Time For Change.

I had a nice little post ready to go today but can’t help but speak up about the horrible massacre in Orlando.  It’s hard to talk about decor when something so horrific has occurred in our country that highlights what is so wrong with our governmental policies.  I never have been political on this blog before, mostly because I never felt like I had skin in the game, so to speak.  I felt helpless as a single woman, like my voice didn’t matter and wouldn’t change anything, so what was the point of getting bent out of shape over these policies I couldn’t change? I think a lot of people feel this way and it’s why our country is in such peril.

But now it’s different for me. Watching the news coverage this weekend while playing with Henry I felt so angry.  I looked at his sweet, little, innocent face and remembered the unspeakable, unimaginable Newtown shootings and realized we have done NOTHING since then to change our gun policies.  Everyone said that if anything was going to change America’s stance on guns, it was that gut-wrenching event. But look at us now. Same story, different people. What’s it going to take? How much more carnage until we start making changes?

The main issue here is the fact that the NRA has our political system in a choke hold.  And that is terrifying.  As I stated on my Facebook page this weekend, I have no problem with the Second Amendment as our forefathers intended it.  If you want to own a rifle for hunting, fine.  Want a handgun to keep in your home for protection? Okay, that’s your right.  But you should have to take a class on how to safely handle and properly store your weapon, pass a test on those topics,  go through a full background check and then patiently participate in a waiting period.  But no one, and I mean no one (outside of our military) needs a semi-automatic or automatic weapon. There is absolutely no reason for it.  It’s just common sense.  And the fact that this country can’t pass common sense gun laws to protect it’s citizens because of the NRA is psychotic.  The fact that this person down in Orlando who was being investigated by the damn FBI was easily able to purchase an AR-15 is just the most backwards, messed up, violently wrong (literally) thing in the world.  And while we absolutely need more services available to the mentally ill and more people to speak up when they see or hear something suspicious- banning the access to these military grade weapons WILL help prevent mass killings. Period. No one can change my mind about that because it’s just the facts. No “cars kill more people than guns” arguments please. Because cars have a good purpose other than killing- they get people to work, to hospitals, to see family- an assault rifle has no other purpose than to kill and kill MANY.  And no, banning assault rifles will not end terrorism.  That is a sad truth.  But it will help limit the body count.  And if that is where we start, then that sounds good to me. At least it’s something.

The saddest thing for me is that we have allowed this to happen.  As a country we allowed all those children to die at Sandy Hook, we allowed all those innocent people out celebrating life in Orlando to be mowed down. We gave these killers permission by allowing our country to keep it’s lax and backwards laws in place.  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Time for people like me who have kept quiet and not participated in this discussion to start talking. To start screaming. Letting our leaders know this is not the kind of country we want to live in.  I’m terrified of the world my son will inherit from us.  I can’t sit idly by and just let the status quo stand. I need to be able to tell him I tried to make change happen.

I am sure this post will inspire much debate, and that is healthy and fine. But please keep it civil.  I don’t think anyone who reads this blog would disagree that we need to protect our children and our peers. We all want that.  I’d love anyone’s links, feedback and advice on the most impactful ways we can make our voices heard to our governmental leaders.



  1. Erin, I am continually impressed by your strength of character and ability to weather the comments you receive on this blog. And I am continually shocked and appalled by the truly spiteful comments you receive from readers ( a small minority of readers, but entirely too many). I am not going to engage in the debate, but I do wish to offer you the support of a loyal reader.

  2. I read your blog religiously, I am obsessed with brass fixtures, I have a throw pillow addiction and I own an AR-15. For those of you reading who have never tried to buy a gun it’s actually very difficult. The news says its so easy. From experience It’s not. Sadly…I truly believe no amount of regulation will change the ability for a criminal to obtain a gun because there are just too many out there now. You can pass gun laws but the blackmarket will always be healthy due gun smuggling (a whole separate topic) .I own one of these because I fully support the theory of needing to protect my family if the government was to become too large . History does repeat itself after all. I have also been a victim of robbery with a deadly weapon so protecting my family from intruders is not something I am unfamiliar with. I chose an AR because in the event I need to protect my family again, I want the upper hand. Maybe I’ve become hardened, but once you have a life experience as such,
    Your perspective is a bit altered.

    Gun control is an emotional topic. If you remove the emotion and focus on the facts I think it is clear we have a bigger problem than regulating guns. Fact is we have a group of radical people who want to harm all of us Americans using any means they can (guns, planes, crockpots). As long as the sky is blue we as a country will never agree on this topic of guns, it’s just the way it is. I grew up in liberal California and married a cop from Conservative Arizona so I see both sides of the argument and both think they are 100% right. What we all as Americas can agree on is we need to do something to protect ourselves and our babies. We need to take this anger and negative energy and funnel it to do whatever we can to collectively fight the enemy. I have no answers but it saddens me to read these emotional messages where we are insulting each other because of our differing opinions. Let’s agree to disagree but all agree that ISIS is a bunch of D- bags and I wish all the mama bears out there could join paws and rip those coward to shreds.

