Remember Heidi Yewman’s planned weapons grade stupid on her month with a gun?
The one where she went out and irresponsibly purchased a tool without knowing how to use it and without making any effort to train with it?
The one where she tried to imply that all gun owners are just as stupid as she was?
Well, it looks like the plug has been pulled on that turd, and it has taken its deserved swim down in the drain of bad ideas.
The New York times opinion column has more:
Yewman, a freelance writer, had written a three-part blog post for Ms. about buying a gun and carrying it everywhere she went. Yewman was clearly on the gun control side of the debate, and it’s fair to say that her posts were intended to show that it was far too easy for just about anybody to carry a gun just about anywhere. But, Kort went on to say, the comments Ms. Magazine had received were almost entirely from pro-gun advocates, and she and the small staff at Ms. were overwhelmed. Instead of leading to a high-minded debate about guns, her blog post had instead attracted insults and vituperation, and a clearly stated desire for “payback.” Other gun blogs had picked up Yewman’s post to mock it or insult it, with many commenters suggesting that the police in her hometown be called about what she was doing. Inevitably, somebody discovered—and posted—Yewman’s address.
What was Kort’s solution to this dilemma? Incredibly, it was to kill the rest of Yewman’s series. “I don’t think I should post the next two installments of this—they’ll only fire up the troops again, and we’re just not equipped to handle this on our blog,” Kort wrote. When I reached out to Kort, suggesting that Ms. had allowed itself to be censored by Second Amendment absolutists, she would not respond on the record. Suffice it to say that Ms. disagrees with this assessment. But I don’t see how you could view it in any other way. Ms. published something the N.R.A.-types didn’t like; they responded by bullying Ms. online, and Ms. folded.
First and foremost – when you write a clearly biased piece of dreck, intimating that your stupid actions are reflective of the rest of the gun owning population, “high minded debate about guns” is clearly not what you had in mind.
Second – posting her address? That falls into the realm of “legal but bad idea.” Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Being stupid doesn’t warrant threats to her or her family.
Third – the writer of the New York Times opinion piece Joe Nocera needs to learn the true meaning of censorship! This moron equates what he calls “bullying” to “The suppression or proscription of speech or writing that is deemed obscene, indecent, or unduly controversial” – the legal definition of the word. The writing wasn’t suppressed. It wasn’t in any way stifled. Yewman wrote what she wanted to write, and she faced the consequences.
What Joe Nocera is really upset about is that Ms. Yewman was forced to deal with the consequences of her stupidity. She wrote the piece, and she was held accountable for said writing by those who read it. The negative reaction is not equal to “bullying.” It was warranted in light of Yewman’s printed ignorance. MS Magazine was not prepared to deal with the negative reaction Yewman’s piece generated, but that is not censorship. They are still free to publish what they want and when they want it. Negative reactions to the piece should be expected in light of its weapons grade stupid.
But the media doesn’t like to be held accountable. It’s quite obvious these writers expect to publish what they want without having to address logical criticism of their writing.
It’s quite obvious that Yewman and MS Magazine expected not to be held to any journalistic standard of integrity for denigrating millions of responsible gun owners, just as they expected not to be held accountable for irresponsibly and stupidly conducting a ridiculous experiment with a tool for which they had no training or familiarity. And when their plans received less than favorable reviews, they weren’t equipped to handle the wave of negative reactions.
That’s when Nocera decided to screech “CENSORSHIP!” rather than understand the reasons for the negative reactions.
If you haven’t heard of Heidi Yewman yet, it’s about time you acquainted yourself with this numbskull, who decided to become a “good guy with a gun” for 30 days and document her trials and tribulations in MS Magazine.
So instead of educating herself, getting some training and documenting objectively her 30 day experience, this one chose to paint gun ownership in the most negative light possible without actually breaking any laws.
Yes, I bought a handgun and will carry it everywhere I go over the next 30 days. I have four rules: Carry it with me at all times, follow the laws of my state, only do what is minimally required for permits, licensing, purchasing and carrying, and finally be prepared to use it for protecting myself at home or in public.
