Self-segregated elitist mother and Baltimore Sun deputy editor Tricia Bishop has concocted quite the scheme: she thinks there is a need to create a searchable database of gun owners. You know, just like sex offenders!
I’m less afraid of the criminals wielding guns in Baltimore, I declared as we discussed the issue, than I am by those permitted gun owners. I know how to stay out of the line of Baltimore’s illegal gunfire; I have the luxury of being white and middle class in a largely segregated city that reserves most of its shootings for poor, black neighborhoods overtaken by “the game.” The closest I typically get to the action is feeling the chest-thumping vibrations of the Foxtrot police helicopter flying overhead in pursuit of someone who might be a few streets over, but might as well be a world away. But I don’t know where the legal gun owners are or how to ensure that their children, no matter how well versed in respecting firearms, won’t one day introduce that weapon to my daughter.
And so, as President Barack Obama announced plans this week to tighten background checks for gun buyers and increase gun tracking and research, I thought, that’s all well and good, but how about adding something immediately useful: a gun owner registry available to the public online — something like those for sex offenders. I’m not equating gun owners with predatory perverts, but the model is helpful here; I want a searchable database I can consult to find out whether my kid can have a play date at your house.
The idea that gun-owning parents are a somehow such deviant people that elitist white suburban moms need to defend against them like convicted child predator is steeped in ignorance. As a legal fact, gun owners—with concealed carriers leading the way—are the most law-abiding group in society. Maybe we should instead have a directory of smug progressive busybodies who can’t or won’t pass the background checks needed to obtain a concealed carry permit?
I am very upfront with my children’s friends and always tell parents, “Just so you’re aware, I do own guns. They are locked and stored separate from all ammunition. You’re more than welcome to come over and take a look where everything is if you’d like!”
Some of them have never heard of Project ChildSafe, so that’s another great way I can let people know more about gun safety. I also inform parents that if I am taking their children anywhere, bowling, shopping, or just out for pizza, that I will be armed for the children’s protection. That speaks to just how much I value their and my children’s lives.
Then again, I don’t think “gun safety” is Bishop’s main concern. It looks like she gets her kicks blaming law-abiding legal gun owner’s children for potentially talking to or showing her child a gun.
“I’m less afraid of the criminals wielding guns in Baltimore, I declared as we discussed the issue, than I am by those permitted gun owners. I know how to stay out of the line of Baltimore’s illegal gunfire; I have the luxury of being white and middle class in a largely segregated city that reserves most of its shootings for poor, black neighborhoods overtaken by “the game.” Bishop writes. “But I don’t know where the legal gun owners are or how to ensure that their children, no matter how well versed in respecting firearms, won’t one day introduce that weapon to my daughter.”
SHOW OF HANDS: How many times have you had to tell your children to ‘put down that gun’ or take a gun away from your child when they showed it to a friend in your home?
Pretty absurd question, but I believe Bishop has convinced herself that this is the ‘norm’ in homes with guns. Nothing but cold, hard steel and bullets scattered throughout our affluent or upper middle class homes (because you know she wouldn’t let the fruit of her loins visit any less of a home) with children running through the hallways, pulling triggers and gleefully knocking off one of their own in a pee-wee gang initiation skit.
Just for giggles, I asked my 8 year old daughter:
“Gracie, if Kiara was here on a playdate, would you ever show her my gun or pick it up and bring it to her?”
“No”, she said, “I know not to.”
“What do you think would happen if you did?”
“Mom, it’s a rule in our house, you never touch a gun. Ever.”
“I know, and that’s right it is a rule. What do you think could happen if you ever did touch it or pick it up?”
“You always treat a gun like it’s loaded so someone could touch the trigger and a bullet could hit someone, but it’s a rule mom, we don’t touch guns.”
Taking it up to the next level, I also asked my 11 year old daughter:
“Katie, if you had a friend over, would you ever show her my guns or pick it up and bring it to her?”
(I didn’t even get through the question before she yelled back)
“No!” she insisted. “That was the most obvious question I have ever heard, Mom.”
“True, but how do I know you would never do that?”
“It’s just obvious not to do it. I know not to do it, we don’t ever touch guns without a parent, I mean what kind of a question is that even? Is this a trick? I can’t deal with you right now, this is cray.”
Just to be clear, when it comes to guns, Bishop doesn’t trust anyone: not even her own parents. “My parents grew up in small town Minnesota, and hunting was a regular part of their lives before they left for other states, and it still is for many they know.” she says. “My folks were taught how to handle guns and use them safely. But that doesn’t do much to allay my fears; it’s the simple presence of the weapon in the home and the possibilities it presents that terrify me.”
Ms. Bishop’s article wasn’t a convincing argument of how parents who choose to own guns to protect their families are a threat to anyone, but rather screaming proof of just how insane her illogical fear of guns has diminished her capacity to respect anyone else’s rights or ability to be responsible.
Then again, what do you expect from a woman who is so naive that she thinks living “a few streets over” from the worst parts of Charm City is itself a defense against crime?