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I’m Not Willing to Sacrifice My Family for Your Gun-Free Dreams

by DAVID FRENCH |  |  Published on November 4, 2016

Two weeks ago I published an extended essay describing my family’s ordeal at the hands of pro-Trump alt-right trolls and thugs. The response was overwhelming. There was renewed alt-right harassment (of course), but it was swamped by support from across the political spectrum. Pro-Trump conservatives were appalled, as were progressive Hillary supporters, and the story was shared far and wide.

After the piece went viral, I appeared on television, radio, and podcasts describing my experience, and in most of those interviews I very intentionally mentioned that my wife and I both carry handguns. We’ve taught our older kids to use firearms as well (my oldest daughter is a natural with the AR-15). I had two reasons for doing this — first to send the message to anyone thinking about harming our family that we’re armed and know how to use our weapons, and second to remind readers and listeners of the vital importance of the Second Amendment in securing the blessings of American liberty. Quite frankly, it’s harder to intimidate and silence armed citizens.

In the middle of the media blitz, my colleague Charlie Cooke reminded me of a key difference between left and right. “All those progressives who say your story is moving,” he said, “probably want you disarmed.” And, like clockwork, here comes a lefty writer to make Charlie’s point. Writing in the New Statesman, assistant editor Caroline Crampton says this:

Listening to a recent episode on the “alt right”, I experienced an utterly discombobulating moment when the guest, the National Review writer David French – who has experienced some extreme harassment from Trump-supporting trolls – mentioned that he is “a strong second amendment supporter”. He went on to explain that both he and his wife “carry a handgun” and that his older children, who are 17 and 15, “know how to use a gun”. Up until that point, I had been nodding along with all of French’s statements about Trump and the election, but at that moment the podcast gave me a sharp reminder that what I am prone to think of as a battle between “good” and “evil” is actually so much more complicated than that.

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