No one is surprised to see Slate be anti-gun. I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement on your resume when you apply there. In the interview, they probably ask stuff like what your greatest weakness is, who you admire, and just how anti-gun are you. No one is shocked.
However, there are heights of anti-gun stupidity that I didn’t think could be reached, not even by those who write for Slate.
Oh, how wrong I was.
At their “Care and Feeding” advice column, they have someone with a question about raising kids that revolves around guns. It’s one of a number of questions in general, but this one requires oh-so-much attention.
Dear Care and Feeding,
My brother and I both work in law enforcement and have service weapons. I lock mine up when I’m at home. My brother has taken to carrying his all the time, including around his small children in his home. I’ve had to refuse him entry to my home due to his unwillingness to come without it. I asked him why he does this, and he went on a rant about having to protect his family in case someone drives by and opens fire at him in retaliation for his work. We live in a very safe area. I don’t even lock my doors when I go out. I don’t recall there ever being a drive-by shooting anywhere near us. He doesn’t seem to be caught up in extremism, but this seems paranoid to me and I’m starting to worry about his mental health. More, I worry about the safety of my niece and nephews and my own kids when they’re there.
Now, these are supposedly two sworn law enforcement officers and one routinely carries a weapon off-duty…and that’s a problem?
Honestly, this doesn’t pass the sniff test to me. Oh, I believe there are anti-gun officers out there. Police officers are like society as a whole in many ways, which includes some being vehemently anti-gun. However, note the claim “we live in a very safe area.” Officers would know that very safe areas aren’t immune to violence, it’s just rare.
Further, many departments either encourage or require officers to carry a firearm off-duty. Maybe not around the house, but so what? Not only that, but I have yet to hear a single police officer express concern about some random drive-by. Especially when police officers are far more likely to be specifically targeted by someone they arrested who thinks they need to get even.
Either this didn’t happen or the writer is grossly misrepresenting what actually happened to gain a favorable reaction.
I told him that I won’t be sending them anymore unless I can be assured his weapon is secured. He rolled his eyes and said kids need to learn to be comfortable around firearms. His wife is backing him up. I feel so lost. I miss the easygoing brother I grew up with. My kids miss their cousins. My parents, who never had guns in the house while we were growing up, say I’m overreacting and tearing the family apart. Friends and co-workers also seem to think this is fine, although they admit they wouldn’t do it in their own homes. I don’t see this as an issue of differing values but as a safety concern. My family says I should instead consider the safety concern of being caught off guard and unarmed in our small, safe town. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone when grown adults don’t agree that kids and handguns don’t mix. I’m also very hurt that my family has chosen guns over seeing my kids and me. My conscience is screaming that it’s only a matter of time before something goes horribly wrong. Am I overreacting?
—Standing My Ground
There’s a saying that I’m going to paraphrase. If you go through your day and you meet a jackass, you met a jackass. If you go through your day and you meet nothing but jackasses, maybe you’re the jackass.
If everyone in your life is telling you that you’re being unreasonable, then maybe they know something some random advice columnist at Slate doesn’t?
And no one is choosing guns over your kids. They’re telling you that you’re choosing anti-gun politics over your family, which is precisely what you’re doing.
Unsurprisingly, though, the columnist is convinced he’s doing the right thing.
Dear Standing My Ground,
You’re absolutely doing the right thing here, despite what everyone else around you is telling you. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m 100 percent anti-guns—but I also respect the rights of citizens to own them responsibly. And to be clear, there’s nothing responsible about having a hand-held killing device with you when you’re around children.
This is a firearm that’s kept in a holster on a sworn police officer’s hip. You don’t get more secure than that, really, and when you’re someone who may potentially be targeted by violent felons–something all police officers who actually do their job face–then it would be irresponsible to not have his service weapon handy.
Now, I’ll give the columnist full credit for admitting their complete anti-gun bias. That means you can filter their comments through that lens. It doesn’t make them less wrong, but it does mean the average person can tell there’s a bias to be considered.
I never understand people who live in suburbia but clutch their guns in fear that someone is going to carjack them or ransack their homes. Don’t let your family gaslight you into believing you’re the problem, because you’re not. Your primary job as a parent is to keep your kids safe, and I wouldn’t budge on this for a second. How could you live with yourself if your kids somehow got a hold of your brother’s gun and hurt themselves? It’s simply not worth the risk, no matter how small that risk may be.
Right. Don’t let a family “gaslight” someone into understanding that maybe they’re being a jerk, but the anti-gun left has been trying to gaslight us for decades to believe that we don’t need firearms to protect ourselves. Yes, even in suburbia.
Of course, the columnist does the whole “what if your kid gets his gun” bit, but if he’s carrying all the time, just how is the kid going to get his gun? It’s. On. His. Hip. This isn’t some firearm tucked away and forgotten in a closet, it’s actually on his person, for crying out loud.
The problem is that the columnist is going to regurgitate anti-gun talking points here without any understanding of the unique situation. More like they simply don’t care.
Be firm and tell your brother and your parents that under no circumstances will you bring your kids into any house with unsecured firearms and you refuse to negotiate on that topic. Sure, they’ll tell you how you’re single-handedly tearing apart the family, but sometimes the right thing to do isn’t the easiest thing to do. The hardest part is how it will affect your kiddos, and I would simply tell them that they may not like not seeing their grandparents, cousins, and uncle—but this is the right thing to do for their safety.
Meanwhile, the father in question believes he’s keeping his children safe by carrying. He may well have reason to believe that he or his loved one’s lives may be in danger, something the sibling fails to note one way or another.
Additionally, I have a hard time believing that people are so hardheaded that they would refuse to make a simple compromise in order to visit with you and your kids. If you stay strong on this, they may come around eventually. If not, then it’s painful proof that their irrational fears of the boogeyman are stronger than their relationship with your family.
It’s not a compromise, though, it’s capitulation. See, for anti-gunners, they scream that they want us to compromise, but it’s never really a compromise. It’s us doing what they want, only perhaps to a lesser degree.
In this case, what he wants is for this man he’s never met to roll over because his sibling is unreasonably fearful of firearms despite his profession requiring such a tool. That’s not compromising.
And this is supposed to be from a parenting expert?
Seriously, I don’t think this letter is even real, but the idea of asking a parenting expert about an interpersonal conflict with your adult brother is bizarre. Yes, children are sort of involved, but it’s a disagreement between two adults. A parenting expert should have been able to recognize that and opted not to address this at all.
Yet he (yes, it’s a guy) wanted to make a statement about guns and this was a grand old time to do so, apparently. While I have no evidence of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if this question was staged by him just to allow him to address the issue. Of course, if so, he may want to talk to people who actually carry to find out why they do so.
I promise you, random drive-bys are going to be very low on the list of reasons to carry. There are far better ones, and I’m sure a police officer would know them.