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 (45)

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

James Morris - March 9, 2018

Seems to make sence to me.

Dona Walker - March 9, 2018

Yes she has to defend herself and children.

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.

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.

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…..

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…

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!

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.

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.


Judy McCalla - March 11, 2018

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

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.

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.

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