The gun violence diaries

“How Do We Get Rid of Our Teenage Daughter’s Gun Safe?” (New York Times):

Our 15-year-old daughter is very headstrong. She’s never been in real trouble, but she bristles against rules and authority: curfews, homework, appropriate clothing — you name it! Recently, she exploded when her younger brothers discovered her journal in the family room. Now, she keeps it locked in a heavy black box she found at a secondhand store. The problem: The black box turns out to be a gun safe! (A friend of my husband told us.) We’re not worried that she has a gun; she helped organize a school rally to tighten our state’s gun laws. But she refuses to give up the safe, and we don’t want it in our house. Help!

A gun safe among the righteous!

14 thoughts on “The gun violence diaries

  1. This is silly. They should just paint over or remove the product identification labels, buy some appropriate paint and let her decorate the box and festoon it is glitter, sequins, etc., or else dang Goth symbols if she trends in that direction. It sound like she will take the latter route.

    But they should keep the gun safe in the house so that Dad can throw it at a home intruder when they break in.

  2. As an item to throw at an intruder, I prefer my IBM model M keyboard. It will pretty much cold cock anybody it hits. At work, it is useful to smash windows in case an active shooter incident occurs. A dual use item, and my favorite keyboard. Win win!

    • @Anonymous: Those are great keyboards and have always, in my experience at least, successfully withstood all kinds of assaults caused by hapless users. The problem with the ones I had was the thick, heavy cord that reached all the way around to the back of the machine it was plugged into.

      I think it would be difficult to have the presence of mind to reach all the way back around and unplug it before throwing it at an assailant. I know I wasn’t strong enough to throw a whole PC/AT at someone when I was a kid, and in a desperate circumstance, seconds count.

  3. More:

    “It’s not just that the police cannot protect you. They don’t even have to come when you call. In most states the government and police owe no legal duty to protect individual citizens from criminal attack. The District of Columbia’s highest court spelled out plainly the ‘fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.’”

    Police talk of duty, service and “protect and serve” all the time. Many of them believe that, at least for publicity purposes. Some of them truly do believe it, but it’s not a legal requirement. Just as there is no “duty to kill” when you are directly witnessing someone being murdered and have a weapon that would stop them. You can walk away, or wait in the hallway, or get back in your car and drive away and you will not be prosecuted, so you can wait for the chalk outlines to be drawn around the bodies.

    Our societal response to this appears to be to take guns away from people who didn’t commit the crimes.

    • All these guys with their “tacticool” gear, weapons loaded and at the ready, and they stood there in the hallway, waiting until all the kids were dead.

    • I love the guy in all the gear who goes for the hand sanitizer. That’s real courage!

    • Also, take particular note of the door that Ramos used to enter the school. It’s a big, heavy, metal-framed door with a self-locking mechanism that should have locked itself, but he just pulled it open and walked in. He did not breach the door or subvert the door’s locking system to break into the school. He just pulled on it, opened it and walked right in, like a guest.

      In other words, to my mind at least, the existing security at the school would have significantly slowed him down while he was still outside if it had not been for the fact that it was unlocked for some reason.

    • @Alex: “the existing security at the school would have significantly slowed him down while he was still outside if it had not been for the fact that it was unlocked for some reason”

      Freshman year, my high school pal and I purloined a set of master keys left unattended one morning at my public high school. We never used the keys for nefarious purposes, but mostly to take shortcuts across campus and enter locked side doors to get to class easily.

    • @DP: As a young child, I was once locked out of my elementary school because I had accidentally left my birthday-present Timex wristwatch outside in what I thought was a ‘hiding place’ during recess. When realized with horror that I had left it outside, I asked to go to the bathroom and then ran to one of the back doors of the school adjacent to the cafeteria. I walked out, grabbed the watch in its “hiding place” and then the door slammed shut behind me and locked me out. At that point I was so terrified about having lied about the fake bathroom trip that I completely forgot that the front door of the school was always right there and I could have just walked back in.

      So I walked home instead and caused a minor “missing person” panic until the principal called my house and got me on the phone and I explained what happened.

      Even back in the mid-1970s, lots of elementary schools were designed so that most of the doors locked automatically. In other words: this is not a security measure that was invented because of 9/11, terrorism foreign or domestic, or copycat school shootings, it was just part of the normal school architecture. In this case the building was constructed during the Cold War ’50s and also served as a Fallout Shelter, so it was made to be inherently secure (there were no cameras though.)

      Of course, someone who can pilfer a set of keys can obviously defeat that. Especially if someone leaves the door propped open/unlocked for absolutely inexplicable and somewhat mysterious reasons.

    • Master keys? What’s that, 20th century? These days mom and pop shops have electronic access card readers which allow invalidation of misplaced access tokens AND record video to show who tried to use them.

    • @averros: “Master keys? What’s that, 20th century?”

      Matter of fact – yes. Late ’70s.

  4. This shows the helplessness of The Virtuous when confronted with a situation for which there is no published guideline. They need authority figures like Fauci and the NYT.

    They could have bought a door lock for the daughter’s room, replaced the devils’s safe with a righteous safe, or laughed off the whole matter.

    (It is great by the way to see teenagers rediscover the value of privacy!)

    • Of course, the whole question could also be a fake question invented by Pravda editors to get a nice educational piece.

    • Anon: The beauty of the NYT is that they don’t have to go to the effort of inventing stuff like this. The voice of the mom rings completely true to anyone who has lived in the Boston suburbs. To see what the higher-income suburbs produce, just look at this mom from Newton, Maskachusetts who is now frequently quoted in the media:

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