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Father Fearful About His Responsible Daughter Owning a Gun Gets Bad Advice from Columnist

Father Fearful About His Responsible Daughter Owning a Gun Gets Bad Advice from Columnist

You might think a father would be proud of his grown daughter for taking on the responsibility of protecting herself. Not so a father who recently wrote into the Ask Amy advice column about his daughter’s self-protection firearm.

In the letter, this father expressed dramatic levels of concern about his daughter. It seems the 24-year-old is “intelligent, hard-working, [and] responsible,” but … she’s also a gun owner. (Gasp!)

“And it’s not a normal gun, either,” lamented the father, before describing one of the most common handguns on the market. He then said she has hollow-point bullets for it, which is, of course, one of the most common self-defense ammunition choices.

And what advice does Amy Dickinson dispense to this irrational father? Given her long history of encouraging families to tolerate one another’s opinion differences, does she calm him and suggest, perhaps, talking through it?

No, just the opposite—she fans the flames as high as she can get them.

The father went on: “Amy, this is the kind of weapon a criminal would possess!”

The daughter owns the handgun for self-defense, which makes sense, especially when you consider that women are the targets of most domestic homicides and sex-related homicides.

The father asked the syndicated columnist about giving his daughter an ultimatum: get rid of the gun or move out within three weeks. In the interim, he would lock his bedroom door at night because he was worried about “what she’s going to do.”

Amy first erroneously told him that, according to her research, hollow point bullets are “illegal in 11 states” and asked, “is it legal in your state to own this sort of exploding ammunition?”

Wait, what? Hollow points are not illegal in 11 states. Did Amy mean armor-piercing bullets, which is not what the young lady had? And exploding ammunition? Does she perhaps mean expanding ammunition, the kind designed to prevent bullets from passing through their target and thus to keep other people safer?

There’s little excuse for a journalist of any stripe to get her “research” this wrong, even an advice columnist. And yes, Amy Dickinson has journalism credentials. The Tribune Content Agency calls her a “solid reporter” (and, ironically, a “straight shooter”).

Next, Amy asked how the young woman got this gun and ammunition, suggesting, “perhaps she is engaged in another activity outside of your household that exposes her to increased risks and makes her believe she needs to have a weapon?”

This, despite all evidence in favor of the girl’s character, despite the millions of guns in America clearly never used in crimes, and despite all evidence that guns in fact deter crime.

Amy ended by saying she agrees with the man’s decision to force his daughter to get rid of her gun or move out, and she “weep[s] that there is yet another (likely unsafe) gun owner in this country.”

Oh, for heaven’s sake. There is absolutely no basis to suggest that this young woman is an unsafe gun owner.

This letter and its response might be amusing to people who actually know something about firearms, if only this father and Amy weren’t representing what passes for “common sense” far too often these days with their overemotional views and inaccurate information.

Granted, it is the parents’ decision whether to let their daughter have a firearm in their home. However, the family would have been much better served with accurate information and reasonable advice than with this ridiculous response, and it’s a shame that there’s a family being torn apart—or at least being made less safe—by melodramatic anti-gun advice columnists who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about.

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