avatar CLarson says:

    My condolences, Robert. Lost my Mom this year, also. We had major differences also but she was Mom, right? I miss her. Hang in there and stay close to family.

  83. avatar G. Anderson says:

    While your Mother may have been mistaken on the gun issue she obviously succeeded instilling you with the seeds of free thinking. The best of the TTAG writers, I’m sorry for your loss.

  84. avatar TTAG Intelligentsia says:

    I’m sorry to hear that, Robert. My deepest sympathies.

  85. avatar PeterK says:

    My condolences, Robert.

    I always loved hearing about your mom. It’s obvious you loved her a lot. And vice versa.

  86. avatar leisure suit larry says:

    My heart goes out to you. Good looking woman, clearly, you look like dad. ; )

  87. avatar IYearn4nARnCali says:

    My sympathy to you and your family, Mr. Farago. Losing a loved one is terribly rough.

    My parents are both anti-gunners (aunty gunners? hehe) but my resolute conviction to pull them both into reality has seen a massive shift in my mothers view on firearms. But my former Marine father is oscillating between loosening CA gun control laws, and making them more stringent. Their problem is that for the life of me, I can’t get them to stop watching CNN, MSNBC, and the darn Dodgers, hopping from one channel to the next. I can forgive the Dodgers, but the other channels are dead weight. It is because of the pernicious voices of those propaganda puppets that their views on 2A rights keep oscillating between sensible and obtuse.

    Again, I am truly sorry your mum is gone, Mr. Farago. My condolences sir.

  88. avatar ADM says:

    Sorry to hear that, RF. You mentioned your mother not-irregularly here on TTAG, and it’s sad to see her go. It was clear you loved her very much, disagreements and all.

  89. avatar JohnnyCanada says:

    You’re my favourite writer, RF.
    Keep on truckin’, brother.

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