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Chicks and guns

KAG emails a link to her bit on moms and guns. The original piece here notes that:

At a recent pediatrician’s visit, the nurse asked me — as part of a series of standard questions — if we had any guns in our house. Like I always do, I answered with a quick, emphatic “no.” I’m not sure why I lie, because we do, in fact, have a gun. My husband keeps one safely stored in a closet. It’s unloaded and completely inaccessible to our daughters. Yet even though we are responsible gun owners, I guess admitting the truth makes me feel like a bad mother.

First of all, it’s not their business. Second, you’re not doing yourself favors by lying and staying in the closet. I think gun owners should out themselves so that we can show the world that we’re not crazy survivalists with black helicopter fantasies and that we are normal people with normal lives who do normal things. If you make your case and they’re still afraid of your cooties, they’re beyond logical reach anyway. I would be curious what impact an affirmative answer would have had. And would answer as such and then, if told it was bad, proceed to school said nurse to 1) mind her own business and 2) that (foreshadowing) what she or the doc were about to say to me was bunk. The author continues (remember I said foreshadowing):

I understand the implication behind the question: owning a gun may pose a danger to my child’s health and safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics concludes that although one may feel safer by owning a gun, it’s actually safer to maintain a gun-free home. In their official policy statement regarding firearms, the AAP points to some pretty compelling research against gun ownership. They state, “Guns kept in the home are forty-three times more likely to be used to kill someone known to the family than to be used to kill in self-defense.” I understand this, but nevertheless I’ll still keep a firearm.

Complete and utter crap. Though it’s mostly said to be 42 times, it is a long discredited assertion by one Dr. Arthur Kellerman who rather conveniently left suicides and criminals who kill other criminals with which they share residence and other such factors, like only counting self-defense if it resulted in death, in the alleged study. Controlling for those factors, Don Kates pretty much completely dispelled this myth yet the medical community and others parrot it as gospel. You can read about that here. A very good friend and poker buddy of mine is a pediatrician. He owns guns. I asked him about this policy and he said that it rarely happened in these parts. And he advised telling other pediatricians who asked this to mind their own business and then to find another pediatrician.

Anyway, this propaganda has worked. Ms. Granju in the original post says:

I totally get that “mother bear” instinct. If anyone threatened one of my children, I would be on them like a crazed spider monkey. And if I thought that having a gun in my house would help me protect and defend my family, I would have one. But I know myself too well to believe that a gun would help, rather than hurt..I don’t know that I could handle a gun competently in the adrenalin rush that would come with a threatening situation – no matter what kind of training I had had. In fact, I would probably be one of those people who end up having their own gun turned on them.

Katie, victim of of many gun ownership myths. Let’s review:

I totally get that “mother bear” instinct. If anyone threatened one of my children, I would be on them like a crazed spider monkey.

First, I’m uncertain what a crazed spider monkey is capable of. But I’m guessing that 230 grains of jacketed lead could probably dispatch of one fairly easily. Second, I’ve met Katie. And whether or not she was in crazed spider monkey mode, I could totally take her in a fight. I guess what I’m saying is that if your plan is to become a monkey, it’s not a good plan. Glock or brawn beats monkey.

But I know myself too well to believe that a gun would help, rather than hurt..I don’t know that I could handle a gun competently in the adrenalin rush that would come with a threatening situation – no matter what kind of training I had had.

You know yourself too well? Are you irretrievably irresponsible? If so, don’t drive a vehicle, own pointy things, or go near a bathtub. You might hurt someone, ferrchrissakes. No one knows for certain what they would do. But there are steps you can take to adequately prepare yourself should you need to defend yourself. If you can’t handle a gun on an adrenaline rush, what makes you think you can handle your spider monkey-fu? That, and the inherent implication that you lack the confidence and competence to operate a tool effectively is right out of the anti-gun playbook, particularly as a woman. And that leads right in to:

In fact, I would probably be one of those people who end up having their own gun turned on them

Ah, the old women getting the gun turned on them meme perpetuated by the anti-gun lobby. Doubly ironic given Ms. Granju’s penchant to get bent out of shape over sexism. It is, of course, also completely bunk. And, with training, darn near impossible. And, of course, active resistance (preferably while armed) is simply the most effective way to reduce the risk of injuries with respect to violent crimes.

Now, all that said, am I trying to get Katie to buy a gun? Not for me to decide as it is a personal matter and not a choice many folks are comfortable making. And one reason people tend to err on the side of caution is that there simply is so much misinformation about guns out there fed to you by people under color of authority, as illustrated. Our side does it too. After all, owning a gun will not make her Wonder Woman. It will, however, give her the most effective tool when it comes to personal defense. And, if she owned a gun, it would really annoy Bob Ricker, who also thinks you shouldn’t own one. And, who thinks if you do, it is a sign of criminal activity.