    1. Wow, this is a powerful comment and one I am glad you shared. Thank you for not only adding your perspective but doing so in such a thoughtful manner. These are hate kind of discussions we need to have, not calling each other names. THIS is an opposing view I can understand and think about. I’m sorry you had to have such an awful thing happen to you and I agree, we moms need to do something to make this world safer. That we are totally united on!!!

    2. Such an interesting comment because makes me realize how much our individual experiences inform our opinions on such broad issues. I was raised in a gun-friendly conservative Colorado family and married into a liberal New England family. I inherited more than 30 guns – from a decorative Beretta to my dad’s array of hunting rifles to the semi-automatic my stepdad was issued during Vietnam to his terrifying collection of fully-automatics. And I’ve found it super easy to buy guns accompanying my stepdad to gun shows where we freely bought and sold. I’ve never been the victim of a violent crime but DID find myself at the end of my dad’s shotgun at age 8 when he thought I was a robber (I’d had a nightmare but knew I wasn’t allowed in my parents’ room overnight so was making noise in the living room to try and attract their attention). Unfortunately, I think my experience was more common than a ‘good guy’ successfully protecting her home – accidental shootings are all to common. My relatives genuinely fear that someday the government will come to lock them up because of their conservative views. My liberal family members don’t have any such fears of conservatives or the government.

      Very different experiences – and mine have made me a-OK with even a full, Australia-style ban on guns.

    3. I am truly enlightened, Amy. (Like, it legit reminds me a little of a moment in high school trigonometry when I finally got it after struggling to for so long.) I am one of those that is instinctively resistant to guns and sincerely confused in trying to understand these opposing comments. I have no doubt these are intelligent, compassionate women that passionately defend the right to own an automatic rifle but I just squint at my monitor reading their rationale and I fully admit, I don’t get it. Your articulation and context and open heart MAKES SENSE and isn’t that 90% of it, just being able to truly SEE each other? Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.

  3. Hear hear! As other commenters have said, the issues are wider than just gun ownership but it is one absolutely VITAL thing to fix to limit future atrocities. I’m from Britain and this country (and Europe in general) finds it total MADNESS that America as a country will not protect its own people by sorting its gun laws.
    Good for you Erin x

  4. It’s frustrating that people are blaming ISIS/”radical Islam” though, because by all accounts it appears to have more to do with an internal conflict and NOT anything to do with his background. He appeared to use that as some sort of cover. Not to dismiss the terror we are also fighting, but it adds to the hysteria to say we are fighting some enemy when usually it’s the enemy within. In either case, we need to change the gun laws, but polarizing hysteria is not helping.

  5. like everyone else who has commented, i too and very angry/sad/confused/scared over the events of last weekend. but above all else, i am heartbroken over the current state of not just gun control, and not just mental health policy, and not just ISIS, but the current state of the world in which we all live. a world where not just 50 people in Orlando, but hundreds of people around our country, and the world, are killed because of what they believe, or who they love or simply, because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. and what saddens me most is that almost everyone’s immediate reaction to events like this, is to dust off their soapbox, step on up and continue on ranting about the 1 issue that they have deemed to be the culprit. I agree, action needs to be taken. it is the only way that things will ever change, for to repeat the same behavior and expect a different outcome is the definition of insanity. but maybe that part of that action is to stop, and listen. listen to people. be kind to people. acknowledge that ‘your’ way is not ‘the’ way. that is not what this country was founded on, or what makes it so great.

    i am 26 and therefore have lived more than half my life in a post 9/11 world. my father was flying from Dulles to CA that morning, and by the grace of God was not on one of the planes that was highjacked. his flight emergency landed in Indianapolis and he drove 18 hours home. thousands of families were not as lucky that day. i also live blocks away from the Boston Marathon bombing site and saw first hand the havoc it wreaked on our city and our country at large. i texted my boyfriend who works on that block to confirm that he was alive. i waited at my office until he was able to get to me so that we could find our way home, together. i have scathed by, but far too many people have not. and so take a moment to close your eyes and imagine receiving the news that the person you love most in this world has died. died from a senseless act of violence. and from that place, send love to the families of Aurora, CO, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, 9/11, Columbine, Boston Marathon, Paris, and anyone else who has dealt with this reality.

    realistically, you or i, as individual people will not single-handedly pass legislation, or cure mental illness or defeat ISIS. but what i can do, is listen to people and love people. i can listen to pro-NRA people, and i can listen to LGBT advocates. I can listen to christians and jews and muslims. i can listen to mother’s who will never see their children again and i can listen to the mentally ill people who cry calls for help. i don’t have to agree with any of these people, or adopt their beliefs as my own, but i can listen. and it’s a hell of a lot easier to listen when everyone is not screaming over top of each other.

    and so to the people who have left hateful, radical, narrow minded comments on this post and who spread that beyond the internet and into the real world – i hear you. and i love you, too. in fact, people like you need the most love. and to the people who are at a loss for words and don’t know what to do or where to go, i hear you, and i love you too.

    regardless of what you believe, be kind to one another.

