Ask Andrew W.K.: Should I Buy a Gun?

Dear Andrew,
I’ve always been a staunch opponent of guns, but my home has been broken into twice in the last six weeks. Now I’m think- ing about purchasing a gun to protect my family and home. My wife is very much against this idea, and we fight about it of- ten. I completely understand where she’s coming from, as her views on the dangers of owning a gun used to be my own. What do you think? Should I get a gun?
One Shot

Dear One Shot,
Guns are intense. They function not only as a powerful extension of a man’s hand, but also as an extension of his will and ability to kill. I had a dream a few nights ago where I had illegally acquired two handguns and was trying to sell them on the street to some underground gun dealer. I was stressed out and fumbling with these crumbling black pistols. In the end, I realized that both of the guns were toys and didn’t really work, much to my relief (and to the dealer’s irrita- tion). As the saying goes, “guns don’t kill people, I do,” and just having the guns in my dream seemed to bring me one step closer to actually killing someone.

Firearms may be just another weapon made to cause significant harm with signifi- cant ease, but they aren’t able to cause harm without someone deliberately using them to do it. We’ve all seen the damage people can cause with knives, cars, and a myriad of other implements (including teeth and fists), but no weapon seems to combine le- thal force and efficiency quite like guns.

Every week, New York City’s own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose, or — no
surprise here — a party. Need his help? Just ask:
Every week, New York City’s own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose, or — no surprise here — a party. Need his help? Just ask:


Read our ASK ANDREW W.K. column each week for more party/life advice.

In your situation, it’s perfectly natural to want and protect your family and your property, and a gun is one way to do it. But just go through the possible scenarios that could play out: If someone breaks into your home while you’re actually there, are you going to confront them with the gun? Are you going to shoot them if they don’t leave? What if you miss? What if you actually kill them? What if they weren’t actually an in- truder, but a family member you mistook for an intruder? What if they grab the gun and shoot you?

At first, it seems like it might be easier to put a sign on your front door that says, “This Home Is Protected by a Gun,” but that might attract more attention from a gun thief. Maybe just get a security system installed?

Guns are super intense objects. But what is even more intense is man’s willing- ness to harm others. The problem isn’t guns, the problem is our violent nature, and if someone wants to hurt someone badly enough, they’re going to find a way to do it, gun or not. In your case, you don’t want to shoot someone; you just don’t want your home to get broken into. If you do get a gun, I suggest having everyone in your family take lessons on how to use it. It should be treated with an incredible amount of re- spect and maybe even a little fear.

The idea would be never to use it, or have to use it. I don’t believe that having a gun in your house somehow “attracts” bad vibes into your home, but it does suddenly allow for a whole range of possibilities that simply wouldn’t be if a gun weren’t there. Fathom those possibilities, and weigh your options heavily. Everyone has the right to protect themselves and to feel safe, but there will never be total security or safety — life is precarious and fragile even without burglars or guns. Each situation is different, and no matter what, guns and other weap- ons will always exist. If we put less energy into fighting about weapons, and more en- ergy into figuring out why we’re fighting in the first place, we’d probably save a lot more lives. We must value each other’s life as if it was our own. A gun can’t love some- one or have compassion, but you can. Whatever you decide to do, just take great care. I hope you never shoot anyone.

Party hard,
Andrew W.K.

My Voice Nation Help

"man's willingness to harm others"................

What a crock of sh!t. I've owned or been around guns all of my life, and I NEVER have been "willing" to harm anyone. The ONLY time I would inflict possibly lethal harm upon another would be when I have NO OTHER OPTION.

The best way to prevent this is to not break in to my house threaten me or mine, or any other innocent person in my presence with bodily harm or mayhem. You know, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

The use of lethal force is ethically, morally, legally, and justifiably allowed in the face of mortal danger. Self defense is ingrained in the biological code of all sentient beings, and has been since time began.

I have been in situations where I have been forced (by the actions of an assailant) to employ deadly force. Until you've been there, you do not know of what you speak, and NO ONE; you, politicians, cops, judges, nor ignorant "gun control proponents", have the right or ability to deny the ABSOLUTE RIGHT OF SELF DEFENSE.


"They function not only as a powerful extension of a man’s hand, but also as an extension of his will and ability to kill."

Exactly. And that's how it SHOULD be. Sometimes, an action resulting in the death of another is the only righteous option.

It is an option all peaceable people should have available, because we are unfortunately infiltrated with people who are NOT peaceable.


Not everyone should own a gun, but if you are a responsible person who is in control of their emotions, I think you'll be ok buying one (after taking the necessary classes and meeting all requirements, of course). Make sure to train at least once a month with your firearm and the ammo you'll have your weapon loaded with, and always be aware of your gun when having guests over. It's a big responsibility, for sure, but if you're a responsible adult, it's not as overwhelming or scary as the media would want you to believe.


As a somewhat recent NY state gun permit holder that had your wife's perspective for a long time I would suggest that IF you decide to get a firearm first realize this is an expensive and long long long process -- NY does not make it easy and in NYC its close to impossible.  Second you need to be an educated, hyper repsonsible gun owner -- there are classes all over teaching you best practices of how to safely defend you home.

