Many Americans are feeling a little uneasy these days. Polls show the vast majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and the never-ending news cycle of tragedy and chaos brings us the latest bad news in real time and in high definition. Violent crime is up in many cities across the country, trust in government and civic institutions are at all-time lows, and there’s a sense of a great unraveling from coast to coast. In times like these, Americans are looking for a calm and steady voice to quell the discontent and concern so many of us are feeling. Instead, we get Kim Kardashian West spouting off about gun control.
Speaking at the BlogHer conference in Los Angeles recently, the reality show star opened up to those in attendance, telling them: “I am just terrified of everything. I am so paranoid, so afraid. It’s just such high anxiety. There’s something when you have two kids, you just, I don’t know. So yes, I’ve definitely become more aware. I’ve definitely spoken out more as far as definitely gun control. I just want to be super protective of my kids so I have felt that need.”
As a father of five, I’m right there with her about protecting my kids. In fact, I think most parents want to protect their children. But I can’t help but note that Kardashian West seems perfectly fine with lots of people with guns around her family. They’re called bodyguards, and she and Kanye West have a battalion of them to keep them safe. Good for them! But here’s the thing: Most of us can’t afford a professional security detail of our own to protect the people we love. For us, it’s a do-it-yourself project.As a father of five, I’m right there with her about protecting my kids.
When Kardashian West works to “do something about the guns” while refusing to give up her own family’s armed protection, her efforts come off as an ostentatious display of privilege, power and hypocrisy. There are many programs across the country that are successfully bringing down crime rates by targeting the worst offenders in any given community, but Kardashian West would rather focus on making it harder for folks to legally exercise their right to keep and bear arms. She’d rather do lunch with Moms Demand Action, breaking bread (actually, I doubt there were a lot of carbs on the menu) with the acolytes of Michael Bloomberg—you know, the guy who’s never met a gun-control law he didn’t like. He’s also the guy who just last year said we can fight crime by throwing young black men up against the wall and frisking them, all in the name of gun control. If Kardashian West is going all-in for gun control, has she even given a second’s thought about how those new laws are going to get enforced, and who will be the primary targets of enforcement?
Kardashian West has every reason to be concerned about where the world is headed. She’s right to want to protect her family. In fact, in those respects she isn’t any different than a lot of her fellow Americans. And just as her concern about her safety has led her to use the services of dozens of good guys with guns to protect her, concern about personal safety has led thousands of other women to become gun owners and Right-to-Carry permit holders. The more than 350 women who turned out for a free firearm class in the Detroit suburb of Taylor, Mich., two weeks ago might not have the financial firepower of Kardashian West, but they aren’t looking to hire two dozen armed men to defend them. Instead, those women were educating themselves so that they can be their own bodyguards. These women care about their safety. They care about their kids. And they aren’t asking for another gun-control law. They’re demanding their right to self-defense.