  6. I read this blog (or did..) for style content. Nothing else. Erin, where I enjoy your details to style your opinion on gun control and the NRA is totally uneducated. The NRA is NOT responsible for what took place this past weekend. If one, two, or three people would have been members of such a group inside that club…that lone shooter would have not been able to kill 49 people and injure so many more. It is simple. If someone would have shot back…..the story would be told so differently. I am a mother of three and I have a concealed carry permit and do not leave the house with out my gun. We are at war. Whether the administration admits it or not. This is a new type of war that no one wants to talk about. This is how war happens now. Terrorists calling and pledging their allegiance and then opening fire on innocent people where he knew there would not be anyone in the club to stop him…. Until the police arrived with …..wait for it…..guns. Someone shooting back is what ENDED that terrible tragedy. I will have to unsubscribe from your blog. LikE mentioned at the beginning of my comment, I read this blog for style content. Not uneducated views on gun control for citizens of this country.

    1. Lori, you are just not being reasonable or open to the conversation. I get what you are saying about style content, but being so rigid about what you believe it not helpful for anyone. You can’t dismiss any one argument on the whole, you have to consider that in some way all the factors contribute. To deny that fact is just not rational. She’s not uneducated either, you are personally attacking her over views that you do not agree with, there’s really a difference. Please calm down with this “we are at war” line of thinking. It is adding to the panic and it is just not reality. There is no declaration of war, I don’t disagree that things are very different now, but your views drip with panic. Making decisions under panic do not produce thoughtful results. I get so frustrated by this type of thinking, especially from another mom. I can appreciate you opinions and still treat you as a person, you have to take a breath. We can’t handle our kind any one way on a day to day basis, it’ the same principle.

    2. Lori,
      I completely disagree with this. This was at a bar where people were drinking. If other people had guns and started shooting, nobody would know who the “bad” guys were and who the “good” guys were. It would be a blood bath, with shots being fired from every direction. NOBODY has the right to own a weapon that can shoot 100 people in minutes. My right to live freely trumps your right to own a killing machine.

    3. I think if you are unable to empathize with Erin’s point of view or at least be generous enough to allow her to be more than a pillow recommendation engine, than she is far better off without your readership. You can turn off your computer and walk away from the discussion, continue to only read texts or listen to news reports that reaffirm your belief system, OR you can dare to understand where another mother, woman, HUMAN is coming from. But judging by the tone of your comment, I will dutifully assume with the same empathy I expect from other readers that there is probably something larger at play in your life. Good day.

      1. Betty…How are your comments about Shelia any different than Shelia’s about Erin. I don’t think she was overly rude or hostile. Your Good Day had a very sarcastic ring to it!

      2. I have a suggestion…maybe start a different blog for political discussions! Readers come here for design inspiration (and it has always been very, very good). The saying “at family gatherings…never discuss politics or religion” could apply here. I think people are just voicing their dismay over content.

    4. How interesting that you think you are entitled to your opinion and I am not entitled to mine. How hypocritical to be a fervent defender of the second amendment but clearly not the first. How sad that you would rather spread anger than try to work with others on finding a cure for all this violence. I’m sorry that my right as a human to open up a discussion about this issue makes you so repulsed you will never read again. But then again, perhaps your time is better spent working out those issues than reading my “silly blog that can only be about throw pillows”. I hope you find some peace.

      1. If you’re going to discuss hot button issues on a blog about decorating and NOT politics, you are naive if you think everyone is going to agree with your point of view and not get heated! You need to get a thicker skin. No one is denying you you’re first amendment right…they are exercising theirs! Don’t put yourself out there if you can’t take it! And YOU are the snarkiest of them all! These are people who were your customers….I don’t get it!

    5. Lori,
      There was an off duty cop there. With a gun. Guess what, it was no match for an AR 15!! He was unable to stop him. And all you concealed weapon carriers think you are an expert in these situations. You aren’t trained. You have NO idea if you would have been helpful or not. Heavily trained officers of the law hesitate in scary situations all the time. More guns is never the answer. The actual problem is no one will budge on their gun stance and thus we are left in limbo just watching these awful things happen. If you can’t admit after this situation that gun reform is in order then common sense is lost on you.

