I hate guns.
In the spring of 1992 a close friend called me to let me know he bought a gun. I had never heard him mention anything about firearms so the purchase struck me as strange. When I asked him about it, he said he was taking up target shooting and he asked if I wanted to go to the range with him. I was busy with two children under two years old so I passed. I didn’t really want to do it anyway.
I saw him about a month later at my fortieth birthday party. He again invited me to the range. I told to him when life slowed down a little I’d go with him just to check it out. We left it at that. I knew deep down I wasn’t going to the range.
The next time I saw my friend was a few weeks later. It was at his wake. He had used that new gun to end his life. He was lying in an open casket. I heard the explanations, but I never really bought into any of them. Almost three decades later I still can’t piece together what and why it happened. All I know is my friend was dead due to a gun.
A few years earlier, I noticed that a work colleague had been out of the office for a week. When he returned, he pulled me aside to tell me why. His sister had a three year old daughter. One day the toddler found the gun that her mom kept in their home for safety. It was in a safe, but the door was unlocked. The girl thought it was a toy and accidentally shot and killed herself. It tore their family apart. My co-worker was still in shock and dealing with his grief over the loss of his niece. I imagine they’re still dealing with this more than thirty years afterwards.
I’ve never shot a gun. I’ve never even held a real one in my hands. I’m fairly sure that when my life is over, those two statements will still be true. I just don’t see the need. I think the world would be a much better place if we confiscated every firearm. Yet, as strongly as I feel on the topic, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want my feelings to infringe on your rights to own a gun. I think most of us who hate guns feel this way. We only want it to be safer.
Obviously, these feelings about loss through gun violence get brought up every time there’s an incident. In the last week we’ve had two mass shootings, in Atlanta and in Bolder. The loss of innocent lives always brings up the memories of those two personal losses because of reckless usage of guns. Those will never go away.
Did I mention that I hate guns. I want to know….no I need to know what is the fascination with them. I need one person to tell me. Just one.
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