I Grew Up With Guns, Then I Was Held Hostage With One

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About Haley B. Elkins

Haley is a freelance writer living in the Midwest. She holds a BA in English literature, women’s studies, and technical writing from the University of North Texas. She is also married with three wily rescue dogs. More at Haleyelkins.com


  1. Rum is still making up half truths. Richard is still insulting me because I don’t know the differences between specific names of ammunition. At least Kevin N has stopped spouting nonsense? Is there anyone capable of reasonable conversation? Assault rifles (and as I’ve said before, whether you like the name or not, that’s what they are) are not hunting guns. They are not necessary for home protection or self-defense. You can hunt or protect yourself with plenty of other weapons. Why do you need it? Without referencing the second amendment, why should the government not ban them?

    Specifically, Rum, you’re full of BS. A gun has to to be capable of shooting through 4 to 5 people to be able to stop a bad guy? Do you live in a comic book world where bad guys have super powers? If it’ll stop one innocent person, it’ll stop one boogie man. You can’t scare me into thinking otherwise, even you’ve let the NRA scare you into thinking that.

  2. Now you are talking nonsense and insulting people. Are you a troll? Were you put here to make inane comments to stir up comments?

    You admit you know little about the topic, but have lots to say.

    Who cares about hunting guns? Do you really think that is what the 2nd Amendment is about? If so, you are sillier than I thought.

  3. Kevin
    I have read several books on terminal (that is, impact) ballistics. I am very familiar with the FBI studies underlying their recent decision to go to a larger more powerful handgun round than the 9mm. I am very familiar with the efforts of the US military to find a stronger round than the .223 , which has developed a bad reputation for being seriously under-powered. The only AR I own has an up-graded load from a .223 because I am personally quite aware of the limitations of the standard round.
    Kevin H has watched guys on Youtube.
    FWIW, I do not think anybody needs a high capacity magazine – because they mal function way too much. The US fought WW2 with 8-10 round mags for the most part because that is how one makes a weapon the most deadly. The Brits never saw the need for a semiauto battle rifle because their guys could keep up a continuous high rate of fire feeding their Lee Enfields with 5 round stripper clips. Maybe we should ban Lee Enfields. Every gun-owner in Canada has one, btw.

    • Rum, I could read tons of books about firearms and ammunition written by people who want more people to have more access to firearms and ammunition. It’s not going to trump what I can see with my own two eyes. If a gun can shoot bullets faster than 1/second, that’s not appropriate for citizens to be able to buy without restriction.

      And you can do whatever you want in Canada as long as your laws allow it. The original article and all of my points are pretty specific to the US. If you don’t like the gun laws or the conversation we’re having down here, maybe don’t join us?

  4. Kevin H
    I live in the US but I know about Gun Laws in Canada. I know that is a form of cheating a a debate thread where so many do not have that background knowledge.
    You keep changing the subject. You publicly lost the debate about cartridge power the second I pointed out the documentary trail of the FBI and the US military to obtain stronger rounds than the ones you said were too powerful for civilians to own because they would totally “destroy” something like deer. Apparently, YouTube told you this. Anyway, the end-users of the 9mm handgun and .223 rifles do not get their knowledge and experience that way and have been insisting for years to have something bigger – which is happening as we speak.
    I am going to cheat again and refer to knowledge that your sort has never been exposed to: Rapid fire controlled by trigger pull – ie one fire per trigger pull has never been regarded by end users as a formidable technique. Their were only two semiauto only ( IE without the spray option) military rifles made in the last century that were widely used and they were not copied. In other words, you are awed by and want to spend vast resourses to ban a firing capability/mechanism that the worlds military forces, after lots of experience regard as a dead end – no better than a mauser for most things and much less effective range.
    But Kevin H knows better than the German Army. He just knows, deep in his heart… and is all that matters.

    • Rum, I never change the subject, I always respond to your points.

