Quote of the day—Amanda Fortini

Guns are (pardon the pun) loaded with so much cultural baggage that you think you know what to expect. You don’t. TV gunshots sound and act no more like real gunshots than construction-paper snowflakes resemble real snowflakes.

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. For many people I know, guns remain unreal—the accessories of fictional characters, or at least of the Other, not you and yours. Yet to fire a gun is to realize you can do it: You can operate one, understand how it works. Shooting gives me a rush that comes from a feeling of (admittedly incomplete) mastery.

Amanda Fortini
January 12, 2012
Should I Buy a Gun? — After falling victim to a string of traumatic crimes, Amanda Fortini considers a controversial means of protection
[Via email from Mitchel at work who said, “If I knew a lady that’s been through as much as she’s been through I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT HER A GUN.”

I would have too.—Joe]


4 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Amanda Fortini

  1. Actually, guns are not loaded with cultural baggage in the non-regressive 38 states that accept them, nor for that matter in most of the geographical area of the other 12 states (outside of a few megalopoli).

    Frankly, the whole “gun issue” seems like a Bizarro universe in many ways. To most of the nation, guns are just a fact of life. To the average gun owner outside Manhattan, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, or Boston, the fact that this is even an issue is unbelievable.

    It’s as if the breakdown on racial issues were the same as it is now–most people utterly comfortable with blacks, a much smaller group still uncomfortable, and 0.0000001% supporting the KKK and similar groups–but with all the major news organizations parroting the Klan line and favorably citing fraudulent books written by toothless hillbillies promoting slavery.

    Imagine how a politically moderate and socially conservative black man would react. Then you’ll understand why so many politically moderate gun owners deeply despise the anti-rights crowd–and why many otherwise Democrat voters vote for a GOP that they otherwise can’t stand, as the lesser of two evils.

  2. I agree Ken that it is probably not an issue of cultural baggage, perhaps it is plain old fear of the unknown.

    If you have never been trained to shoot a firearm then you may fear it irrationally.
    I suspect some gun-control advocates live in abject fear of the power of firearms.
    Getting newbies out to the range is a great way to demystify firearms.

    For the “0.0000001%” who support outlawing guns and their confiscation because they seek power over me…Molon Labe, baby!

  3. I liked this part:

    “While lying on the ground to avoid being shot, she saw Loughner, pinned down next to her by two men, reach into his pocket, pull out a “magazine,” fumble, then drop it. Maisch heard someone yell, “Get the magazine!” So she reached out and snatched it. “I was able to grab it before he could,” Maisch told the press. Had someone yelled the same to me, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do. I didn’t know that a magazine is a detachable device that loads ammunition into a semi-automatic weapon, yet I live in a place where firearms are commonplace. It occurred to me that maybe my ignorance about guns was itself dangerous.”

  4. I really don’t see a lot of hope for her, because, after all she wrote, after she went to the trouble of attending a class and getting training, this is her current state of mind:

    Because, let’s face it, if I really could fathom pulling the trigger on an intruder or a looming attacker—on another human being—I’d keep the gun loaded. When you hear floorboards creaking as he creeps toward your bedroom, it’s unlikely you’ll have the time, not to mention the presence of mind, to fumble with ammunition. To quote the teacher of a subsequent class I took: “When you’re in trouble is not the time to start loading. It could cost you your life.”

    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. My ambivalence hangs in the air, a kind of reproach.

    “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.

    She still has a victim’s mindset, and still anthropomorphizes guns as evil, “insolent.” She can’t bring herself to load it, she’s afraid it will go off. In short, she is using it as a fetish, a lucky rabbit’s foot, thinking that mere possession of it will make the boogermen avoid her home and respect her person.

    She’s better off not having one, with a mindset like that. What she really needs is a lot of time plinking at tin cans with friends, so she overcomes her visceral fear. Then maybe she’ll be ready to defend herself. As of right now, she’s not.

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