Jessie Jane Duff: Life in D.C. as a Female Marine

Marines fold the American flag in front of Hungarian Interior Minister Sandor Pinter, left, and US Ambassador to Hungary Coleen Bell during a commemoration to mark the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC in front of the US Embassy building in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, …
Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP

Recently I drew a bit of attention for calling out a New Hampshire congressional candidate and Marine veteran Maura Sullivan.  Her inability to support the Second Amendment now that she is no longer in uniform simply rubbed me the wrong way.

I criticized her on NRA TV’s “Cam and Company” for how she daintily held an AR-15 in her campaign commercial while comparing it to the rifle she shot while on active duty. She was using her Marine veteran experience as a premise to ban the weapon.  Just watching the commercial, it was as if she had never seen or held a rifle in her life.

It annoyed me even more to hear a veteran Marine pitch the “weapons of war” narrative that has become commonplace in the left’s attack on the Second Amendment.

So this brings me to my reality: How do I discuss guns while living in D.C., where until recently, most residents were not even allowed to apply for a conceal carry permit?

This city is permeated with liberals and leftists who think of bad guns instead of bad people; with left-leaning softies who often fail miserably with my initial screening for basic compatibility.  Forget religion and politics as a filter, I go straight into the Second Amendment.

Consider Marvin, a wonderful businessman and single father who lives in a home in a middle class neighborhood in Washington, DC.  I had a conversation with him and it went like this:

Me: I have a right to carry a gun to defend myself. I’m exactly who D.C. should allow to carry.  It’s not safe for me to walk alone unprotected.

Marvin:  I agree 100%.

Me: Do you own a gun?

Marvin: No, I have a child.

Me: What does that have to do with you owning a gun to protect your home?

Marvin: Because when I was my son’s age, I found a gun at a relative’s house and I almost shot my brother.

Me: Well, that’s because you were never trained to understand gun safety. That doesn’t mean you can’t teach your son. If you have a home invasion, how can you even protect your son?

Marvin: I have an alarm system.

Me: An alarm system isn’t going to protect you or your son from an armed intruder. I’m talking about teaching your son gun safety so you can own a gun to protect your family.

Marvin: I have taught my son. I told him what happened and he knows to never touch a gun.

Me: Telling him to never touch a gun isn’t showing him what a gun can do. That’s like telling your kid to never go near a street after he almost gets hit by a car. Instead, you should teach him how to cross a street.  Take your son to a range and teach him gun safety with a real gun to ensure he understands guns aren’t toys. That’s what fathers do.

Marvin: It’s my son and that’s my decision. Why are you questioning me?

Me: Because what you’re saying is stupid. I guarantee your son is playing video games, shooting bad guys and running through the house with fake pink, yellow and purple foam bullet blasters. You let him play at paint-ball parks. But your logic is to shelter him from reality so when he is in someone’s home and they find a gun, he has zero concept of what it is or what it can do. Good job.

Marvin: (silence)

Needless to say, I often run solo in D.C. Once a Marine. Always a Marine. I support the Constitution from all enemies, foreign AND domestic.

Jessie Jane Duff is a Senior Fellow, London Center for Policy Research and a guest columnist for “Down Range with AWR Hawkins.”

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