Life Advice



Correcting the record on ammo and guns

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I definitely have a bias against the people who use guns to terrorize and kill one another. I also have a bias against the gun lobby that gaslights Americans into believing that gun ownership is not only a right, but also -- these days -- a necessity, as many readers have suggested.

Additionally, the disrespect, anger, violent language, and threats contained in many of the responses to this Q and A are, frankly, a great argument for stricter gun control.

My position on gun ownership arises from my own exposure to the heartbreaking aftermath of gun violence. As a journalist, I spent time with and interviewed many mothers who had lost their young children to random and unprovoked gun violence. I wrote about the killings at Columbine High School, and the culture of violence that contributed to that massacre.

My very small rural hometown has been rocked by a series of gun killings, including an entire family murdered on Christmas Eve, a workplace murder, and the tragic story of a father (the football coach at my high school) who was murdered protecting his daughter from her gun-wielding boyfriend.

Plus, I live in the world. School killings, church killings, workplace killings, mall killings, partner killings, accidental shootings -- we are awash in violence, and ready access to dangerous weaponry makes it too easy for innocent people to get shot. Thoughts and prayers, it turns out, are no match for a hollow point bullet.


And someone like me: small, physically inept, and -- (according to many commenters) not too bright and/or possibly deranged -- has no business wielding a gun. Most importantly, I don't want to own a gun, and so I will exercise my right not to own one or allow one in my home.

On the day I'm writing this, two fairly quotidian stories of senseless gun violence caught my eye: One involved two men who killed each other in a shootout when one cut another off in traffic (both men reportedly had concealed carry permits). The other was of an ambush shooting at a California Costco parking lot (the second Costco shooting in three days): one dead, two injured.

This column is a great space to explore the vagaries of the human condition. Questions from the lovelorn, love-lost or betrayed; the confused parents, Bridezillas, and angry in-laws -- all provide insights into the daily struggles presented just by being human and living in the world. Gun violence is part of our world, and so we should talk about that, too.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)



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