Gersh Kuntzman, he of the shoulder boo-boo from firing an AR-15, is now gnashing his teeth and wringing his hands over the response to his New York Daily News article describing the experience. In his first article, Kuntzman wrote, “It felt to me like a bazooka — and sounded like a cannon.” He also stated, “The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable,”.
As might be expected, a number of readers took issue with his over-reaction, and what can be at best described as naïveté. In his follow-up journalistic endeavor, Kuntzman writes, “In all my years in journalism — coming up on 30 (thanks) — I have never received so much angry mail as I did after yesterday’s story, “What is it like to fire an AR-15? It’s horrifying, menacing and very very loud.” He then goes on to expand on his opening sentence, “The gun debate is also a gender war”.
In fact, it is not. Calling it so simply plays into the stereotypical portrayal of feminine and masculine attributes. While women are typically smaller and less testosterone-infused than men, they often equal or exceed the male gender in toughness. Some of the toughest men I know are women.
Which isn’t to say that categorically one gender is tougher than the other. As with most aspects of personal traits, toughness, both mental and physical, varies with the individual, as opposed to being gender specific. Obviously, a number of people don’t subscribe to that philosophy as illustrated by a number of the responses Kuntzman’s incorporated in his follow-up article include;
“Hey there Cupcake!” wrote Gary Haney. “I have never subscribed to the idea of ‘gender confusion,’ but after reading your article on the AR-15, I’m a believer because there is no way you and I are the same gender. You should surrender your testicles to the Department of Girlymen. I’m not sure where it’s located, but your girlfriend Barack does!”
“And I wear it as a point of personal pride that conservative darling Erick Erickson posted a story on The Resurgent with the headline, “My 10 Year Old Daughter Is Tougher Than Gersh Kuntzman, Author of the Stupidest Thing on the Internet Today.”
And one of my favorites, thanks to its pithy manner of linking my affliction to another right wing obsession: “Maybe you can get some balls through Obamacare!” wrote Adam Prolo.
Ironically, Kuntzman’s calling the gun debate a “gender war” originates from the same inane pigeon hole mentality that labels men as being strong and women as being weak. Kuntzman’s response to the barrage of e-mails associating weakness with being female?
Yes, I’m a wimp. I simpered because my experience with the AR-15 bruised me, body and spirit. But there’s nothing unmanly about reminding my readers that mass murder is much easier to commit with a semi-automatic killing machine than it is with a hammer.
If that makes me a girl, well, maybe we should have a girl running the country.
Such a response follows the time honored liberal tradition of making every issue about race, gender or ethnic background. In this case, he takes issue with people calling him a girl by stating that he would prefer to be a girl, the implication being that only girls would have their body and spirit bruised by firing an AR-15.
Kuntzman does make one valid point- there’s nothing unmanly about reminding readers that mass murder is easier to commit with a semi-automatic rifle than with a hammer. What is unmanly, is equating simpering over a boo-boo with being a girl. He’s living proof that’s not true.