By John Naese

The following story was related to me by the employee manning the gun counter at a large retailer. He was 60ish, and in our conversation, I told him that what he was doing – selling guns and talking to gun people all day – is what I wanted to do when I retired. He related that he recently retired as a nurse, and that’s what he was doing – working a job he enjoyed during his retirement.

Our gun seller (let’s call him Joe) said he moved with his wife to Illinois from Texas a few years ago, for her job. He was moving into their new house in a nice local suburb. When the first gun safe came off the truck, his neighbor (let’s call her Karen) saw it and came over to question him about it.

“Is that a gun safe?”

“Why, yes it is.”

“You have guns in there?”

“Well, that what a gun safe is for.”

Karen then proceeded to tell him that she didn’t like guns and she didn’t like being around them. He said he told her not to worry, that if someone was attacking her at her house, he would be sure to keep his guns in the safe. He then asked her politely to leave so he could finish unloading.

Karen continued to watch from her house. When the second gun safe came off the truck (keep in mind, he was moving from Texas) she disappeared into her house. A few minutes later a sheriff’s deputy showed up at Joe’s house. Joe said Mr. Deputy was very professional, and explained he was here because a neighbor complained via Illinois’ recently enacted red flag law. The caller said two gun safes full of guns in the house near her made her feel unsafe.

The deputy asked, “Do you have guns in the house or in those safes?” Joe said yes, that he was moving in from Texas. The deputy then started to explain to Joe about the Firearms Owner’s ID card (FOID card), and Joe said, “Oh, you mean this permission slip?” and pulled his newly received FOID card out and showed it to the deputy. The deputy was impressed that Joe already had a FOID, as he was just moving in. Joe explained that he had bought the house two months previously, and his Realtor, a very conscientious and knowledgeable Realtor, had advised him at that time to get his FOID as soon as possible. After checking out the FOID, the deputy apologized to Joe for having to bother him and was on his way.

The deputy moved over to Karen’s house and proceeded to politely tell her not to call the Sheriff’s Office about Joe anymore, as he was doing nothing illegal or threatening.

That could be the end of our story, but it’s not.

About a year later, the riots associated with the George Floyd “protests” were spreading across the US, and Karen and her husband knocked on Joe’s door. “We think it’s time to buy a gun, and we want you to teach us.” They paid Joe for shooting lessons; he got them into a couple of revolvers, and ever since then they have been, if not close friends, at least friendly acquaintances.

So be polite to the Karens in your life. You never know when something might change their mind, and you may be the only gun person they know. What appears at first glance to be a lost cause can be turned around, in the right circumstances.

4 thoughts on “SEEDS SPROUT: The Conversion of a Karen”
  1. God Bless ol’ George Floyd. He, his struggles and the turmoil that followed have converted many a Karens and Kevins over to the 2A side. I’ve had similar experiences where 2A agnostics turned to me for help and are now Glock 43X, Smith Model 66 and J frame owners. RIP George.

  2. WOW, good story, at least “Karen” didn’t have to get mugged to “see the light”! Hope all is well and they don’t need to use their firearms and they practice for the possibility they do need their protection tools at some point.

  3. Very interesting. When I bought my newest safe (a 2500 lb. behemoth) that barely fit through the door and had to be placed over the threshold by a Bobcat and some very delicate maneuvering, I drew some attention from the neighbors, but nothing like this story.

  4. My youngest son married a girl much like Karen. She tolerated his pistol and shotgun he used for deer hunting, but had to be out of sight. Trying to get her more comfortable around guns I offered to take her to the farm and let her shoot a 22 rimfire rifle. She said no thank you, I really don’t like guns and you aren’t going to change my mind. When the George Floyd nonsense started, she told my son, I think we need an AR. The thing that changed, they now had two small girls in their life, and was going to do everything she could to protect them. I don’t think she will ever shoot a gun, but you never know. I bought them a gun safe when the granddaughters were born, I think that helped convince her I was a responsible gun owner. Not the crazy gun guy you hear about on the news all the time.

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