And any time you want to go the range, Katie, ammo and range time is on me.

And ACK says: Katie Allison Granju lets us (and criminals, potential stalkers, etc.) know that there are no guns in her house

24 Responses to “Chicks and guns”

  1. Harold Says:

    Two things: what the nurse did was a “boundary violation” and in theory it’s a serious thing, not that with the AAP’s official position the parent would get anywhere.

    Second, the parent did exactly the right thing. Letting someone like that know they have a gun could result in their losing their children or being forced to decide between keeping one or the other.

  2. ben Says:

    Wow, a real post!

    For the record, this is one of the better websites in terms of content for debunking anti-gun (and pro-gun) propaganda. Kellerman included, where even if we take his baloney as fair, big stretch I know, it turns out that while the relative risk is higher with a gun, the absolute risk is minuscule.

    that second link shows that if we apply Kellerman’s method with which he got the famous 43:1 ratio to homes without guns, then we find a kill ratio of 99:1!

    Both numbers are total bunk, and the second number shows this clearly.

    Kellerman’s Seattle,USA/Vancouver Canada study was especially interesting. His data actually show (unintentionally) that among Caucasians, Vancouver has a higher homicide rate than Seattle. These are two culturally similar cities, only about 3 hours apart by automobile, and one has “strict gun control laws” while the other you don’t even need training to carry a concealed pistol.

    If ever there was better proof that it ain’t the guns, I haven’t seen it.

  3. JD Says:

    I got asked the same question every time we take the kids to the doc. I think the first time I looked at them, chuckled and said “Of course I do, it’s America” I then told them that question had nothing to do with my kid. . .

    Since then I have just looked at them and said “Yes” and looked at them daring them to comment. . . they don’t

  4. bullbore Says:

    My Daughter got asked that question and told the nurse it was none of her business. She then promptly told her mother and I that a non-family member asked her if we had guns in the house…she has learned well.

  5. katie allison granju Says:

    Your belief that I am anti-gun is just plain wrong. I support gun rights and gun ownership rights. I believe in the right of self defense. But I am NOT a good driver, I am not a good cook, and I am no good with power tools. We can’t all be good at everything πŸ˜‰ I just don’t think I’d be good with a gun. That’s got absolutely nothing AT ALL to do with my gender. You made that inference. I never said anything at all about my concern about my ability to handle a gun having to do with being female. It’s just that I tend to be clumsy, and I startle easily. These are not good attributes in someone handling firearms in a high stress situation.


  6. sbk Says:

    Ha! My pediatrician asked me that list of questions.

    On the gun question I answered, “yes, several,” so he went on with what I recognized as bogus stats. When he finished his whole safety at home quiz I asked him how it felt to be a shill for the political beliefs of the AAP. He blinked a few times and asked why I would think that. I told him if the AAP cared as much about the safety of my kids as they did about their political agenda he would have asked if I had a swimming pool at home–a much, much greater threat to the safety of children than guns in the home. I suggested he do a little research on his stats instead of parroting the AAP. I finished by telling him that I brought my children to him for healthcare not to listen to liberal political spiel. I was mad.

    It was one of those rare moments when I actually made the perfect come back in real time instead of thinking of it after the fact.

    And yes, as a mom if someone breaks into my home I figure I’m up to the task. If I can hit a clay pigeon on a screaming cross shot with my 28 over and under I figure I can handle someone standing flat footed at the bottom of my stairs, thank you very much. It’s empowering, more moms should try it.

  7. SayUncle Says:

    Your belief that I am anti-gun is just plain wrong.

    I don’t know that anyone accused you of being anti-gun.

  8. mike w. Says:

    Katie – you don’t have to be “good” at shooting a pistol / carbine / shotgun (defensive weapon of your choosing) you just have to be adequate.

    Obviously having Todd Jarrett’s skills would be preferrable, but guns are egalitarian, so even someone with nominals ability can still effectively use one for self-defense.

  9. Matt Says:

    Man, you must have some pushy doctors in your neck of the woods. I’ve worn my pistol into my doctor’s office and had it on during examinations. Nurse never said a thing and worked around it.

    If a doctor or nurse EVER asks me that question the answer will be in the affirmative rapidly followed by a “None of your business and if the subject comes up again or the information is recorded and subsequently passed along or used against me, I would like to introduce you to Mr. Lawsuit courtesy of Mr. Lawyer.”.

    It is none of the medical community’s business what property I chose to own in a lawful manner. How the medical community suddenly delegated themselves gun safety experts in personal matters is a mystery to me but I, for one, will not tolerate it.

