(I’m sorry you received two posts from me. The other one was a draft that wasn’t supposed to be published–in fact, my WordPress dashboard does not show that it was published at all, so I can’t explain it…)
“Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down…” [Nancy Sinatra]
Newtown happened. We wept. Nothing changed.
For some reason that makes no absolutely no sense to me, it’s OK to have a weapon that can spray dozens of bullets at once. A killing machine.
For those who scream about the second amendment and our right to keep and bear arms, get real, would you? Hey guys, it was adopted in December 15, 1791 and one thing I know for sure is that they weren’t talking about assault rifles.
From the Colombia Law School Constitution Society’s blog, http://columbiaacs.blogspot.com/2007/11/right-to-bear-ye-olde-arms.html
“Let’s look at arms – specifically, guns – as they existed at the time of the ratification.
Guns in 1791 WOULD
- …be made by a gunsmith.
- …have rudimentary rifling.
- …be single-shot weapons.
- …be loaded through the muzzle.
- …fire by means of a flintlock.
Guns in 1791 WOULD NOT
- …have interchangeable parts. (Popularized in 1798)
- …be revolvers. (Invented in 1835)
- …be breachloaded. (Popularized in 1810)
- …use smokeless powder. (Invented in 1885)
- …use a percussion cap, necessary for modern cartridged bullets. (Invented in 1842)
- …load bullets from a clip. (Invented in 1890)
Courts can’t wish the Second Amendment away, but they can construe it in a manner that works in today’s society.”
This “new” gun debate is nothing new.
Whether or not to have a gun in the house for protection was the subject of the 1975 “Good Times“ Season 3-Episode 2.
Apparently, crime had been at an all time high in the neighborhood, which caused the Evans family to install extra locks on their doors. However, James took a step that Florida and the kids weren’t ready for, he bought a gun. Later, when the gun disappeared, all hell broke loose, as James tore the apartment apart looking for it. Same old story, 1975-style.
I can say with certainty that I never used my hand like a gun to shoot anyone; my mom, my dad, or my brother. Toy guns and pretend gunplay were verboten in our home. I grew up in Detroit. My dad was an attorney and my mom was a nurse before she became a SAHM. We went to the ballet and to the symphony. Books were important to us; guns not at all.
My older brother feels the need to have guns for protection. I don’t know how we grew up to think so differently about this.
We don’t have any guns in our home.
My one and only experience with guns
A few years ago, hubs and I thought it would be a good idea for us to learn how to shoot and buy a gun “just in case”, especially since his work takes him away from home for such a long time.
We even went to a local shooting range for a practice session. It was difficult to find a gun that fit me, so they gave me a junior-sized rifle.
The employee handed us ear and eye protection and asked us to choose a paper TARGET– human or animal.
It was right around this time that I started to feel a little anxious.
Somehow I had never associated the shooing of a gun with any purpose. Maybe in my mind I thought we were going to shoot at cans or a bullseye target like in darts. Definitely not an animal. I’m a vegetarian. I don’t believe in eating animals or murdering them.
Seeing the human form brought it to another level–my anxiety ramped up another notch. I picked the one that was just a target that wouldn’t emulate the killing or wounding of a living, breathing creature, human or animal.
The next thing I knew, he loaded bullets into the chamber and gave us a speech about safety, but I wasn’t really listening.
When the door opened to the actual range, and I heard the staccato pop pop pop sounds of dozens of guns shooting at the same time, I freaked out. I mean, I REALLY freaked out.
I tore off the ear protection and goggles, shoved my rifle in the direction of the gun range employee, and ran out the door.
I felt rather than saw everyone looking at me, but I couldn’t stop running. I had never before heard the sound of a gun.
I ran out toward our car in the parking lot, and sat on the ground, hyperventilating and shaking.
I panicked; I had an uncontrollable visceral reaction to the sound of a gun. My husband followed me out and comforted me. He said he never saw me move so fast nor appear so agitated.
I dropped my handbag when I bolted. When I walked back in, everyone was very sympathetic and said they saw reactions like that every so often — guns have that effect on some people. I tried to make a little joke to cover my embarrassment about how I must have been really frightened out of my mind because I left behind my Louis Vuitton handbag and that’s something I’d never do if I was in control of my faculties.
We’ve never tried that again, although I sometimes wonder if it’s a fear I should try to overcome. The truth is that we live in a violent world. Do I think we have a right to defend and protect ourselves? I do, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to ever pull the trigger.
Now if only I could stop a crime with my snark and sarcasm, I’d feel so safe…