Last week, former Heritage alumni Bethany Mandel wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times titled, “I Wanted to be a Good Mom. So I Bought a Gun.”

In the feature, Ms. Mandel started by saying:

A few months after my father left our family home for good, my mother heard me screaming in the middle of the night. It was the kind of scream that made her grab her rifle in one hand and some ammo in another.

It was a spring night and I was sleeping with my window open, which was right above my bed; I loved breathing in the fresh air. That night, in that open window, I heard the banging of a ladder, and by the time my mother made it into the room and began loading her gun, a man was about to climb in.

She then goes on to talk about the reasons people own guns and why a ban on guns is not the answer to stop mass shootings.

Read her full story here >>

We are thankful for Ms. Mandel’s past service to Heritage and to her continued bravery in taking a stand for conservatives.

Do you agree with Ms. Mandel’s opinion on gun control? Why or why not?



Comments (107)

Joe O’Neill - March 9, 2018

I’ve always believed that gun control is code for people control. Were we to get rid of all guns in society, it would simply mean to the Left, all Guns except those belonging to the Left.

Wayne Fisher - March 9, 2018

Yes, I believe pretty much the same way.

Kay Ball - March 9, 2018

I agree with her 100% because this is the smart answer. Not more gun control!! More gun control is just another way for the democrats to get votes!! Then let the rest of our country go to pot!!

Robert Petersen - March 9, 2018

School shootings are not a serious problem as they are down from about 40 a year to 10-20. If one is to protect oneself one has to have some kind of defense. A gun is good or even a wasp spray. Since gun deaths are declining and gun ownership up 150 million so it is not a gun problem. Israel has teachers carryying. It is the best quick response

DonThornberry - March 9, 2018

There are more “bad people” running around than tr ying to find an honest job.
So that leaves the rest of us trying to protect . our family and our selves.

Tim Wilkins - March 9, 2018

We have a GOD given right to protect ourselves and our families and NO body has the Authority to take that right away other than God himself.

Paul Schwindeller - March 9, 2018

Totally agree. A cop is too heavy to carry.

Gordon Rodgers - March 9, 2018

The only thing that gives a 5 foot, 110 lb. woman a chance at stopping a 6 foot, 250 lb., muscled-up male attacker is a firearm. And the firearm of choice is typically a handgun, because it can easily be carried, can easily be maneuvered around tight corners in rooms in a house, and tight confining hallways. You can also hold a child’s hand, or carry a baby, with your free hand, or stay on a cell phone to police while maintaining control of your firearm. Police can not be expected to stop crimes at homes, as they happen with surprise and speed. It is the citizen’s duty to defend self and family. Bad guys can always steal or find some kind of weapon to harm an innocent. Gun control does nothing to prevent this.

Jerry L Hobson - March 9, 2018

We need to address the mentally ill. The HIPPA law prohibits a Doctor from reporting a mental problem. One Doctor should not make it impossible to purchase a firearm. the counties in each state has a gun board, they could investigate that person. Make the necessary complaint to the background check system.

Fix the Hippa Law!

Jim Meynard - March 9, 2018

I do agree with Ms. Mandel’s assessment. Banning guns is not the answer. There is no one answer, no magic bullet that will solve this problem we now face in our country. Yes, I think guns, especially automatic/semi automatic weapons are too easily acquired. That is a failure of law enforcement. Obama’s “Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline”, co-authored by Runcie, the Super of the Broward County Schools, hid the deviant behavior of Mr. Cruz and allowed him to buy weapons. Again, law enforcement failure and ultra-liberal mis-guided ideals. It is these people that must be identified and secured. But, even if they cannot get a gun, they will still seek to do their havoc if not controlled. Note, the Boston marathon bombers. They did not have guns.

Rose Codacovi - March 9, 2018

Banning guns is just like a child. Taking away his toy will only make his desire stronger.Banning guns is not the real issue,
People have to be taught. There are the good guys and the bad ones. Bad ones will never stop hurting others. Psychological? Who knows. So many issues. Cannot be solved unless realization becomes positive.

Roberta - March 9, 2018

I was raised with guns for hunting and protection. I appreciate Ms Mandel’s opinion and do agree with most of what she says.

Fred Beck - March 9, 2018

We need to find a solution for wherever people gather, not just schools, but theaters, churches, concerts, stadiums, etc.

Elias Goldstein - March 9, 2018

My only comment on gun control is that should be a ban on all assault type weapons.

Steve Cariati - March 9, 2018

I do not agree. There are countries around the world that have violent video games their citizens watch but not the mass shootings as we had in the USA. Stricter screening for gun permits and no availability of military style guns will help reduce mass shootings as it has in Australia and other countries. Suicides are positively correlated to gun availability. I am happy this single Mom was able to protect herself and daughter. Personally I would have shot the intruder in the leg and called the police afterwards. She could pass a screening for obtaining a gun; but should have no ability to buy a military style rifle or a bump stock. .In the USA getting a gun is too easy and should be tightened -up without delay. I would like to get a gun permit and feel I can when so moved.

