Guns freak me out.
I did not grow up with guns in the house. I asked my dad once why he didn’t go hunting (like so many of our neighbors did) and he said that when he was a boy he shot a squirrel and felt devastated at the loss of life that he’d perpetrated. He vowed that he'd never shoot another living thing. My mother, being raised in the aftermath of a bloody civil war, hated guns too. She wouldn’t even allow my brother to have a toy gun.
My husband didn’t grow up in a hunting and frontier/western culture. He was raised in Florida where guns were used for drive-bys, in drug deals, and to shoot teachers. So he isn’t so much of a fan either.
I’m even like my mom: I don’t want my kids playing with a toy gun. I know, I know, it’s just a toy, but they still give me the heebies. You can make all kinds of rules about ‘you never point the gun at a person, not even in fun, not even if he’s the bad guy’ but we all know what happens when you turn your back. I don’t want my kids thinking that guns are fun, or toys, in any way.
I don’t care if you own a gun.
Go ahead, get a gun. You have the right to own guns. I won’t even tease you on the well-regulated militia thing (much.) Go hunting, we don’t care. I’m under no illusions as to where meat comes from. You can say that your gun is for food storage, not just protection (although I don’t believe that your handgun is to shoot a deer.) I really don’t care about what you do with your guns, up to a point.
You see, my kid is now old enough that he goes over to other people’s houses to play. These people may or may not have guns in the house. I worry about this a lot, so does my husband.
We can have, and have had, conversations with our offspring about firearms. They are not toys. If you find one don’t touch it, leave the house if someone else trying to play with it, tell an adult immediately. You can have those conversations until you’re blue in the face. The mother whose 16 year old daughter, her only child, was killed by a shot to the face by another teenager, who had found the gun and was playing with it, had just had a conversation with her daughter about gun safety. This incident happened last Friday less a mile from where we live. Kids are stupid. They don’t think.
I want to know how to ask people about their guns. Do you ask people about their guns? Where they keep them? How accessible they are? Are they loaded?
I want to know how responsible people are with their firearms when my child is playing at their home.
Have you had those conversations? Would you think to have the conversation? Is it not even a concern to you?
Fig and I are on the same wavelength today: she posted on her own ambivalence about owning a gun and not liking it. So if you want to talk about the merits, or perils, of ownership, go over there.
And just to stave off the ‘c’mon and try it, you’ll like it’: yes, I have fired a gun, and a shot gun, I didn’t like it; they’re just not for me.
And just to stave off the ‘government is coming for our arms and this is how I feel about X piece of legislation’ this is not a discussion about gun control; this is a discussion about the responsibilities of gun owners and non-gun owners.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Guns freak me out.