The next time someone rares back to punch you, get out your phone and call the cops before that fist goes forward. Hopefully, the police will arrive in time to shield your nose from the knuckles.
That’s not so far off from a scenario recently suggested by National Public Radio.
On its Weekend Edition Saturday broadcast, NPR interviewed a woman named Misheika Gaddis. The resultant article’s headline reads “Meet this new gun owner: a single mom in Colorado.”
To understand what’s driving gun sales, Weekend Edition is featuring conversations with new gun owners. Today, NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Misheika Gaddis, a single mom in Aurora, Colo.
“Misheika…is 33,” reporter Scott begins, “and works in accounts receivable for a chain of doughnut shops. She is a single mother and the new owner of a 9-millimeter pistol. An industry trade group estimates nearly five-and-a-half million Americans bought guns for the first time last year.”
And black Americans, it turns out, comprise “the fastest-growing group of gun owners.” NPR seeks to “understand what might be driving gun sales.”
Given that the nation’s gun-buying surge began in 2020, presumably, a catalyst couldn’t have been this:
[Warning: Disturbing Content, Including Language and Violence]
NPR aims to solve the mystery, and here’s how Misheika depicts her surroundings:
“I stay pretty close to a high school that actually had a shooting sometime this year. Then there’s someone that, like, rides through the neighborhood, and they just let off shots. You can hear gunshots every night.”
But why would she want a firearm?
Scott is concerned about Misheika’s young son, Adam. “[D]o you worry about an accident happening with that gun in your home?” he asks.
She acknowledges the danger of a gun in the house, even admitting she knows a woman whose pistol misfired and killed her child. Misheika is taking preventative steps:
“When it’s at home, it’s locked away. [Adam] knows and is aware of it, but he also knows the dangers and how safe we have to be.”
“The clip and the gun are never in the same place at the same time, but they are accessible to me if I need to get to them.”
More about that potential “need”:
“It’s scary. We have gotten familiar with the sounds of [gunshots]. At first it was like, ‘Was that fireworks, or is it gunshots?’ Rarely ever fireworks. But I also tell them to move away from the windows and, you know, like, we’ll go to sleep early some nights and close the window so we don’t hear the commotion outside. It’s just a hard time right now, especially explaining it to younger kids, the dangers that we might face…day to day.”
“[T]here [were] a couple of nights where I’d come home, and there would be people in the hallway, like, really close to my door. And the way my apartment building is set up is if you don’t know anybody up there, you shouldn’t be upstairs. There were a couple of nights I felt like I probably needed some protection or probably should have let somebody know I was going in late. But I didn’t think about it until there were people standing way too close to my door.”
But why get a gun? She lays it out:
“I got it for the protection of my home. I have [an] 8-year-old, and it’s just the two of us right now. I’m actually pregnant with my second child, and I think for me, I’d want to be able to protect them if need be. I don’t have a record. I have no criminal history or anything. So I think the best thing for me is to exercise my Second Amendment rights and be a gun owner.”
Scott wants to know how easy it was to purchase a handgun (it took four hours and maybe five forms). He also makes clear, “There are people who will hear our conversation who will be very moved by what you have to say but still wish you hadn’t chosen to get a gun and doubt that you’ve done the right thing. I wonder if you have an answer for that.”
“I’ve been through enough hurt and chaos to feel like this is the best decision for myself and my family,” she says. “Would you rather be the victim of something or the person that came to the defense, you know?”
Having described her neighborhood, unsettling circumstances in the building, and the relentless sounds of gunfire, Misheika is asked, “What would lead you to reach for that gun, in your mind?”
She offers an example:
“If someone was actively trying to, like, to kick in the door, or — I have actually a bell that is on the back of my door, so if I heard the bell and wasn’t expecting anyone to walk in at that moment, then I would reach for it.”
“[W]hy not just call the police?”
His reply seems a solid portrait of where we are in America. There is a political side which, though they want to defund law enforcement, evidently believe the police are miraculous.
Furthermore, while they rightly decry weaponry’s effectiveness against good people, they appear to deny its usefulness against bad.
They want to further legally impede ownership because of guns’ use against law abiders by lawbreakers, even though possession laws solely restrict the actions of law abiders. Meanwhile, every terrible nationally-covered mass shooting, if it’s actually been stopped, has been stopped by a gun.
Yet, “why” would you want a gun? It’s a question they’re not likely to quit asking — no matter what sort of answers are supplied.
But for those interested in explanations, see “An Expert Answers Democrats’ Most Burning Question: Why Does Anyone Need an AR-15?”
Meanwhile, maybe someone can forward Wikeisha’s story to Joy Behar. Reportedly, it’ll make her exceedingly glad:
Joy Behar Knows When Republicans Will Ban Guns: When Black People Finally Get Some
— RedState (@RedState) June 9, 2022
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