Dear Amy, Chicago Tribune, Legal Gun Ownership

We at Personal Defense World recently stumbled onto a recent “Dear Amy” column in the Chicago Tribune that left us struggling for words. The column calls into a question a 24-year-old woman’s new-found gun ownership. It was frustrating to see a level of ignorance about guns being peddled as truth. So we called on firearms expert Alan Korwin to dispel the errors we found.

Some huge chunk of America—the part that understands firearms enough to keep and bear them, all 100 million of us—were dumbstruck to read an advice column in the Chicago Tribune from a distraught dad. He learned his daughter had bought herself a fine major-manufacturer sidearm for all the right reasons.

The degree of ignorance expressed by the father, and advice-columnist Amy’s vapid response, was so error-laden and well, ignorant is the right word, the public was literally in shock. It was emblematic of the grotesque state of so-called “news” media today. Uneducated, the Tribune wallowed in misinformation, basically clueless and apparently unwilling to lift itself from the mire. Yet it still wields awesome power. Not from barrels of guns, but from barrels of pens and barrels of ink newspapers wield against the public.

Dumbfounded or Dumb?

Pen-named “Dumbfounded Father,” the man identifies his daughter as an “intelligent, hard-working, responsible 24-year-old,” but that evaporates when he discovers she’s a … gulp! … gun owner! And not just any gun owner. She has (in his words), “the kind of weapon a criminal would possess.” How does he know? It’s obvious he doesn’t. He’s just terrified, and his daughter suddenly doesn’t meet his imaginary intelligence standard. If your daughter is “intelligent, hard-working, and responsible,” sir, your concern about her new sidearm is irrational.

Dumbfounded—and the editors who gave this brain salad the light of day—describe a basic .40-caliber pistol (an FBI-preferred caliber and type, by the way) as not a “normal” gun. He fails to say what he thinks normal might be. Who knows what he might pick. With this as a backdrop, he now locks his bedroom door for safety—unless she’ll give the gun to him. It’s hard to imagine a less safe plan. He does provide an option, or rather, an ultimatum: Move out in three weeks. Move out girl! You’re living with a dangerously misguided man!

Dumbfounded Dad inexplicably mentions he’ll have forced her into poverty. They’re barely speaking. All he and Amy see is endangerment (maybe the daughter will need that sidearm?). That the writers express such blind lack of awareness publicly and the paper lets it run is itself stunning.

Dear Amy

The Tribune’s reply may be worse. Amy wants to know if hollow point ammo is legal in Dumbfounded’s state. She implies arresting the daughter for possessing contraband, resolving their angst. Amy doesn’t pursue that further, or apparently know more.

For instance, the “hollow” or “expanding” rounds they both dread is the safest type, used and endorsed by police nationwide. Hollow ammo helps prevent ricochets, over-penetration and has extra stopping power, desperately needed when sociopathic murderers assault innocent people. Isn’t that the whole point?

But reality bottoms out when Amy calls this stuff “exploding ammo.” That’s like believing bullets spark when they hit cars, as in Stallone movies, where he outruns machine guns. Tribune readers, already deeply misinformed, fall deeper into darkness—theoretically banned by the media’s ignored Code of Ethics. At least Dear Amy knows enough to tell this dad that his locked door “is no match for this weaponry.”

The left, because that’s where these shibboleths and dire idiocy comes from, are rotting core American values from within.

Final Thoughts

And so:

Dear Amy, while you “weep for America,” promote silliness and diligently preserve ignorance, I weep for you and people who take your advice. If my friends or I learned our daughters had picked themselves up a nice .40 cal. pistol, the first thing we would do is sit in the bedroom together, marvel at it and examine the great new pristine purchase. Me, I would review the safety rules with her too; that’s just me.

Then I’d go out and buy her a few boxes of range ammo and a box of the more expensive hi-impact expanding self-defense stuff, take her out to the range for some practice and fun, and try out that sweet new piece! Range time’s on me. Then food! Quality time with my girl! Yes! Fist pump. It’s a dad thing.

The shooting sports, as I’m sure you know, are the No. 2 participant sport in the nation, ahead of golf at No. 3. Give it balanced coverage Amy, OK?

If I can find some actual rounds of exploding ammo, heck yeah, we’ll try that too.

Alan Korwin’s website features plain-English books on state and federal gun laws for the public, and more common sense like you just read. He invites you to write to him or see his work, at, where you can get books and DVDs that help keep you safe.

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