Guillermo Hernandez - March 9, 2018

Yes, but it really means taking guns away from criminals as law abiding gun owners do not create this problem. I also believe that we need to educate people about Guns so that they start to view them as a tool with many good uses among them, self protection. The advocates for gun control are no saying “All Semi-automatic guns should be ban.” This is clear evidence these people don’t know anything about guns, totally ignorant. Hence, mass education about guns and proper use of them is essential to dispel the erroneous understanding of guns. I don’t believe anything the government propose because we know very well it will be abused. Whatever it is agreed have to be implemented outside of goverhnment hands and very well thought out so that 100% accuracy and effectiveness is assured. Again, the main problem is taking guns out of criminals and that should be the main objective.

I also wondering why nothing has been said of Obama’s Promise Program. Broward County School shooting deaths were caused by this darn bad Program. It gives schools millions of dollars for not reporting students felonies and crimes. Nikolas shooter committed many felonies in the high school and they were not reported to local law enforcement agencies. That is why he passed the background check and was able to purchase a gun. People should be made aware of this Program and ask to be stopped right now. That will help to avoid a tragedy like this to happen. Obama and Holder put this program in place to lower the school-to-jail statistics which were high on black, minorities, and illegals. Kids died because of the desired to lie to people for political gains.

Barb Echtner - March 9, 2018

I feel it is time to allow guns everywhere as it used to be when I was a kid. Yes, even churches. of course, common sense would need to be foremost but as it is being proved, the places where guns are not allowed are the most likely place for this to happen. A requirement of schools, both public and private is to have not one but several teachers/staff that are instructed in firearm use on a regular basis and are required to carry a firearm in school. There is no need to lose anymore of our precious children in a situation like Parkland. One more thing, it is time to place the blame (on the FBI) where the blame belongs. See something, say something will never work unless it is acted upon in a thorough manner. Good for Ms. Mandel.

C.E. Robinson - March 9, 2018

Who decides who is dangerous? And by the way, Steve Cariati, “Military style guns”? Really? Check the FBI crime statistics lately? If you don’t like AR-15’s, don’t buy one! Using Australia as an example of gun control success puts your ignorance on display for all . Additionally, your comment , “I would have shot the intruder in the leg”, is asinine. Based on your apparent nativity concerning firearms, I doubt you have the ability to do that.
Maj USMC (Ret)

tomJwright - March 9, 2018

I’m not for violence, I’m against it, however, when those of a criminal-mind know there isn’t a defense present (no guns) they feel free to do as they choose. Gun laws (gun control) actually only controls the lawful, not the unlawful. Knowing guns maybe present is a better deterrent to criminals. If I’m wrong they why don’t criminals walk into a room full of lawful gun carriers and start shooting?

Cecilia D Watson - March 9, 2018

I agree with her opinion. Guns in the hands of responsible citizens can prevent mass murders being perpetrated by single individuals, If the teachers had been armed in school shootings, there would have been fewer casualties. Instead, we must address the current public policy of mainstreaming the psychologically ill. We must also be more determined in teaching ethics and right and wrong to our children. It seems to me we have too many people without a moral compass today.

Geneva - March 9, 2018

YES. I do agree.

Robert Schreiber - March 9, 2018

The Second Amendment supports our God given right and responsibility to protect ourselves and our families. You cannot rely on the police for protection as evidenced by the school shooting in Florida. I live in a rural township that does not have a police department and the closest state police barracks is over fifteen miles away. In my case it is very true that when seconds count help is many minutes away.

Gary Summey - March 9, 2018

Yes I agree. But there is a bigger problem here. This is a cultural issue. We are bombarded daily with video games, graphic violence in movies, all in the name of killing the bad guy. Think a moment about who the kids bad guys are. Bullies of coarse. Couple that with mental health problems, strife at home, it’s only a matter of time. Stop the knee-jerk reaction’s and start talking

Paul Wolf - March 9, 2018

Every dictatorship starts with the confiscation of firearms. Our right to bear arms is God given. The Second Amendment merely affirms that it will not be infringed upon.
Furthermore, gun-free zones have repeatedly been proven to be soft targets Another hyped up leftist ploy.
The existing regulations do not need to be expanded. Authorities need to react to obvious problematic individuals.Inaction is the problems…not guns.

Edward Halpern - March 9, 2018

Dear Kay: I do not mind if you have a surrogate doing this column of great subjects for you because it is a great program that you have set up for us all who are interested in the subject matter that you give insite about to us all. I am a published Author/Artist so I am familiar with time restraints.
I believe that teachers with the right qualifications and training should be able to carry concealed guns foe emergency use in case of armed intruders who are bent on killing people. Whatever it takes by those who are responsible for these locations should be involved in doing what is necessary without further delay. Those at such sites it seems are the best ones to handle these situations. Edward Halpern March 9, 2018


Nancy Bolstad - March 9, 2018

I totally agree and feel that we have a right to defend ourselves.

Gerald Dominick - March 9, 2018

I believe that it is out God-given right to protect ourselves, whether it be in the middle of the night or the middle of the day.
We aren’t told if the intruder had a gun or not. If he did, then the one man who didn’t agree with Ms. Mandel didn’t know if the intruder had a gun and would have shot her.
I would rather be safe than sorry!