Also, I stay informed as media often does not share very very credible reports that dont walk the anti-gun walk.  For every article about a child accidentally shooting themselves there are almost no stories in the main stream media of all the home owners that saved their families lives.   There is a 20 year study by the Department of Justice that ended in 2012.. the results are very very positive about gun ownership and crime reduction- which is why Eric Holders DOJ and the Obama Administration didnt talk about it.   In a nutshell we've doubled the guns in that 20 years and gun crimes have reduced anywhere from 35-75% in that time (robbery, murder...).  John Lott is also a very respected credible writer on this subject.   

Good luck with your decision.


"Guns are intense"?  When I looked up the word intense with Google it was defined as "of extreme force, degree, or strength" and "having or showing strong feelings or opinions; extremely earnest or serious".  I have never seen my Glock 19 cry while watching the Hallmark Channel or my AR get angry when we click quickly past MSNBC.  I have and at both.  I seems to me that it is a bad idea to ask a serious question about firearm ownership from someone who ends his response with "Party hard".

To One Shot:

Firearms are a major responsibility and bringing one into the home should not be a spur of the moment decision.  That being said, get one don't get one, only you can honestly decide that.  You need to know ahead of time what you are willing to do when a firearm is in your hands.  If someone tries to harm me or my love ones then I will shoot to stop them.  That is "stop them" and NOT "kill them"; but if they end up dead then so be it.  If someone wants to steal my sweet, sweet VCR/DVD combo player and is running out of the house.  Then I yell, keeping the handgun in hand and let them run.  Let the Cops do the searching after you call them.  Just remember that owning a firearm doesn't make you an expert shot just as owning a guitar doesn't make you Jimi Hendrix at his prime.  Shooting is a perishable skill due to this I go to the range every other weekend to keep my skills sharp.  Good luck with whatever you choose to do and make sure to follow the 4 basic rules of firearms that jabrahamcollins has already mentioned.   


If you and your partner have anti-gun sentiments then you should be the last person to be considering owning one. Firearms take a great deal of discipline and excellence in order to be operated safely and effectively and unless you keep it loaded and out of the gun safe it won't be useful in the event of a home intrusion anyway. If you do end up getting a gun remember these four tenets of firearms discipline:

1. Treat all firearms as though they are loaded even if you have personally cleared it a second ago. All guns are considered loaded and dangerous.

2. Never put your finger inside the trigger guard unless you have your target acquired. (There are exceptions such as the need to pull the trigger in order to break down a Glock for cleaning.. this is a reason I personally dislike Glock brand firearms)

3. Do not allow the muzzle of the firearm to point at anything that you aren't willing to destroy. Doing so to people or domestic animals is known as "flagging" and is considered extremely rude/negligent.

4. Be sure of your target, what is in front of it, and what is beyond it. Remember that most homes have walls that are made out of thin drywall and insulation; the projectiles that you fire can pass through them and kill a family member or neighbor. If you miss and kill somebody it will plague you with grief and regret for the rest of your life. Train hard.


@MrApple   I'm a fairly new NY permit holder and from the 10-12 hour class I had to take, which was given by retired NYPD they told me if someone is in your house you always shoot to center body mass.  They shared stories of drugged out robbers/criminals  that when on certain drugs were hit by a few bullets and still kept going after them and attacking them.   They by no means said to shoot to kill anyone in any circumstance but someone not immediately threatened by the sight of your gun that does anything threatening needs to be stopped - and shooting them in the foot is not going to work.


@bTeri @MrApple  Center mass shots are always the best idea.  I have been shooting for MANY YEARS and couldn't be expected to shoot a gun out of someone's hand during a stressful moment (like they do in the movies or on TV).  How many times do you need or should you shoot someone?  Shoot till the threat stops coming at you.  That might mean 1 round or it might mean 15.  I personally have made a study on the available self-defense ammo out there.  I would much rather shoot once or twice with a quality hollow-point than 6+ times with basic full metal jacket.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, I don't live in any part of NY.  I live in a free state that respects my 2nd Amendment rights and doesn't expect me to limit my magazines to 7 ridiculous rounds.  As I write this, a Glock 19 sits on my hip with 15 rounds quickly available for any uninvited "guests".  


@MrApple @bTeri   Great to hear from you MrApple.  Trust me, if everyone I love didnt live in the tri-state area I'd be in Texas right now. Dont know if you heard about the suburban newspaper that identified gun owners on a map by name until there was an uproar and legislation to make sure it never happens again - I was one of them - just months after my permit approval.  . Cant tell you how many ignorant neighbors had something to say (although I was able to educate a few with some brain cells left).

And FYI... the 7 rounds in a magazine was nixed by the courts and even sheriffs said they wouldnt enforce (other than the out of control anti gun nuts in  NYC and surrounding suburbs) although we are limited to 10.  And when my firearm is next to my bed hollowpoints are the only way to go!!  Enjoy the Glock 19, a friend I shoot with has one and I did enjoy it....   Nice chatting with you.. Enjoy the weekend.

New York Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • April
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat