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Should I Buy a Gun? Liberal Female Reporter Decides to Buy a Firearm

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posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:25 PM
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Gun control and gun rights is one of the bigger "wedge issues" in America. As usual, one "side" cannot even fathom the perspective of the "other side". I want to share this story in the hope that others will find it as interesting as I did.


One afternoon four years ago, my then boyfriend strides into the den where I’m reading a book and shows me a gun. A metallic silver handgun still wrapped in its original plastic, it lies there, impotent, in a small metal lock box, but it terrifies me anyway. Is owning a gun in Los Angeles even legal? I’d never seen an actual gun, except in the holsters of police officers. To my mind, guns were verboten, menacing, violent. They were unpredictable contraptions beloved of white supremacists or paranoid meth heads in creepy desert hideouts.

“Why did you buy it?”

“For self-defense,” he tells me, in his best duh voice.

There was the three-month sojourn in Los Angeles, during which my car was broken into twice: The first time, the locks were jimmied and stripped, and a duffel bag of personal documents vanished; the second time, the thieves urinated all over my car’s upholstery. During this same period, I found myself crouching behind the kitchen counter in my tiny one-bedroom apartment at 4 a.m. while a man threw the full weight of his body against my locked door. With each successive impact, he yelled that I was a bitch and he was going to kill me. A year or so later, in New York City, my home for most of my twenties, I walked in on a hold-up at a bodega in the far East Village. I opened the door to the store, and before I’d even crossed the threshold, I saw the bad guy, whose back was turned, and the people crouched on the floor. Somehow I was able to turn around and walk out, unscathed. Unscathed only on the surface, however.

On an ordinary Sunday in Santa Monica, I’d walked into the office we rented together to find it had been burglarized. The intruder had somehow tunneled through three layers of sophisticated security: an electronically coded front door, the Medeco bolt outside our suite, and the more basic lock to our office proper. The third door he’d ruptured with a crowbar; splinters of wood lay scattered across the nubby carpet. I’d been at the office until 2 a.m. the previous night, attempting to meet a deadline. Whoever had done this had utilized, exactly, the seven hours of my absence. It seemed likely that they had been watching me until I left. What if I’d walked in on them? I worried that the intruders hadn’t found what they came for and would return for it. Next time (a next time seemed inevitable) the crime would be far worse, some atrocity that even my overheated mind couldn’t conjure up. After the office break-in, I realized that something had changed. My tamped-down or laughed-off vulnerability and panic suddenly flooded back, defining me.

My distress wasn’t eased when we moved to the Hollywood Hills, into a restored 1912 Craftsman that was as spooky as it was beautiful. The neighborhood, a shabby-chic melange of movie people, artists, and old-school bohemian types, was mostly gentrified, but it was perched above the seediest section of Hollywood. The neighbors routinely warned of possible break-ins and informed one another if they came to pass. Several years prior, a guy posing as an air-conditioner repairman murdered a young woman renting a house at the end of the street. Unable to sleep, I got a prodigious amount of writing done that year. More than once I called 911. What’s bizarre is that during those nights I never remembered the gun. I didn’t even know where it was stored. It never occurred to me that a gun might quiet my blaring inner alarms.




posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:25 PM
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Until last year, that is, when I moved to Montana to live with my new boyfriend, now fiancé. Montana is one of only 12 states that allow residents to carry a loaded gun in public—“open carry”—either on foot or in a vehicle, without a permit. People here talk about guns casually and often, the way people in New York talk about long workdays and people in L.A. talk about yoga classes. A woman I befriended, a quirky, devoutly Christian two-time divorcée in her fifties, takes her teenage son to the shooting range on weekends instead of to the movies. “When you get outside of the blue-state cities, everybody has a gun.”

I decided to learn to shoot. The daylong class I opt for, called Women on Target, is sponsored by the National Rifle Association and is so popular that the first time I try to register, all the spots are full. I’m forced to wait another three months. When the day finally comes, I arrive at the range at 7 a.m. to find approximately 35 women of various ages, from twenty-something to 60-plus. Most of the women have come to this clinic so they can get a permit to carry a concealed gun for self-defense. An elderly woman tells me that she wants to stash one in her bag for shopping trips. “For the parking lot,” she says.

Most of my classmates aren’t firearms virgins like me; they’ve shot with a husband, boyfriend, or father. I’m handed an unloaded gun. I hold it out at arm’s length, like it smells bad or is poisonous. I know it’s empty, but I’m afraid it’s going to go off. My hands start shaking. All that’s left to do is shoot the damn thing. I’m intimidated—I’m petrified!—but people are watching. Peer pressure always motivates me. I squint, hold my breath, and…fire. (expletive!) My first thought is, I can’t believe how loud that was. I’m wearing earplugs, but you don’t just hear the firecracker noise in your ears; you feel it with your whole body. My next thought is, I want to do that again! I have an immediate, exhilarated reaction. Partly it’s that what I’ve just done initially frightened me, so there’s a sense of a limit overcome. It’s almost meditative. At one point I glimpse a woman in her sixties dressed in a white polo, creased khakis, and pristine white sneakers—attire for a day of golf at the country club; she’s brandishing a Glock. I have to stop myself from laughing with delight.

