Why We Don’t Own a Gun
Like many people in the US, I’m trying to make sense of the shooting in Connecticut.
Not that sense can be made from the nonsensical, but I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate this moment into my sense of self, community, and country.
I traditionally fall on the side of more gun control. My reasons aren’t politically astute, they have nothing to do with the Constitution, they’re just simple conclusions I’ve made from my life.
I was one of those bullied kids that couldn’t figure out how to stand up for myself. I had parents that blared Rush Limbaugh day in and day out, so I could regularly be surrounded with hate and vitriol in order to grow into a “good conservative.” I was a soft spoken, well meaning kid, who often felt controlled by and helpless in the world around him.
In short, I wasn’t the sort of kid you would want to have access to guns.
And I didn’t.
My parents didn’t have firearms. My friends’ parents didn’t have guns. It just wasn’t something that was done in our community. Or if it was, I was kept in the dark.
To this day, the idea of my thirteen year old self having access to a gun terrifies me. And that’s my guiding principle when it comes to guns.
A few years back, someone tried to break into our apartment while I was home alone. Well, the dog was with me, but the second he realized that a stranger was breaking in through the window, my 60 lbs pit bull ran to hide under the bed. I scared the guy off by yelling at him. It was quite effective, actually. I simply channeled my father and yelled, “Hey! Knock that off!”
The dude mumbled, “Oh shit,” and ran away.
After that, the boyfriend wanted to get a gun, in case this happened again. He didn’t want either of us to be left unprotected.
So we had a long talk. I asked what if the person broke into the room where we kept the gun, while we were in another room? I explained that I didn’t know how to shoot a gun, and in the moment I’d probably hit the dog and not the intruder. I used all of the standard arguments. He listened, but wasn’t really swayed.
And then I said…
“If you get angry with the neighbors again. Or if you have one of those really awful days at work – ones like you used to have at your last company, is it a good idea for us to own a gun?”
That stopped him. It stopped him because it acknowledged two fundamental truths about human nature. We all get insanely angry from time to time and we all want to fix ‘broken’ situations.
To this day, I wouldn’t trust myself as a gun owner in certain situations. I wouldn’t trust most of the people I know.
I’ll get back to the regular sarcastic, snarky posts tomorrow. It just didn’t feel right today.