  7. I read your blog for the beautiful pillows, and other amazing visual inspiration that you provide. I love learning new sources like Susan Harter Wallpaper that I am using for a powder room on one of my current jobs. I have given your book as a gift, on several occasions. My younger daughter and I often talk about your blogg, and how you have branched out to so many different mediums like handbags and jewelry. I have used your book to give to kids that are thinking about studying interior design. Your last post left me questioning if we will be returning for these post.

    As for your last post, what was not resonating with me was there was so much that you were not addressing. It is a much broader issue than obtaining a fire arm. Below I will address a couple of points.

    Newtown was a horrible unthinkable tragedy, and I can not imagine living through that horror as a parent. There were no gun laws that were broken in Newtown, all of the guns were purchased legally. The problem with Newton, was that a sick kid stole the guns, so there are no gun laws that would have prevented him from acquiring the guns. He would have found the guns one way or another, to carry out his plan. He was clearly needed many mental health issues addressed. Some have even argued that the school was targeted because they are a gun free zone.

    For the latest tragedy, all of his guns were purchased legally, as well. You have failed to mention any connection to his support from ISIS. There are mass shooting going on all over the world, and in countries with incredibly strict gun laws, such as France, and those laws did not stop terrorist from obtaining and carrying out their attacks. San Bernardino had nothing to do with Gun Laws either. If ISIS wants to carry out attacks, somehow, I think they will be able to get the weapons that they need, even military grade. Banning these all day long, will only keep the people that need them from acquiring them.

    In Israel, there have been so many knife attacks recently. Do we need laws now to own knives?

    Believe me, I understand your motherly concern. Our township has had an issue with “Swatting” this past year. It is where and automated called sends a recorded message stating someone is on your roof with a gun, or in your school with a bomb, or running around your grounds, etc. They started with once a month, and then moving to at least 2 times a week, alternating schools. They have found that these calls are originating from the Middle East, and usually a woman’s voice. My oldest daughter once spent 2 hours of her day with her back glued to a wall, because they were told there was a shooter in the building. My other daughter has spent hours on a football field from these threats. FBI and Homeland security are working with our local law enforcement to stay on top of the matter. Fun times when you are having to teach your children to be alert in their day to day activities in this “Norman Rockwell” college town that we live in.

    I appreciate your concern and point of view. I am hopping that the next post will be about amazing wallpaper or glorious pillows.

    1. Thank you for being polite in your opposition. This post was about one issue, which does not mean I don’t think there are other huge issues at play. But those I have no idea how to combat yet, nor do our leaders, it seems. I do however, see gun reform as a logical step that I can work on helping to pass. As you said, these guns were obtained legally. I am not saying we as people should not legally be able to purchase firearms, I’m saying we should not be able to purchase THIS TYPE of firearm. If these guns, the “favorite” of shooters like Adam Lanza, etc. were not available, they would not have been able to steal them/ buy them and there would not have been as many people killed. Handguns, which I believe people have the right to own if lawful citizens, can’t shoot bullets at that terrifying rate. No, we will never, ever be able to stop a truly psychotic person from harming others, but we can limit the carnage.
      Of course I’m sad our kids have to live with this fear- but I also don’t want a future where every child goes to school armed or has men with machine guns in the hall. The “more guns” debate just paints a future like that in my mind and that is far scarier to me.
      And of course I think we need many other things to change regarding ISIS, mental health treatment and screening and terrorism- I wasn’t addressing every angle. Just one. And if my stance makes you too uncomfortable to read, I’m sorry for that, but we are all allowed our opinions on this. It’s what makes this country free.

      1. Erin, I believe in a right to free speech and a right to bear arms. It is your blog and you absolutely have a right to post anything that you wish, even limiting my rights. You and I are not the people that are lining up to purchase these assault weapons. I just believe that all the laws in the world will not prevent the people with extreme ill intent from obtaining the guns to carry out these acts of hate. Who knew that planes could ever be used as a weapon like they were in 9/11.

        Our society has a constant stream of information pouring into us from 24 hour news, to blogs, to post from news on social media etc. Not to mention when these horrific acts occur, you are met with the conventions in the Dunkin Donuts, Lacrosse practice pick up, grocery store, etc. Your blog, is a much needed welcome escape from the world. I read the WSJ and watch many news outlets for this information, I tun in to you for Fashion Friday and new wallpaper inspiration. So, when I am stating that we go back to Wallpaper and Fluffy Pillows, it is not to admonish your freedom of speech, is is to say there is a value in what your blog provides.

        I hope you have a great weekend, and admire the hutzpah that you have on putting it out there in the world.

  8. Well said, Erin! When nothing changed after Sandy Hook, as a society we became implicit in the murder of children, and lost our humanity. It’s sickening that the NRA has such a choke hold on the government. No special interest group should be that big.