After the clinic, I filled out the forms for a concealed-carry permit at my local sheriff’s office. The application asked for character references, and I gave the phone numbers of a few editors, amused at the thought of their bewildered reaction should someone actually call. In the section that asked why I wanted the permit, I wrote, “Personal and home defense, and because I sometimes drive alone at night when reporting.”

I imagine what I would have done with a gun during any of my past brushes with crime. Would I have fired it? In the end, of course, I didn’t need to, but I wouldn’t have known that in the moment, only after the fact. This means I might have needlessly killed or maimed someone. And yet without a gun, without the luck that turned events so unaccountably in my favor, I might have been the one killed. A revolver now rests on my nightstand. It’s small and sleek and black, a Ruger LCR. Weighing 13.5 ounces and no bigger than a half-sandwich, it’s easily slipped into a purse. I’ve tucked it not quite out of sight, among books I hope to read but maybe never will. Several weeks after buying it, I’m still wary, superstitious. I know the chamber is empty, yet I open it every so often to check.

“Every time I look at the gun, it scares me,” I tell my boyfriend, as I eye its insolent blackness, leering at me from the shelf next to my bed.

“It’s a gun,” he says. “It should.”


I truncated the story significantly, so I really recommend reading the entire story at the link HERE

It fascinated me to see such a story in one of the top tier women's fashion magazines.
edit on 12-6-2012 by METACOMET because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:31 PM
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A liberal is a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:33 PM
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I became plagued by nightmares and apprehension. I feared that R. and I were being followed


Fear is never a reason to buy a gun, never, ever and an article written by ELLE


To me someone who is afraid and has a gun is more a danger to themselves, and other people.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by neo96



I became plagued by nightmares and apprehension. I feared that R. and I were being followed


Fear is never a reason to buy a gun, never, ever and an article written by ELLE


To me someone who is afraid and has a gun is more a danger to themselves, and other people.


I feel the same way. A firearm is not a "magic wand". I'm not sure she fully understood that when she wrote the article. However, she decided to put her safety into her own hands, which, for her, was the motivating factor and a big step to overcome.
edit on 12-6-2012 by METACOMET because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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I don't really even think guns are a "wedge issue" anymore. Anybody that follows the supreme court knows that they effectively ended "gun control" measures for the next 10 years or however long its takes the court to die off.

This doesn't mean the extreme won't try silly tactics around the edges to make it more difficult but the 2nd amendment is here to stay thats for sure.

As for your post, I don't really see the big deal. Many of my friends are very liberal but love guns. I'd say 3/4 of people hate guns until they fire one and see how fun a hobby it is...

edit on 12-6-2012 by KnawLick because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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Those who are against owning guns have never been on the receiving end of significant amounts of crime or danger for the most part.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:41 PM
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I personally find solace in the fact that if anyone breaks into my home, my dogs will tear them to shreds. And by the time I get there I can shoot them point blank range in the face with a very very short yet legal for me to own shotgun.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by DoctorMobius
 


Lol... I actually had my security company come to my house and disable the alarm from calling the police. So if somebody breaks in the alarm sounds but doesn't call the police.....

It's just me and him



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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The thing about owning a gun...you better be ready to shoot at a person. Or be prepared for when they take the gun away from you.

I've target practiced with a rifle, shotgun, and recently a pistol. Been doing it as a lark since I was seven. Even now, umpteen years later, I still hate guns. I'm also a lousy shot.

If you can handle the gun, kudos to you. But be ready; if the perp gets your gun things can go further south even faster.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Street Rules:

-Never pull a gun on somebody unless you intend to kill them!

Its pretty dumb to pull a gun out and flash it around like its a prop



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by KnawLick
Many of my friends are very liberal but love guns. I'd say 3/4 of people hate guns until they fire one and see how fun a hobby it is...

edit on 12-6-2012 by KnawLick because: (no reason given)


I used to live behind the iron curtain so to speak where I rounded up stereotypical "liberal" types and took them shooting any chance I could.

I must have taken scores out to the range. And they all loved it. Some put up more of a fight than others at first but after that first shot they were hooked.

Now the scary ones, who were plentiful, would spend the entire ride home rationalizing out loud how they were now special and could be trusted with firearms but all those other people still couldnt be trusted and we needed intense regulations, more than we have, to keep those other people away from guns.