Tom King - March 9, 2018

If you talk about a ban, look first at what happened in Australia – they took guns away from honest people and the crooks and lunatics had a field day. One point I would make is civilians do not nees semi- or automatic weapons – that is for the military. People have the right to defend themselves and their families.

David Jordan - March 9, 2018

Of course! 100% agree! Any logical United States citizen would as well. Creating more laws, only put law-abiding people under more gov’t control, and take away more of our freedoms. The problem is a heart issue. We (USA) take God out of schools, and expect something different than what we’re getting?

Andrew Barbieri - March 9, 2018

The person who broke into her house was the reason for her”gun” action. That “gun” saved her daughter’s and her life. I am sure never had a thought of putting a red light outside her door, indicating a “gun free zone”

Kathleen - March 9, 2018

I read Ms. Mandel’s story a Mother is going to protect her Baby know matter how old she/he is that is natural and I agree she had no fear I say bravo to her.
They’re is no excuse, in this, Time that we live, in that we don’t learn to educate ourselves and learn some type of self defense. It sickens me to how many Police Officers are getting “Murdered” and put they’re life on the line everyday. We need more Police Officers until this brutality slows down. #BuildTheWall
I really don’t think we need gun control , we do need extreme vetting , we need our schools safe and it sounds like what has been contemplated is good .But I really don’t think that raising the age on the kids will do any good because its just like a beer run if they want beer they will find someone old enough to buy it and the same will happen with guns. Make it so that a parent has to sign for them for a gun up to the age of 21 , it will make the child and parent pay attention , these parents don’t want that stress…but then again someone has to be responsible

Antone Grieco - March 9, 2018

You have heard the saying “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Outlaws pay no attention to laws; they have ways of obtaining anything they like.

You have heard the saying “Guns do not kill people; people kill people.” Law abiding citizens are not the ones who commit horrendous crimes. What good does it do to limit them even further?

A decade or so ago, a U.S. city (I do not recall which one) made it mandatory that every homeowner purchase a gun. In that city, crime went down.

BOBBY E. RICHARDSON - March 9, 2018


Kathleen - March 9, 2018

I would like to know where are all the mentally ill patients who filled up the Mental Health Habilitation Centers , weren’t they followed up either , My God that alone is a reason to #BuildTheWall .

Dale Whiteley - March 9, 2018

Just wanted to register a couple thoughts: There is no such thing as gun violence. Truthfully, it is
‘people violence’. Guns are just a tool, like a shovel or hammer. In the hands of the wrong people they can also kill, although maybe not quite as rapid. All the laws that can be passed about guns are about worth as all the laws about drugs or murder. They are wrong and against our laws but ‘bad’ people do them. Continuing to pile laws upon laws against something will never change anything, we have to change people’s hearts. Morals went away back in 1963 with Madeline Murry. They weren’t taught in school and in a few generations they stopped being taught in the home, now we ‘Reaping what we have sewn’.
It’s impossible to go back!
God bless, Dale

Will Jeffrey - March 9, 2018

Known Fact: Gun Free Zones = Target rich Environments. And the Crazies know this. She is absolutely right. When it all counts, you can only count on yourself.

GrandmaChris - March 9, 2018

Absolutely. We are respsonsible for our own defense, and to help our neighbors . Where I live, the fastest response to a call for police is over 2 hours. It could as easily be 4 hrs. Too few cops, too much real estate. Thankfully, not much crime, but that’s because most of us are armed and alert!

Ken Lyle - March 9, 2018


Gary - March 9, 2018

I felt that her article was very well written and I agree with her positions. It is not about guns but about hearts and minds.

Benedicta M. Harris - March 9, 2018

Yes I fully agree with Ms. Mandel. Those up to no good are always able to get illegal weapons.. I am against confiscation of Law abiding people’s guns. Thank you for your support of the Second Amendment. Our schools must not be “Gun Free Zones” I am in full support of The NRA!

Kenneth G. McKenzie - March 9, 2018

Yes I agree with her .I think you all ready know that its the people who are at fault, not the guns. Also the gangsters can always get a gun or make one. Some of our Police have made some bad judgment shootings, but we still need police, correct the problems and keep the police.
Most of the school shootings plus some other shootings are because of lack of parent responsiblility either in upbringing,or failing to report it if there child had a mental problem. I will stop here.

