“It’s better to be…without the worry and responsibility…”

I shouldn’t give progressives rent-free space in my head, I know that. But sometimes I do. I’ve been brooding about things Heidi Yewman said in her article.

Sometimes the Internet is a wonderful thing. Usually. I’ve occasionally speculated that it’s one of the singular things permitting me to live a hermit’s life, because with it I can be physically separated from the bulk of humanity and yet remain essentially connected to it. That’s both psychologically and materially (as you guys have been proving often, just lately) necessary. But sometimes it puts me in touch with…well, yammerheads.

In my experience there are two kinds of yammerhead. There’s the pure idiot, who simply brings nothing to a subject, and whose thoughts, emotions and very existence are easy to dismiss. Stupid people. Think Gunkid, without the psychopathy.

But Heidi Yewman is not a stupid woman. Oh, she’s wrong-headed as hell. I have no doubt five minutes in her presence would blow the top of my head right off. And clearly dialogue would be pointless; she could never change my mind on any smallest point, and I could never change hers. But that doesn’t make her stupid, any more than it makes me stupid. She’s clearly not stupid. She writes very well. She has thought much, if not deeply, about the subject of gun rights.

So how can she be so wrong?

It almost makes me want to re-examine my opinion of David Grossman. If ever a person personifies Grossman’s characterization of a “sheep,” it’s the unfortunately-named Heidi Yewman. She strapped on the defining symbol of one of Grossman’s sheepdogs, and all it did was terrify her. When my dogs hear the sound of a pistol going into a holster, as they do every single day, they get all excited. To them it just says Uncle Joel is getting ready to leave the house, so something fun might happen. But to Ms. Yewman the gun represents “worry and responsibility,” two things she has decided she cannot bear. She has children in her house, for whom she clearly feels very responsible. But her idea of keeping them safe is to disarm herself so as to eliminate all possibility of accident or suicide. She seems particularly concerned about suicide, as if the tool itself is evil and can affect the user.

It’s interesting. (Well, I found it interesting.) When she was out and about while armed, she was consumed with worry and care over possible threats in her operating space. ‘Should I draw the gun? Should I point it? But he’s behind me! What should I do?’ When she went daily unarmed, she apparently never gave these considerations any thought at all. She may never have noticed the man behind her. What good would it have done? She had no way of defending herself against him, should that prove desirable.

People who train for self-defense have words for these concepts. Ms. Yewman, having deliberately refused to train, does not know the words – is unaware of the concepts. If she had chosen the training she would understand that the awareness is a good thing, and she would have some idea what to do under different circumstances. But she refused training, because it was more important to make a political point for a magazine article. She refused to even read the pistol’s manual.

I have no doubt that in other ways Heidi Yewman is an intelligent woman. But I don’t understand her at all. The thoughts she has expressed and the actions she has described make no sense to me, and I’ve really tried to understand them. They disturb me, and I don’t even know why. I should ignore her, the way I usually ignore fools.

It’s just…on some level I get the impression that she really expected the experience to instruct her, and that she’s a little upset that it didn’t. After all: Look at the title of her article. I didn’t write that. Her opponents didn’t write that. She did.

Even if it didn’t change her mind on the subject of gun rights, the experience could have opened her mind to a different – a fundamentally different – way of thinking. What she chooses to dismiss as fear and paranoia, she could have recognized as exactly what she called it – responsibility. But in the end, she fled from that.

I started this series sitting in a Starbucks with a gun on my hip. Today I sit in a different coffee shop, Peet’s Tea & Coffee, because, unlike Starbucks, it doesn’t allow weapons.

That’s her right, and I would never dream of trying to take it away from her. I do wish she would give those of us who choose to embrace responsibility the same courtesy.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “It’s better to be…without the worry and responsibility…”

  1. Matt, another says:

    She probably isn’t a big fan of stand your ground laws either.

  2. Tam says:

    Speciation is well underway.

    Although she and I are physically similar, the interiors of our crania are as different as those of P. robustus and A. afarensis.

  3. She is a special kind of coward: a poward. Not only that but she revels in her boundless ignorance. What a loser.

  4. cb says:

    Not everyone needs the same tools in this life. She may not arm herself with boots to keep the scorpions from her ankles on a daily basis. She may not use a weed whacker daily or wear leather gloves everyday, some people do. The thing is, she may keep boots, leather gloves and a weed whacker handy, if not on her person. Clearly the tool she needed was a controversial subject for her blog and guns be that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *