Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Correcting the record on ammo and guns

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Readers: I recently ran a question from "Dumbfounded Father" in my column. This man had a 24-year-old daughter who was living with him. She had recently disclosed that she possessed a .40 caliber semi-automatic weapon, with hollow point bullets. This father did not want to have guns in his home.

In my response, I incorrectly stated that hollow point bullets "explode." I stated that this ammunition is illegal in 11 states.

I take responsibility for this error, and apologize to readers who were misinformed, confused or furious about it.

I reached out to Eric Delbert, a second-generation law enforcement officer and owner (with his father) of LEPD firearms range and training facility in Columbus, Ohio, who patiently described the characteristics of hollow point bullets. They do not explode. They expand. This ammunition seems to be only partially banned in one state (NJ). He also pointed out that the .40 caliber semi-automatic is extremely popular, and -- in his opinion -- an appropriate choice for this young woman.

I firmly believe that homeowners have the right to protect themselves and their homes from civilians bringing firearms onto their private property.

An adult family member who pays no rent or expenses is a guest in the home. If this daughter won't relinquish her firearm -- this houseguest should take her gun and find another place to live.


This Q and A from my column has been widely shared on social media, and I have been called out scores of times by gun owners and advocates who used my error on hollow point bullets to disregard my point of view. That's on me.

Many angry readers also suggested that my ignorance of firearms and ammunition disqualifies me from commenting on gun ownership or gun violence.

Obviously, I disagree. I don't have to know the intricacies of a car engine to advocate for commonsense driving and licensing laws.

I was also accused of having a "bias" against guns. A gun is an inanimate object. I don't hold a particular bias against these objects.


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