Of course they were always enlightened ivory tower types who were eclectic enough to give such a thing as firing a gun an informed and educated try and those other people basically amounted to poor folks.

I get chills just thinking about those people quickly turning a triumphant "I got a liberal to fire a gun!" into a fearful "oh god, I've created a monster."



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 02:25 PM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


HA! I can relate to that! Well said



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 02:43 PM
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I grew up in East Tennessee. Everyone went hunting and that included little kids. We grew up with firearms and how to use them.

In seventh grade we had a school course on firearm safety. No joke. We spent an entire semester on gun safety, then finished with a skeet shoot.

I don't know if they still teach those courses today...



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by KnawLick
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Street Rules:

-Never pull a gun on somebody unless you intend to kill them!

Its pretty dumb to pull a gun out and flash it around like its a prop





Always shoot to kill. If you pull your gun on someday you've already made the decision to use deadly force.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 07:01 PM
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Short thread, good posts though.

Firearms are tools, like a hammer or a power saw is a tool.

Where I grew up, we always had guns in the house. We took them out and used them for target shooting and hunting frequently. We learned to use them safely and be comfortable with them.

And in the Navy we all had to qualify with the 45, the shotgun and the M14 rifle.

I am all for someone learning these skills, but to just purchase a weapon and then not spend any time learning to use it and be safe is probably a bad idea.

If someone decides to have guns in the house, but has not had them around before, they really need to make it a hobby first and spend some time on it, get comfortable with care and use.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by jrod
 


Exactly.

In fact in my line of work one of our cardinal safety rules concerning firearms is "Never point your muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy."



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
The thing about owning a gun...you better be ready to shoot at a person. Or be prepared for when they take the gun away from you.

I've target practiced with a rifle, shotgun, and recently a pistol. Been doing it as a lark since I was seven. Even now, umpteen years later, I still hate guns. I'm also a lousy shot.

If you can handle the gun, kudos to you. But be ready; if the perp gets your gun things can go further south even faster.


Exactly! Guns are fine...but they are just tools. They in no way make you "safe" all on their own. Likewise, all these people who buy a gun and then go to the shooting range a whopping 20 or 30 times are in for a pretty rude awakening when they ACTUALLY have to use that gun in a real-life situation.

Hitting a stationary target is a little tricky. Hitting a moving target is much harder. Hitting a moving target who is ALSO firing back at you or charging you is VERY DIFFICULT. Hitting a moving target which is fighting back while conceivably already injured and w/ your brain and body FLOODED with adrenaline and your hands shaking is something else entirely.

Unfortunately, 95%+ of the rootin'-tootin' cowboys out there who have their concealed carry permits will be too busy pissing themselves to do anything useful...and the tougher they talk about what badasses they think they are the less competent they usually are.

Likewise...even if YOU DO have your beloved gun AND are competent with it you still face another very, very, significant problem. Having your gun is all fine and great against petty criminals and street thugs...but what if the proverbial "they" come to round up those guns or gun owners in a police-state/martial law/national "emergency" sort of scenario? In that case, your concealed carry permit is as good as painting a bullseye on your forehead.

The best weapon any human being has at their disposal is still their brain...and it always will be.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by kawika
Short thread, good posts though.

Firearms are tools, like a hammer or a power saw is a tool.

Where I grew up, we always had guns in the house. We took them out and used them for target shooting and hunting frequently. We learned to use them safely and be comfortable with them.

And in the Navy we all had to qualify with the 45, the shotgun and the M14 rifle.

I am all for someone learning these skills, but to just purchase a weapon and then not spend any time learning to use it and be safe is probably a bad idea.

If someone decides to have guns in the house, but has not had them around before, they really need to make it a hobby first and spend some time on it, get comfortable with care and use.


...and that is EXACTLY the difference. You have had ACTUAL EXPERIENCE using them as the TOOLS they are designed to be. I grew up in Wisconsin and learning how to shoot shotguns, rifles, handguns, and becoming a skilled archer was just something that everyone was expected to be proficient at by the time they reached 10 or 12 years old at the latest. It was taught right along with how to use a lawnmower without running over your foot and being able to use a circular saw without giving yourself an inadvertent amputation. No big deal at all, really...it was just about making sure there was enough food on the table to last the winter.

However...I'm going to venture to say that our buddy Zimmerman in Florida never really used a firearm for hunting in his entire lifetime. We now live in a society in which the MAJORITY of Americans have never seen firsthand the responsibility that comes with actually USING a firearm. Death isn't pretty...and even just shooting a couple of deer or pheasants at some point in your life sort of drives that lesson home.

A lot of these clowns have only seen it done on TV. Worrisome indeed.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 02:55 AM
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with all the zombies and even vampries around now i say you're stupid if you don't have a gun



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