Can you already tell which side of the gun control debate Heidi Yewman falls on?
Me, a board member of the Brady Campaign. Me, the author of a book about the impact of gun violence, Beyond the Bullet.
I will say this: judging by this inane, imbecilic attempt to demonize gun owners and gun ownership, I can already tell that her little book on the impact of gun violence is likely a biased, subjective piece of dreck on which I wouldn’t bother spending money.
Additionally, when someone tells me the reason for her little “experiment” is curiosity about “what would it be like to be that good guy with a gun? What would it be like to get that gun, live with that gun, be out and about with that gun. Finally, what happens when you don’t want that gun any more?” after Wayne LaPierre astutely noted post-Newtown that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” I have to wonder why Heidi thinks that being a “good guy with a gun,” means an absolution from her responsibilities as a gun owner.
Getting the permit to carry a concealed weapon was simple. I filled out a form, had my fingerprints taken for a background check and paid $56.50. No training required. It took far longer to get my dog a license.
I started my 30-day gun trial with a little window-shopping. I visited a gun show and two gun dealers. I ended up buying a Glock 9mm handgun from Tony, a gun dealer four miles from my house. I settled on this model because it was a smallish gun and because Tony recommended it for my stated purposes of protecting myself and my home.
It was obvious from the way I handled the gun that I knew nothing about firearms. Tony sold it to me anyway. The whole thing took 7 minutes. As a gratified consumer, I thought, “Well, that was easy.” Then the terrifying reality hit me, “Holy hell, that was EASY.” Too easy. I still knew nothing about firearms.
Tony told me a Glock doesn’t have an external safety feature, so when I got home and opened the box and saw the magazine in the gun I freaked. I was too scared to try and eject it as thoughts flooded my mind of me accidentally shooting the gun and a bullet hitting my son in the house or rupturing the gas tank of my car, followed by an earth-shaking explosion. This was the first time my hands shook from the adrenaline surge and the first time I questioned the wisdom of this 30-day experiment.
I needed help. I drove to where a police officer had pulled over another driver. Now, writing this, I realize that rolling up on an on-duty cop with a handgun in tow might not have been fully thought through.
I told him I just bought a gun, had no clue how to use it. I asked him to make sure there were no bullets in the magazine or chamber. He took the magazine out and cleared the chamber. He assured me it was empty and showed me how to look. Then he told me how great the gun was and how he had one just like it.
The cop thought I was an idiot and suggested I take a class. But up to that point I’d done nothing wrong, nothing illegal.
So to summarize:
Idiot buys tool and gets concealed carry permit.
Idiot rejects any responsibility for owning said tool.
Idiot gets no training and acquires no knowledge about said tool.
Idiot is appalled she passed the instant background check to purchase said tool.
Idiot is incensed that her state has no laws preventing her from being an idiot, and that the store where she bought said tool will not take action to prevent her from doing stupid things.
Idiot publicizes stupidity.
See, most responsible gun owners don’t need laws to compel them to do what is right. They will get training, they will familiarize themselves with their firearms, they will follow all proper legal procedures, but will also go above and beyond – something which Heidi did not do intentionally, and then attempted to paint general gun ownership as irresponsibly as she painted her own.
Most gun owners respect the tool and understand the personal accountability that goes along with it.
Heidi has no concept of these principles, and has decided to pretend that the rest of the gun owners in this nation are just as stupid as she is.
I had posted the following in the comments on that website, and to my surprise (not), the comment was never approved.
“So let me get this straight. Author buys tool. Has no idea how to use it, and is appalled that she passed the instant background check to purchase it. Expects store and law enforcement to remedy her ignorance about said tool, instead of taking responsibility for herself.
Publicizes her stupidity.
Perhaps if Heidi Yewman had bothered becoming a responsible gun owner, getting training, getting educated about guns and getting enough practice to become comfortable with her tool, as the vast majority of gun owners do, she would have a little more credibility with a crowd that isn’t entirely comprised of hysterical hoplophobes who support her cause.
But for now, Heidi Yewman is weapons grade stupid.