Farago suggests that Kenik avoid the “gun grabbers” term.
“We call them ‘proponents of civilian disarmament,’ ” Farago says.
A couple of hours later, the two men dig into dinner at a swank Italian restaurant, both of them choosing chairs that let them face the entrance.
“Look at the way Robert and I are facing,” Kenik says. “Crime happens everywhere. There’s no place to feel safe.”
“That’s your opinion,” Farago says, distancing himself a bit.
“It’s in the back of my mind,” Kenik says.
Back home, Farago greets his daughter, Lola. His nanny calls a cab. Lola is in third grade and attends a Quaker school. That’s a bit awkward for the gun blogger, and he tries to keep his interests “on the down-low.”
Lola briefly joins the interview in the living room, sitting near the warm fire in the hearth. After she answers a few questions from a reporter, her father asks a few himself, and brings up Newtown.
“How do you think you could have stopped that?” he says.
“The teachers having guns,” the 9-year-old says.
“Do you think your teachers should be able to have a gun?”
“So they can defend us?” she says.
“Is it true that violence isn’t the answer?” he asks.
“Well, it shouldn’t be your first answer,” she says. “If someone’s trying to kill you, yes.”
Farago’s position on mass shootings is that people needed to be prepared to shoot back.
“There’s no way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, madmen and terrorists,” he says. “That’s the reality that we all have to deal with. We have to defend ourselves against evil. And the best way to do that is for law-abiding people to carry a firearm.”
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported 31,672 deaths from firearms in 2010. That included 11,078 homicides. Most of the rest — more than 19,000 deaths — were suicides.
Over a sushi lunch, Farago addresses the fact that so many people turn guns on themselves.
“Why should society be organized to stop those suicides?” he says. “Do we as a society intervene to prevent people from hurting themselves? Freedom isn’t free. People are going to die. People die all the time.”
Exiting the restaurant, he poses a question: What business in this little commercial area would criminals most likely target? The jewelry store, obviously. That’s situational awareness.
Standing on the patio at Starbucks, he tells a story. A while back, he was right in this spot when the alarm went off across the street at the Bank of America branch office. Amazingly, people ignored it. They kept walking up to the bank to use the ATM. They didn’t seem to register the alarm at all.
Farago reckoned that, if a gunman emerged from the bank, he’d take cover inside the Starbucks, putting a brick wall between himself and the shooter.
“If I have incoming fire, I’ve got a plan ready to go,” he says.
There was no gunman. Just a false alarm.
But that’s not the point. The point is that Farago was alert to the potential danger in the world. He was prepared to defend himself, if absolutely necessary, with his Glock. Even though, so far in his incarnation as a gun guy, he’s never had any reason.