      I’m sorry that disagreeing with you somehow equates to “emotional” in your book. Communicating with others must be awfully difficult.

      Me saying that I don’t care about the cartridge is not the same as “losing”. It means it’s irrelevant to my position or point.

      I do not appeal to emotions, I present logic. The US has significantly more gun violence than any other country. The US also has a very loud, very well-funded lobbying organization that spends lots of money convincing people that guns=freedom. The US also has very few restrictions on who can purchase what firearms or ammunition. The line seems to have been drawn at missile launchers. We had an “assault weapons ban” which banned many of the things that people like you insist are not assault weapons. Crazy that I would call them that when the US government called them that. The US also has a crumbling mental health system.

      The US, meanwhile, has the ability to track purchases and limit them. The US has the ability to create cross-referencing data bases. We require licensing for certain activities, like driving a car or boat, that require periodic updating. We regulate and ban certain items or activities that are deemed to be dangerous to public health.

      It seems to me, there’s a pretty logical connection here: regulate guns. Restrict access to certain ones. Require registries, licensing, and background checks.

      You can talk circles around me when it comes to specific cartridge ability. That’s nice. While you were doing that, someone else in this country was shot and killed. I don’t care what the specifics are when it comes to .223 bullets. I don’t care exactly which bullets killed the 20 kids in Newtown, or the 500th person in Chicago. I can see, as can anyone with basic levels of common sense, looking at the numbers and the patterns, that there is a problem and doing nothing or adding more guns is not going to help that problem. I’m sorry if logic seems emotional to you. I imagine that, actually, you just have no ability to discuss the possibility that maybe you shouldn’t have access to semi-automatic assault rifles. Maybe. Or you’re 12. I can’t tell.

  5. Kevin H
    You seem to be saying that if the political leaders you admire say there is a valid category of things rightly labelled “assault weapon” that must be true. Like, Bill Clinton always told the truth about everything and so could be trusted about gun issues.
    You guys could find a lot of support for gun control among gun owners if you gave up on the quest for the ability to instantly seize all legally owned firearms. But you never will because that IS what you really want; apparently it is the only thing you really want because every proposal for GC from your side leads straight to this regardless of any other dimension..

  6. Haley, this is a heck of an article, and it must have both torn up your soul and freed it to take us through your experience. Thank you for your generosity.

  7. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get several emails
    with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  8. Andrew Daigle says:

    I don’t want to agree with one side or the other in this argument, but Kevin H, you are being irrational, insulting to other people, and are very close minded. If you want to get your feelings, and your point across, have a polite discussion. You are making yourself sound less smart then I’m sure you are. You seem like an intelligent individual, please act accordingly.

  9. That was incredibly long-winded, and I still don’t know what the point was.

  10. This is what scares me. People who consider themselves “responsible” gun owners because they grew up around guns and take one out of a closet once a year to go play. They speak from a pedestal on the basis of how familiar they are with guns, but prove sentence by sentence they are not. I would be scared as hell, too, if I were your husband based on your cavalier attitude toward true gun safety and your pattern of poor choices and irrational thinking. You don’t coerce someone into using a gun who isn’t familiar with them. You educate them first. You take a gun safety course so you know what the real dangers are. You don’t hand them a 12 gauge and pretend it’s safer than a hand gun. That pistol your refer to as “evil” has an incredibly lousy accuracy when wielded by the inexperienced while your nice safe shotgun was developed with sole purpose of spreading a killing field as wide as possible. There are so many irrationalities in this article that it’s hard to even pick a single spot to begin. I’d start with a safety course though. If you’re going to spout your knowledge, it’s probably best you actually know what you’re talking about.

    By the way, that Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or even owning a gun. It quotes a right to bare arms to defend oneself from tyranny. It’s about having a right to protect myself from irrational, uninformed people bent on exerting their control on my life. It’s about defending myself from people like you who think they actually know what they’re talking about and want to impose their fears on others.


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