  10. RAH Says:

    This pediatric questions has come up on Free Republic and it is a boundary violation. A poster had the wrtten letter to give to the doctor advising on their liability on this question.

    I had this question and said 1) not their business,2) I support the 2A, 3) if I did they would be secured.

    I got the doctor though on bike helmets and seat belts. She had asked my child if he wore bike helmets and he said when I required it but that it was not the states role to require it.

    She responded with the injuries,etc. I told her that by trying to eliminate risk why not prohibit skiing or horseback riding which we also do. Both are high risk. Then I said by that logic we could trip and fall walking and why not wear helmets then.

    Then she told that of course we agreed on seat belts and I said no I do not. She mentions the horrible injuries and I countered that I see the cars since I estimate damaged cars and see the mangled remains even in death cases. At that poiint she shut up and never tried to assume that everyone agrees with these positions, I said it is my right to manage the risks of the child not the state.

    They never asked again.

  11. JWilliams Says:

    Found this little nugget in the original post…

    “I’m pretty sure that Jesus would be anti-gun.”

    From what I remember Jesus’ disciples carried swords with them – and while the lord was all for obeying the law of the land, I am sure were he here now, he would have armed security and his disciples would have CWPs. I mean even Obama has armed security…

  12. Rabbit Says:

    That’s odd, my doctors are always quick to tell me first about their latest acquisitions. One of them is into AK variants and 1911s, the other collects Mausers and Enfields.

    I can’t get a word in edgewise to tell them about anything I’ve picked up since I saw them last. I guess Texas physicians are ‘trained to a different school’.


  13. Lyle Says:

    Ah, the old “physicians as home safety assessment and home safety consultant” ruse.

    Ask them what training they’ve had in such areas of expertise, and then ask them to read and sign this document, stating their home safety assessment and consulting training, including what insurance coverage they have as experts dispensing advice in such a role.

  14. Dustin Says:

    Excellent post, I could not have said it better myself. πŸ™‚

  15. DirtCrashr Says:

    I’ll bet Katie is better than she thinks, girls usually shot better than boys, they just don’t talk about it all the time.

  16. Standard Mischief Says:

    TL DR

  17. Lyle Says:

    There have been studies done showing that, very often, competence is inversely proportional to self confidence.

  18. ben Says:

    From what I remember Jesus’ disciples carried swords with them…

    Like, Jesus had all the power of God at his command. He didn’t need a sword, nor a gun. Jesus was anti-sin, and that’s extent of his anti-anything.

  19. Number9 Says:

    When invited to the McElroy compound just say no. Katie was much more normal until the new job at the Knoxville News Sentinel. It seems her writing is more sensational these days. Connect the dots.

  20. georgeh Says:

    The only way to deal with this is to say “that question was impertinent, and it just cost you a client” and then walk out the door.

    It won’t take many patients taking their business down the street to end this silliness.

  21. JWilliams Says:

    My wife pointed out that the Dr’s may want to know about guns in the home because of the cleaning solvents that we use to maintain them… that I could understand…

  22. SayUncle Says:

    Do they also ask about other cleaning supplies?

  23. JJR Says:

    Great post, Unc, and great attempt at some “outreach”.

    I hope you get through to Katie on some level. Let us know if she actually agrees to practice shooting with you at the range anytime soon.

    Depending on the age of her daughters, I hope her husband takes the time someday soon to teach them the basics of gun safety, etc. There are some good resources out there about parenting responsibly with firearms, finding that balance between safe storage and having a firearm ready for use quickly in an emergency. The dynamics are different for a single, childless male like me (I’ve got several loaded revolvers around the house and a pump-shotty in cruiser ready mode) and a married couple with kids; But they should take the time to educate themselves on their best options.

    Some criminals might turn around and leave upon merely hearing the action cycle on a pump shotgun. Others, the kind that are strung out on PCP or other drugs, it might take a blast of 12ga buckshot to put them down…the kind of crazed thug you *don’t* want to engage with a baseball bat/machete at close quarters.

    Katie may profess not to be “anti-gun” but she certainly has been swayed by a lot of anti-gun kool-aid/rhetoric. Let’s hope Unc’s calm, rational approach sinks in.

  24. Devich Says:

    Being a pediatrician myself, I always ask people if they have guns. I appreciate when parents tell me they have guns in the home, just as I appreciate it when they tell me that they have a pick-up truck with no backseat. Just as I can remind them to lock up medications and caustic cleaners, I can remind them to always wear eye protection and ear protection when using firearms. And to always turn off the airbags, if they *have* to put the carseat in the front seat of the pickup. Indeed, Texas physicians are probably different from those in Massachusetts. The only accidents from guns that I have seen in West Texas have been those by people who would rather be ignorant about guns, than to learn how to properly use them. Statistics be damned, I see what I see in my own practice.

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