James Owen - March 9, 2018

1- We the citizens of the United States…..have Human Rights to “self-preservation” (self-defense) and Civil-Rights (also to self-Defense). GOD given Rights were here long before either of these.
2- The Laws of any Country should be upheld by the citizens less they destroy society that created said country.
3- Criminal Acts are done by persons who have NO respect for the LAW or its CITIZENS….(No amount of legislation will stop violent acts by law-breakers.)
4- The lesson we should have learned from the so-called Australian
Government exercise in taking “Rights” from their citizens was in the Melbourne- Times Nov. 2016 which after all was said and done that the people of Australia NOW Have MORE FIREARMS in the hands of THE CITIZENS than before the 1996 Massacre !!! (waste of time & Money; yes and lives lost without protection).
5-The MEDIA doesn’t help by glorifying
these mass-killers publishing picture and names of these killers.(a few media have stopped this practice)
6-Those “do-gooders of the left” told us we could eliminate our mental-institutions and send these patients home with new “psycotropic drugs”; this still leaves 520,000 of these former mental-patients loose or (in prisons with hardened criminals.) These are the “shooters” that have a tendency to be pushed-over-the-edge and become mass-killers.(not just here;but world-wide.
7-When most of us “mature adults” were raised in public schools we had Prayer and BIBLE influence in our schools INCLUDING the “Ten Commandments” ( Thou shall Not Kill, steal, covet, lie , bear false witness. These VALUES DO MATTER when raising children to be good citizens !!! RESTORE THESE ASAP would be a GREAT place to start.
8-The Sheriff Israel was under the Obama program to not report problems in schools with” racial types”, so they would look good to the authorities. WE NOW KNOW thanks to the internet that is why no action was taken to prevent this shooting and why the shooter never got the treatment he needed.
8- Boward Cty Sheriffs Dept. (one of the biggest budget Sheriff Offices in the USA) had money to spend on Training; WHY were they using the same tactics used in the Combine, CO shooting 20 years ago? Most officers know to engage the shooter ASAP to stop him.(other near by swat teams went straight to the school to engage the shooter while the Sheriff Office called a “stand-down” ???)

Bill Bruce - March 9, 2018

I agree that gun laws won’t make much difference. A big part of the problem is moral and cultural decline. How about making public some numbers on how many movies, tv shows and games invve gun violence.

I would like to see some statistics on

Deb O’Hagan - March 9, 2018

Gun control is really people control Look at the documentary Innocents Betrayed. And these no guns to under 21 laws must be stopped. We make young men sign up for the draft at 18 but don’t think they are old enough to handle guns?!

Bill Schertz - March 9, 2018

Yes, I agree! The restrictions on guns will not solve the violence problem in this country! Israel has a secure perimeter fence around schools, and anyone entering has to go thru a security check similar to our airports!

helen - March 9, 2018

Yes. The problem- we are becoming a lawless society . the FBI has failed many times to protect us, but never so badly as in this school shooting. We don’t need new gun laws, we need current laws enforced and the FBI held accountable

Michael Demere Weeks - March 9, 2018

I Do Not Agree with Her Decision, ‘Not’ to SHOOT the ‘Poor Uninvited Guest to Her Humble Home, Given This Second ‘Chance’, I’m Quite Sure He Immediately Joined a ‘Discussion Group’ for Un-Appreciated ‘Slime Bags’, & Promises to Do Much Better ‘Next’ Time. Has Started a ‘New’ California ‘Help Group’ for “Burglars, Deprived of Equal Opportunity to Prey on ALL Others.Inc.” Funded by { o Many to Name Do Good’rs]} ? Shall We Set Aside a Fund for These ‘Ingrate’ Humans, Modeled after those ” Pooor…Palestinians ! ? Doesn’t ‘Gun Control’ Work There ??

John Hart - March 9, 2018

AGREE WITH HER? ABSOLUTELY NOT! 1.) Both her and her mother’s cases/histories are precisely what her former organization, the NRA, has fought for longer than Ms.Mandel has been alive. Her abandoning that membership says to me she’s not fully onboard with preventing recurrence of her mom’s experience, nor onboard with our Second Amendment. 2.) Her position and willingness to barter away, in any way, shape or form our rights & responsibilities to the Left, is unacceptable and will further add fuel to the fire of Left’s misrepresenting “cause & effect” of current shootings and gun crime, and continue the slow but sure erosion of citizen rights. 3.) Her agreed-to solution of attempting to put trust in courts to choose who, when, and why to believe in law enforcement officers, mental health practitioners, and in both higher and/or lower courts, is, IMHO, laughable in light of those same persons willful and often partisan neglect for upholding existing Federal & State laws, and in neglecting working on the shootings we’ve seen since 9/11. I could list many other specific cases, but that would get repetitive! Due process is due process—arbitrary elimination is heresy and adds to the deep state. NO!

Joyce Boren - March 9, 2018

A gun is an inanimate object,it lays there until someone picks it up. The person that uses the gun, be it for good or bad, is the one that is responsible for it’s use.

Dennis R. Smith - March 9, 2018

Four years active duty with USMC, six years OSP,life-long gun owner, Life member NRA I definitely agree with the lady.

MAECRAWSHAW - March 9, 2018


MJ Rydholm - March 9, 2018

Yes, I agree with Ms. Mandel’s opinion as far as I can tell. It seems she is for better responses from those in authority who are aware of troubled, violent minds, yet understands that if guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns.
Hitler promised the most civilized society ever in the world when he confiscated most of the guns in Germany, and the result was the whole world suffered.
We cannot go down that same path.
The writers of the constitution and the Bill of Rights understood that unless all had the right to bear arms, despotism would result.
I have never owned a gun, never shot a gun, and never played with toy guns, but I am now considering taking shooting range lessons and getting a gun, because I am a school teacher, and the schools where violence was kept to a minimum in a shooter attack situation, were schools where someone with a fire arms permit happened to be present and acted heroically.