    And I, too, don’t have a problem with the 2nd amendment. By all means, by yourself a musket. But no one should have the ‘right’ to own a weapon of war.

    I think it’s going to be the mothers that organize against this and make a change. I’m so tired of this.

    1. Erin I’m with you. Let us speak up and not be afraid to do so. May our love for our children and community make us brave.

    1. And so your point is that because of that fact that common sense gun laws aren’t a good idea?

      1. Just trying to put things into perspective. What I am trying to say is whether it’s guns or planes….the bottom line is people kill people.

    2. Sorry Julie, but I don’t understand your point. Post 9/11 we DID things about the fact that all those people were killed by planes. Tons of things – just google “airline security post 9/11”. At one point in time there were tons of people killed by drunk drivers…we DID something about that. There was also a time when MANY more people were killed in automobile accidents – we DID something about that, too. The point here is that lots of people are killed by guns – we should do something about that, just as has been done in the past when lots of people are killed from something. We study it, we learn about it, we modify laws related to it. And we make people safer. We save lives. It doesn’t mean we take every single thing away – we still fly in planes – we didn’t ban all air travel post 9/11. We tried to make flying safer. The same is what we need to do with guns.

      1. Good point! We have done quite a bit of legislation regarding guns, however, Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and the murder rate is one of the highest in the nation. That was my point. I agree that legislation and awareness can make a difference. . Really, I just come here for design. This is the first time I have commented on a blog and I am certainly no expert. Just putting my two cents in. I am going back to being my non-commenting self!

  9. I’m glad you felt moved to write something. What have you done about it in real life? Given money to an anti-gun group? Written your senator? Congressman? Do you vote? You can see from the comments that there are strong opinions–this is a fight that won’t be won by blog posts. Please stop writing and start doing.

  10. Erin, Your sharing of your feelings felt genuine to me (not political). Your post inspired me to share back. If I could wish all the guns in the world away and for peace to prevail, I would. I see the damage that is done and I also know that if laws are passed to turn in guns, then only law-abiding individuals will do so and lawless individuals will be gun owners. I have no answers. I do not agree with any side of ANY of the “arguments” as none of them are complete. I think the polarization that comes from the topic of guns further causes divide…. it has even caused some people on your blog to feel divided where as before, they felt connected via design. In my experience, what you shared was not political, but human. You shared your inner struggle and pain and you took a risk in doing so. Thanks for sharing and I hope that anyone who felt offended by any comments will take a deep look inside and know the value of owning their own pain.

  11. I have not read the comments yet, but here are mine….

    you cannot defeat an enemy you won’t acknowledge…..and it is hard to have a free society, when you hate your political enemies worse than you hate your enemies of war…..

  12. Erin, I have been reading your blog for years but almost never comment. I have to take the time to do so today. Thank you for putting into words what many of us have been feeling for some time. I too believed that Sandy Hook would be the last straw and something would finally be done. As a mother of 2 boys I simply couldn’t believe that parents would let this go on. The sad thing is that even the most progressive of our politicians are afraid to tackle this subject and when they do they propose little baby steps. The NRA has to be stopped. They control our politicians. This is not the wild west of 200 years ago. The answer is not more guns and arming teachers as they have suggested. I truly believe there are more people in our country who support gun control than not. We need to make OUR voices heard, and exercise OUR political clout!

  13. Are you going to ban knifes too?


    The common thread between Orlando and this event is Muslim terrorists., not scary looking semi-auto rifles.

    An armed citizenry can protect themselves if allowed to do so. There are wolves in the world. You can live like a sheep, and you can have police as sheep dogs to protect you from the wolves, but they cannot be everywhere and they cannot respond fast enough. I choose to be a sheep with sheep dog teeth, and it is not right for any of you to deny me that right.

    Erin commented earlier that a good guy with a handgun cannot fight a guy with an AR15. Well that depends on position, tactics, and opportunity, not caliber size (and by the way all defense handguns are a bigger caliber than the AR15, it is just that rifle rounds have more energy because they have more gun powder and higher pressures). A semi-auto carbine like the AR15 can be more accurate and at greater distances, and that makes it more effective. I would rather have that than a handgun, but I am not going to carry that around. In my home or if there is a known event like a riot or larger scale attack, the AR15 would be at my side. But I would rather have a semi-auto defensive handgun than nothing when an event like Orlando or this attack in China happen. In a crowded room with chaos underway, a person armed with a handgun could easily neutralize an attacker with an AR15 if within range and at the right moment while the attacker’s attention is focused elsewhere. That possibility is removed by gun free zones…zones the attackers count on.

    Another earlier commenter said most attackers commit suicide so they do not choose gun free zones because they plan to die anyway. They choose gun free zones because they want enough time to do a lot of damage before being confronted by a good guy with a gun. Most of the mentally ill mass shooters commit suicide at the first sight of armed resistance. It is enough to have a concealed carrier draw their weapon and present resistance.