Pat Walsh - March 9, 2018

We lost our house in the Northern California fires causing my wife and I to relocate. My wife is now in a rental house 500 miles away from me and I am commuting to our new residence every week from my office. First thing we did was buy a new firearm for my wife since she is by herself for the first time in 30 years. She sleeps with her gun by her bed and now feels safe. I can’t be with her every night but at least she can protect herself when I am not home. Thank God we can still buy firearms in California. I am a proud NRA member!
Pat Santa Rosa Ca.

KMEitel - March 9, 2018

I grew up with handguns and shotguns in the home… once my parents divorced (I was 8), this was reduced to shotguns..

I learned at an early age to properly respect, handle, and use both. My parents believed in the Second Amendment, and hunting/field trial competition was a way of life (my mother was the first AKC Field Trial Judge).

Once I entered USMA in July 1974, I was once again trained in the use of all forms of weapons – I found that my training from both of my parents was beneficial therein.

I currently own the .22 revolver my father taught me to shoot with – 55 years later (I am 61). I also own a .357 that I have carried since 1982, and a .45 ACP Bul double-stack [new primary carry], as well as a few other handguns and rifles. I have trained both of my children how to handle and shoot; they are both very proficient [note: my my wife still doesn’t want to handle or shoot anything; she feels we will protect her).

Our family has always believed in the Second Amendment… My mother and father taught us in the ’60s how to handle and respect weapons; I taught the same to my children.

The Right to Bear Arms is critical. We MUST pass it on the next generation!

Gene Dixon - March 9, 2018

Guns is not the problem

Marjorie Mock - March 9, 2018

I DO agree. It is a heart problem, not a gun problem. There are many other methods as well….Hitler and gas chambers for one. It is all about the heart.

James Morris - March 9, 2018

Seems to make sence to me.

Dona Walker - March 9, 2018

Yes she has to defend herself and children.

Deb Bamford - March 9, 2018

The problem is not with any kind of gun; a gun does not say to itself: “gun, shoot!”. This problem goes to a much deeper root problem in our society. The problem spans from mental health problems clear to greed from a store owner selling guns, ammo, etc. I have a grand-daughter who has “Autism”; this entire school shooting & the fact of the media mentioning “Autism” has caused this darling little 7 year old grand-daughter of mine horrible problems at her small school. The Mayo Clinic has a diagnosis called: “Anti-Social Personality Disorder”; (aka psychopath or sociopath). I believe our discussion should focus on perhaps just those two topics. This “Anti-Social Personality Disorder” diagnosis includes a person who will hurt themselves, hurt someone else, they are excellent liars, manipulators, can pass lie detector tests without a sweat, control their emotions with the goal of getting whatever they want. These people span the entire spectrum of any kind of occupation, educational, professional employment; be it a student; or simply wanting to climb the corporate ladder. The one common theme they all seem to have is the desire to control the particular outcome of the circumstance at that time of their life. How do I know? I have an adult son with this mental disorder. Most psychiatrists; psychologists do not want to deal with these people due to the fact that these types of persons never allow anyone to get “too close” in any kind of relationship with them. To get the mental help they need first the person with the mental health disorder has to want and seek help; the sad fact is that usually in most cases there is not the money nor the insurance necessary for them to get the help they so desperately need; “clinicians”, “social workers” are not educated enough to help these people. On the opposite side of the spectrum you have pure greed; especially in today’s economy of a gun store owner needing the capital to keep his business going; therefore possibly ignoring the “red flags” that are obvious. In between there is the law enforcement problem when in cases of domestic abuse; and I have experienced this myself; law enforcement does not want to get involved in the “he said”, “she said”. This country needs to “grow up” and have actual adult discussions involving all aspects of this “ongoing” debate concerning guns. Why is it that no one can stop pointing the finger, keep involving politics, realizing the gun is simply an object that cannot shoot itself, and that in order to maintain our freedom we dare not do away with the second amendment; lest we become a “police state”; which in my own opinion is just a step away from communism; we need to be brave enough to stand up and face the reality of the problems here; and it is not a gun problem, it is a breakdown in our mental health system, a breakdown in medical/mental health insurance problem and throw in the greed on top with politicians fighting among themselves for their own benefit; a quest for the truth, the root problem must be discussed before any type of solution can be found. Instead of being divided on this important discussion can anyone be strong enough to bring honesty into this mess to bring a “oneness” agreeing that the problem absolutely 100% is not the gun itself?

Robert Walker - March 9, 2018

Yes, My wife and I live in a remote area with a 600 foot driveway and house in the woods. A former employee who quit working for me two years prior showed up at 2:00 AM. He was using meth and drank a lot and was most likely high that night. He was screaming:”I know you’re in there and I’m gona kill you.
I called 911 but it took nearly 15 minutes for the police to get there and for some reason he left before the police arrived. The policeman knew who
he was and said you better get a gun!!
I did not have a gun!!

Chris Hinkle - March 10, 2018

A gun in the hands of a responsible person is fine. I agree the Florida governor to raise the age of a gun owner. Emotional stability is a serious problem and anyone who has the problems that the Parkland teen had should not be allowed to handle a gun in any way. Removing a gun temporarily can be ” the ounce of prevention” that could save many lives and could have done so in the Parkland case.

Karen Wadler - March 10, 2018

Yes, I agree. Private citizens should be allowed to have their own guns. Gun control does nothing to stop mass killings. We need to instead look into the over-prescribing of psychiatric medications which have side effects.

Jeffrey Hoffman - March 10, 2018

I agree. Everyone should be able to defend themselves with a gun if they so choose.

Paula Watkins - March 10, 2018

I believe in God! I believe in the second amendment!!! I believe it is not only my right to protect myself, family and home, but I believe it is my DUTY!!! I must add that this is absolutely the last action I ever want to take! However, if it comes down to me or my family’s life, I know what I will do!!!!!!!!

Allen R Way Sr - March 10, 2018

I agree with Ms Mandel. Everyone has the right to protect themselves and their family.

Elliott - March 10, 2018

I’m a veteran of the US Navy, Vietnam, and 20 years as a California Highway Patrol officer. I grew up a farm boy and shot my first gun at age 9. I’ve killed wild game to protect livestock, crops, and to eat. I’ve also killed enemies of my country and bad people in defense of others. I know A LOT about guns, having used them for 60 years or so.
Back in the 60 ‘s and 70’s I began to see in print and hear spoken the opinion that people who committed crimes were not responsible for their actions because they were mistreated as children or they grew up in poverty, or they were mistreated by “Society” somehow. Oddly enough, I grew up in poverty, was beaten with whips, boards, and on 1 occasion knocked out with a hammer. Therefore, I should be a sociopathic murderer, but I’m not.
Having sat in juvenile court and listened to kids snicker and sneer as their peers were given mere slaps on the wrist for everything from shoplifting to damaging property, I came to understand that they were being taught NOT to take any responsibility for their own actions.
We have seen morality eroded and teachers forbidden to discipline unruly students until well behaved kids, polite and law abiding, are distinctly in the minority. Bullies run rampant in schools and drugs are everywhere. Is it any wonder that some kid who looks different is pushed to the point where he feels like killing is the solution?
How about if we resumed teaching kids responsibility for every thing they do? Hold their parents strictly liable for minor children’s misdeeds. Teach kids that their path in life is SOLELY the result of THEIR CHOICES. Require 2 years of service when they leave high school, or drop out at any level. They could choose the military, peace corps, or job corps. NO college until that service is complete. Give them the opportunity to learn about the real world before letting some left wing liberal professor fill their heads with BS.
Maybe we could turn this country back to the path of good and away from evil.

James Frobase - March 10, 2018

Ellliot’s treatise of March 10 th is absolutely correct. While I was 4-f (due to an accident) and not in the military, I was trained early by relatives on the farm to properly handle weapons of the 50s era and, therefore, being of sound mind and 79 years old, agree with Elliot completely.

Jerry Metcalf - March 10, 2018

Yes The government can not get there in time and may not show at all.

Jerry Metcalf - March 10, 2018

Yes, the government can not protect you and may not even show up.

Mildred Lentine - March 10, 2018

Getting rid of guns is not the question – It’s getting rid of assault weapons that is the question. And they should be outlawed for every day people. Leave them for the experts.

Kristin Decker - March 10, 2018

In her case it was needed on the poor side of town where there is alot of murdering & stealing going on. I am fortunate & have never lived in such a neighborhood. My previous huband, who passed away, came from California & kept a gun beside him in a bedside table’s closed drawer. I did not like having a gun in the house. I never had & the moment he passed, it was the first thing to leave the house. We lived in Arkansas in a well-off neighborhood and I still live there. At no time was the gun needed. ALLELUJAH, the gun is been gone! All you need is 1 accident with the gun & you will be sorry you had it…..

Alan Catalano - March 10, 2018

The proper term to refer to Mrs. Mandel is alumna,, not alumni. I think it’s good that. her mother was able to protect her, though it is important that she was qualified to handle a firearm safely.

The Waldburgers - March 10, 2018

We’re on board all the way with Ms. Mandel. Until we get to the root of the problem, which we believe is the rejection of God in America, our right to own and carry guns must be defended and retained. Our founding Fathers were inspired by God when they wrote the Constitution. Like the Bible, it never becomes outdated.

ARTHUR THOMPSON - March 10, 2018

Which European country has the highest percentage of guns in the hands of its citizens? I would guess Switzerland where, I believe, almost everyone takes home a military gun. I remember the first time I rode a Swiss train and the vestibule between cars was stacked with sub-machine guns.

Phyllis - March 10, 2018

Guns are for protection. You take that right away from good honest citizens, then we have no protection at all and life is over.