    Trained terrorists are not likely to stop as easily, but dealing with an armed resistance slows them down and changes the momentum giving more people time to seek cover, escape, and more time for police to respond.

    How can you tell another human that they are not allowed to have the best tools at their disposal to defend their life or the life of loved ones? There will always be wolves with lots of options for tools to do harm. No laws are going to change that. A gun is an equalizer. More and more women are discovering that. And if you listen to many in the LGBT community online following Orlando, many are coming to that same decision. If it is not for you fine, but do not stand in the way of others who want the ability to save themselves.

    1. Dan,

      I can appreciate your opinion on this, but I don’t follow the logic. “How can you tell another human that they are not allowed to have the best tools at their disposal to defend their life or the life of loved ones? ” What if we believe the best tools are to remove the ease with which these weapons are attained? Are you”rights” some how more than mine?

      I also don’t follow the logic of more guns leading to a safer society. I am not sure of one example where that has played out. I can name plenty where a ban has worked. I certainly don’t want everyone carrying a gun. While it might help in the case of an Orlando, I have to believe the frequency with which disputes are settled with guns would increase…like the wild west.

      I actually understand how the logic seems reasonable, but then the evidence points to something else completely. Which makes me believe that the arguments you present are your rationale for wanting to keep your guns. It is your right to feel that way. It is mine to think there is a line that should be drawn. And in the US, it is the job of congress to adjust to meet the standards of our times and the will of the people. I hope that people like you and people like me will let democracy work, knowing that no one solution will make us all happy, but that we still have to ultimately band together as a society to function. That is how we will win the wars we fight.

    2. Well said Dan. AR 15’s are flying off the shelves especially in the gay community as they should. Since the Orlando attack, Obama has let in 441 Syrians with dozens going into Florida. Cops/FBI cannot protect everyone. People have right to protect themselves. The Clinton’s took 40 million from Saudi Arabia, Quatar and Kuwait, the same people she’s calling out to “stop funding extremists”. More than anything we’ll need our guns if god forbid she’s elected. These same countries by the way that stone/ rape/ mutilate women and throw gays off rooftops.

      1. Andrew…how are those strict gun laws in Chicago working? Talk about the Wild West. The truth is if law abiding citizens can’t legally have guns, it makes soft targets out of them. I wonder why these events occur in “gun free zones”. Even at the Ft. Hood massacre, the soldiers are not allowed to be armed on the base. I also don’t get why no one is listening to Dan, who obviously knows his stuff! Minds are already made up. That’s why this is an exercise in futility.

      2. Julie –

        “Minds are already made up. That’s why this is an exercise in futility.” Feels like I could argue the same. I am not sure why you believe Dan is some sort of expert. He presents a clear argument for sure, I just happen to believe it is a flawed one.

        “The truth is if law abiding citizens can’t legally have guns, it makes soft targets out of them.” How is this the truth? I can just as easily say that the truth is as long as guns are legal we are all potentially targets. Again, there are far more examples of western nations banning or imposing severe restrictions on guns and in turn the gun deaths/violence is dramatically reduced. What I don’t understand is why you consistently ignore these facts?

        And I am fine if you disagree. Completely your right. And as I said to Dan, this is an issue we face as a nation. It is not me vs. you. That is what is wrong with us as a people right now. One has to be right and the other has to be wrong. But it is never that black and white. Both have to do their best to a) understand the other side and b) work to find a common ground. That is why I believe we should ban all guns, but I am only proposing the semi-automatic (and automatic) weapons be restricted.

      3. Andrew

        I assure you I am not a soft target and neither are many who make the decision to own guns for self defense. I have dozens of hours of training by SWAT officers who are also law enforcement trainers who work with civilians. I practice at least 3 times per month. That is more than most police officers, many who do little more than minimum training to re-qualify each year. There are, of course, many police officers with significantly more training. They are the ones who show up 15 minutes after the event and end it if it is not already ended. I do not take it lightly and I hope I never need these skills in a real situation. I know many who do and feel the same. But it doesn’t even take that level of commitment to be effective.

        After Sandy Hook, Obama himself commissioned a study to learn more about gun violence. His own study came back with the following conclusion:
        Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…

        The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys.

        A different issue is whether defensive use of guns, however numerous or rare they may be, are effective in preventing injury to the gun wielding crime victim. Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used” by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self protective strategies.”
        If you read all that I’ve posted here you’ll easily see the math – GUNS SAVE LIVES.

        Most handguns are semi-automatic, so do you mean to ban those as well when you say not all guns just semi-autos? Semi-auto means only one thing, one bullet each time you pull the trigger. There is nothing special about that in modern firearms. If you mean only so-called assault weaponss (the term assault weapon was made up by the gun conrol lobby to conflate automatic – actual machine guns known as assault rifles – with non-automatic but scary looking black rifles of a similar shape), they are not really all that much of a problem except for a very small number of incidents.

        Here’s some math for all of the people screaming for a ban on so-called “assault rifles.” How many gun deaths even happen from assault weapons?
        Well the FBI has provided us with some fun statistics. We’ll use 2013 since it’s the most recent data.

        Total murders in 2013: 12,253
        Firearms murders: 8,454
        Rifle murders: 285

        Now when it says rifles, it means anything from a .22 lever action, to your dad’s old deer rifle, to an actual “assault rifle.” Let’s assume that ALL of these are from “assault rifles.” It’s not accurate, but it errs on the side of the liberal point of view, and also helps to remove the error from the “Firearms – type not stated” category.
        Now let’s assume that all gun control is 100% effective. It isn’t. Example – the terrorist attack in Paris and the myriad other places “assault rifles” are banned yet attacks still took place. BUT, lets give the liberals the benefit of the doubt on this one.

        Using those statistics, rifles account for 2.33% of all murders. By completely banning “assault rifles” from the US, completely destroying people’s rights to defend themselves against criminals and tyrannical government alike, costing the lives of god-only-knows-how-many people when you send the cops to confiscate weapons, and costing billions upon billions of dollars, you have, at BEST, prevented 2.33% of murders from occurring with an assault rifle.

        Guess what though… if I’m working on a car and I don’t have a nice air ratchet I’ll grab the manual ratchet and keep working. You won’t stop murders, you’ll simply change the way in which they occur.

        GREAT you think, a potential 285 lives saved! Heck let’s just get rid of all guns and save a potential 8,454 lives from being murdered! The truth is, as shown from the study data above, far more lives are saved and far more people are less injured in criminal acts for having a gun. If your true goal is to maximize the benefit to the most people, that is achieved by allowing free people the right to firearms for self defense, and that includes semi-automatic rifles. Do you really wish to put millions of people each year at risk of greater harm?

      4. Hi Dan,

        First off, thank you again for keeping the debate civil. I applaud your passion. I just disagree and find some of your logic flawed. Let me ask you this…if everyone in the country was armed at all times, do you think we would have more or less gun related deaths? I think you can see that it would be more. More guns doesn’t equal safety. This has already been shown in country and after country with bans or strict regulations.

        We are also making the leap that a ban on guns would put guns only in the hands of criminals…which makes sense except that it isn’t what actually happens. If there were no other examples of that not being the case, I would agree with you. But we have too many examples to ignore. That is the fundamental difference between our debate. I don’t see a reason why what works for someone like Australia wouldn’t work for us.

        But let’s leave it at we agree to disagree for now. Enjoy the weekend.

  14. Erin,
    I love your words and I am not surprised that having Henry led you to trailing off the path of design in your blog post today. You intelligently discuss ways to make our world safer for ALLchildren. There HAVE been assault weapons bans in the past . People who say this is impossible to legislate are being disingenuous. All of your ideas relate to the good common sense gun laws that our country desperately needs. You may assume I know nothing about guns… I grew up in a family of hunters, learned to shoot when I was very young and there was a rifle club in my high school where kids carried their firearms around with them every day after school. My grandfather had a “gun” room w/ his rifle collection. As kids we learned early on that we were never to touch guns, bullets were locked away and nowhere near the locked rifle rack. My parents ” vacation” every year (away from the kids) was deer hunting with my aunt,uncle, and grandparents. I am against the selling of any and all assault weapons and their magazines. I am a pediatric nurse practitioner and learned over 20 years ago to ask about guns in the home and ways to safeguard children. It’s gotten so bad that pediatric professionals can no longer even ask comfortably and or counsel about this issue in the privacy of a pediatric visit. Have things changed for the worse? Yes they have. For a new mom you are very well versed… do not be deterred. The mothers will change the course of this debate and common sense legislation will prevail. Soon no candidate will be viable unless they support common sense gun laws because they will lose the “mother” vote. This is as crazy an idea as MADD was when it was first formed…. hmmm. I wonder who “won” that one…. Fortunately we all did !

  15. I think Dan has shot holes the the argument against AR15s. See, the problem is that people say they just want to ban one gun…really, they want to ban all guns. Ridding the United States of guns is not going to happen. You say as long as guns are legal we are all targets. So you are fine with the bad guys having guns (because they will) and all the good guys not having guns so we are just targets that can’t shoot back.

    I know a woman who felt the same way about guns until she was confronted by a large man in her home and hit in the head with a pipe. Luckily she was on the phone with a friend who alerted the police and they got there in time. He was dragging her around her home by her hair. She now has her conceal and carry and is an advocate of gun rights.