Sharon H. Learned - March 10, 2018

I fully agree with Ms Mandel’s reasons on owning a gun to protect her family. We, too, own guns to protect our family. In this day and age of kids in our neighborhoods that will do anything to get money for their next “fix”, we absolutely need to protect ourselves. Plus, when the Left-wingers give up theirs…

Richard Moak - March 10, 2018

As a retired law enforcement officer with 29 years experience, I fully support and applaud Ms. Mandel’s reasoning and willingness to be responsible for the defense of herself and her family. Police cannot protect individuals and only respond to crimes crimes in progress or that have already occurred. . . too late for the victims.

Lulu - March 10, 2018

I agree with Elliott, life is all about choices, results of our actions shows the kind of choice we made. Our mind dictate our choices, like a computer, trash in trash out. It is here in the mind that stored what we learned and believed, if we believed we are all Gods children, God wants us to love one another, because he first love us, any weapons will only be used for self defends instead of harm towards others. Our culture have not tough us this principles. Today 2 class of people in our world, the “don’t know, and the”don’t care” , it’s sad but their is hope. Pray and teach our young to love and care in truth and in love.

John Crews - March 10, 2018

During the outlaw days following the Civil War, many in the central and western part of our nation found it necessary to carry a weapon. Over time , the outlaws were killed or put in jail. Eventually, the threats diminished to the point that being armed became unnecessary. We may be at the beginning of another similar cycle. If the outlaws realize most of us are armed, they will likely find another profession or be eliminated.
Community churches, established throughout our nation during the post Civil War period, also played a role in discouraging young men from becoming outlaws. There are many more factors, too numerous to list, but these two are surely at the top of the list.

Marijane Vandivier - March 10, 2018

Inspiring story. Guns protect us and our loved ones. Taking away our right to have, carry and use guns is a very frightening proposal.
That’s one of the first things Hitler did. We don’t need more government control we need less!

GayleGilliland - March 10, 2018

I agree that it is not a gun issue. We have seen in the news for the last few years a guns, a trucks,knives, pressure cookers, bombs, hands, commit individual and mass murder so that proves it is not a gun problem! I believe it is a need for a renewed way of thinking (mind ) and heart.
Hate, murder etc. dwell in the mind and heart. None of the other things listed can do a thing on their own!!! So it’s the inner
person who needs dealing with. GayleG

Donald Foster - March 10, 2018

I agree. It is not the gun but the unstable idiots that us them wrong and should not be allowed to have them.

Mette McDermott - March 10, 2018

American citizens who are mentally stable and believe in the right to defend themselves against violence, property invasion or bodily harm have the constitutional right to be armed with their appropriate weapons of choice. They must be trained in the proper use and maintenance of the weapons, and have the understanding and acceptance of the consequences resulting from using a weapon to defend themselves and others. Sadly, the deterioration of our culture over the past several decades has compromised what used to be accepted standards.

Vickie Budel - March 10, 2018

Banning guns is not the answer. It will not stop shootings of any kind

Diane Jones - March 10, 2018

I agree that folks who are not mentally ill or is a domestic abusive spouse, or has committed criminal activities should be able to own a handgun or rifle, even skeet gun. I do not think anyone not in service or a police officer, swat team should have an automatic with a huge cache. no bump stocks either. I am in favor of a universal background check.
now if you NEED an automatic with 100 rounds to hit a target go hang it up if you are that bad of a shot. Any parent of a child that brings a loaded gun to school should be fined for not securing the weapon. I learned gun safety from my two hunting uncles. They taught me how to shoot also. one bullet at a time.
I learned how to clean the gun also.
very important. I’m not against them only the automatic ones. You buy them to KILL.

Rev. Ronald Mayers - March 10, 2018

Owning a rifle for hunting or self-defense is one thing, owning an automatic weapon like what killed the students is entirely different thing. If we want literal interpretation of the Constitution I doubt that the founders wanted people to have access to their personal canons in their found yard a weapon of war in that era..

John Fields - March 10, 2018

! will NOT stand idly by and listen to the lunatic fringe leftists spout their idea of gun control while they are protected in “safe areas” by hired security – whether those safe areas are government buildings or their mansions in hollywood.
The FBI as well as local LEO’s blew it in Florida, so why should I be forced to give up any of my 2nd Amendment rights because of any shooting?
Properly armed & trained guards and teachers, metal detectors are needed now. If these measures are “necessary in banks, government buildings, etc., then why not in schools? Or is money and politicians lives worth more than our children?

Richard Franklin - March 10, 2018

Yes–I agree. I don’t understand why people are opposed to allowing teachers hidden carry at school IF THEY DESIRE TO DO SO!! They would be well trained-not some nut jobs with a gun. Who better to protect kids? We certainly can’t rely on the government as we are sorrowfully finding out.

Dale Kimball - March 10, 2018

I wish there were more “good moms” like this one. I noted that her mom was a leftist. How refreshing that she decided to think for herself and is a conservative. I have hoped for this type of backlash in our youth of today who are being brainwashed in schools.

Gary Magelssen - March 10, 2018

I agree with her. It is not the gun that kills, it is the person without morals who does the killing, with or without a gun.


Mike - March 11, 2018

I am not sure what conclusion to draw. Does the author support gun rights or not?Laws can be passed in the short term to make everyone feel better their effectiveness remains to be seen. I think it is reasonable to believe this may have been prevented by properly using the laws we already have, nor do I think more laws to infringe on law abiding gun owners will help.

Steve N Braselton - March 11, 2018

Yes I agree with her statement because with all the lawlessness & crimes being committed by thugs & gangs as well mentality unstable people. She needs first to be properly trained on the usage of the weapon.

Judy McCalla - March 11, 2018

I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Mandel’s article. I cannot add a thing–she stated it perfectly.

Elizabeth Offord - March 11, 2018

I definitely agree. I am elderly and have personally never owned a gun but the people I know who do are responsible citizens. Laws that we have for the most part are sufficient if they were fully enforced. Threats should be taken seriously with more legal restraints and consequences.

Sandra Fleming - March 11, 2018

When people only know one side of an issue, prejudice can shut out truth.
And prejudice believes what it likes not what is real and helpful in a free democracy.
Guns do not shoot themselves…a person possessed with a prejudice obscuring the truth and can’t be reasoned with. the best of intentions –that is what shoots the gun. sf

Sandra Fleming - March 11, 2018

Guns do not shoot themselves. a person with prejudice and not reason is what shoots guns.

Dan Murphy - March 11, 2018

She is fully within her rights and protecting her daughter.
We invent violent immoral video games and feed them to the very young. We air violent immoral tv shows and movies, (hellywood) then feed them to the very young. We kick God out of our schools and replace Him with Darwinism, (it’s on the ropes by the way). We are twisting the 1st amendment to control and silence conservative people in our society.
What on earth did you think was going to happen! Garbage in, Garbage out!
Firearms restraining orders? OK, if it is not hijacked by the left to disarm law abiding citizens, Which will eventually happen because that’s how they roll!
No we were given the RIGHT to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves and that’s what we should do. Protect ourselves each and every one. Then the perps will be terrified like the guy on the ladder! Better screening would help but we are not allowed to report and track troubled youth by our current system? Do what you want, but you may not have my firearms!! I’m handicapped, in a wheelchair and vulnerable. Right-on Tim! We at our church are a hard target because we are armed and vigilant watching all the doors to resist the haters. I would rather invite them inside to introduce them to their maker before they become violent and maybe they would walk out with some peace.

Bernie - March 11, 2018

Thanks Elliott – it couldn’t have been said better.

James Gaffney - March 11, 2018

Ms Mandel is right on with her opinion. Guns are instruments for protection but they can be abused or used willfully for the wrong purposes. I am an NRA member but I think raising the age to 21 for all gun purchases is reasonable. Better background checks along with the ability to identify those with mental problems is a must. Get rid of bump stocks. But even with those changes, we need to find ways to make our schools safe. We have plenty of places where a variety of security measures keep those places and people safe. We can do it in our schools too. Don’t dismiss arming teachers where reasonable, willing and appropriate. Consider all safety measures.

Barbara Dragin - March 11, 2018

I am a single mom and have always taken comfort that my gun is an effective equalizer. I, 5’3’, 120 pounds can protect my girls against just about anything. I have a concealed carry license but rarely do. I suppose I could be a helpless victim but I won’t allow that to happen to my children. I plan on protecting them…period.

Beth Schlangen - March 11, 2018

Thank God she was able to deter the intruder, may have turned out different without a gun. Agree with Elliot. Taking God out of the picture, declaring no right or wrong, no consequences for actions, not even in govt. Stop funding indoctrinating and murdering our children. If we don’t care to get back to One Nation under God with life, liberty, justice for all, will even hurt more when Jesus comes. He’s not going to put up with this rebellion, will make it right.

Scott Cook - March 12, 2018

I do agree with Ms. Mandell. First off, we have the 2nd amendment which, despite current popular rhetoric, has NOTHING TO DO WITH HUNTING. Secondly, my wife and I live in a rural area surrounded by small towns. We would be extremely lucky if a police officer could even respond to a call from our home within 20 -30 mins. And last, but not least, any human being has a God given right to defend themselves and their loved ones. Guns are tools. They can be used for good or evil reasons. Without the ability to own firearms legally, all we are doing is making sure that we are clearing the way for those who would harm us.

Hazel Eichenberger - March 12, 2018

She’s absolutely right. Guns are NOT the problem.

Diana - March 13, 2018

I believe if you go about it the right way owning a gun is your right. I believe it so much that I signed up with the NRA and I have never even been close to a gun but I do want to be a support for the gun owners who follow the rules and know how to handle them. Let the people who know how to use them be our support.

James Sundergill - March 14, 2018

I think one of the major things we could do would be to enact legislation prohibiting a perpetrator’s name and information from being released. This would not prevent all heinous crimes but it might stop those who commit these acts so they will be famous.

Ricardo Duran - March 14, 2018

Self defense is common sense and a natural response to a threat in any form. Especially political threats to freedom from idealistic cowardice promoted by the Left.

ron caruso - March 16, 2018

How else could they protect themselves? I agree that she saved her daughter and herself from a possible assault or kidnapping

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