    When I said “minds are made up”, I was talking about both sides. One thing we all agree on is that these deaths are horrific and tragic. You can’t even wrap your mind around it! God help us!

  16. Hi! First time commenter here. :)
    Please consider joining Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I have two sons; I’m a proud member. It’s a small step towards a big goal, and we are strength in numbers.
    Thanks for speaking up in a public forum. That shows great courage, and it’s a great step in the right direction. ;)

  17. I’m a faithful reader, have been for years. I will tell you that I completely disagree that guns are the problem. I will still read your blog and I will still enjoy it, because I understand that in order to like someone and share interests with them, we don’t have to see eye to eye on everything or agree on things. We have something we are both passionate about…decor and design…and being moms. And, to be honest, that’s enough for me. One reason would be enough. I don’t read blogs because I’m looking for a twin, I read them because I enjoy hearing different perspectives. I appreciate yours.

    Have a great day, Erin!

  18. This post has made me curious about the amount of mass shootings and what effect stricter gun laws have had on the problem.
    Here is a list of mass shootings by President of 4 or more people.
    Bush Sr.-12
    Bush Jr.-20

    Number of mass shootings by president of 8 or more people

    Bush Sr.-3
    Bush Jr.-5

    What is going on here….does anyone have an idea. Wow! It doesn’t seem to be that stricter gun laws have had any impact on this problem. But, why the huge jump?

    1. Julie, I don’t really understand your point here. There have not been any federal gun regulations passed since the assault weapons ban in 1994 under President Clinton, which lapsed in 2004, and certainly there have not been any stricter gun laws instated during the Obama years when we see this large jump in activity. I agree that there are many factors associated with gun violence, but surely the availability of weapons to the wrong people is an important factor to look at.

      One thing I find interesting is that between 2007-2013 gun ownership has risen sharply in the US, to the point where the number of guns in circulation exceeds the country’s population (this was reported in the Washington Post). https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/05/guns-in-the-united-states-one-for-every-man-woman-and-child-and-then-some/

      It is interesting how this coincides with the Obama administration years as we have now seen a sharp increase in mass shootings and deaths. Of course there is no proven causal relationship here – only a correlation, but it’s not a leap to surmise that the widespread availability of these weapons directly enables these actions.

      So to answer your question: why the huge jump? I don’t know, but the increase is certainly NOT due to gun availability and tighter laws. That is just a fact.

      1. So do you think part of the problem is that the laws already in place are not being enforced , and if so why not? More regulation is not going to cure that problem. Maybe a start is enforcement of current gun laws.

  19. Fear, distrust, anger, hate, more fear, and more anger, and more fear, and then so much suffering.

    Thank you, Erin, for using your platform for more than what others have deemed to be “just about pretty things.”( And btw, those types of comments reek of sexism. Wondering how many people would bother to tell a male blogger that he shouldn’t share his opinions on current events.)

    While I absolutely believe that certain types of firearms should be banned, I think it is just a bandage on a gaping, oozing, infected wound. And it’s getting bigger.

    The notion that we need to protect ourselves from our government that is just waiting to takeover at any moment is one I believe to be antiquated at best. The idea that we are all safer if we are walking around armed to the teeth feels irrational. So much fear-mongering – on BOTH sides of the argument. Like Yoda, I believe it’s just going to lead to more and more suffering.

    Guns scare the crap out of me but that doesn’t mean that I’m against them or those who choose to own them. If I can understand that guns make some people feel safer and that we have a right to own them, why can’t those same people understand that not every type of firearm is appropriate for civilian use? Even if the legislation itself is just a bandage on the wound, wouldn’t that step be a catalyst for the American people coming together to make real and lasting change towards treating the problem of violence of all kinds in this country and not just the symptoms?

    We can do so many wonderful, positive things, but only together. Even if I can only help by patiently listening to those that hold a different view, then I pledge to do so. And I’ll keep praying that God guides us all towards healing and love. xoxo

    1. Some of those commenting here have asked an honest question with a real intent on trying to understand: Why does anyone need an AR15. This article was penned by a professional writer from the tech world and is as moderate and respectful an answer to that question that I can imagine. It is certainly more so than anything I could do or have done on earlier posts.

      If you want to hear and consider such an answer, please read the article. It may not change your mind at all, but you might be a little more educated and make better arguments for your viewpoint by investing the time.


    2. Andrea… I think if a guy subscribed to sports blog and all of a sudden they were looking at a bunch of political commentary, there would be some that would want to get back to focusing on sports. Throwing an “ism” out (be it racism or sexism) is an attempt to discredit those with opposing views. It is tiring.

      1. Anne, true, they might. My “ism” is not discrediting their stance on gun control, rather the ludicrous and just plain rude notion that Erin shouldn’t talk about such things because her blog is mainly about interior design.

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