It is true. I’m an avid supporter of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. I have never understood the Second Amendment to mean that anyone who lives in America can or should have any gun they want for any purpose they want.
I come from a fairly rural area with a long hunting tradition. I know that some don’t agree with hunting full stop, but it’s the tradition I’ve grown up around even though my father wasn’t a hunter. And around here we do have a significant deer population which is what most people hunt for. That and wild boar. Both are overpopulated.
We have laws in our state which govern what can an cannot be hunted. For example, it’s against the law here to kill a snake. Any snake. It’s also against the law to kill alligators. If either of these become a nuisance Animal Control is to be called and they are to remove and relocate said snake or alligator.
This time of year I can hear gunfire going off around most any time of the day. Not typically at night as that is against the law. No night hunting. No shining.
I, myself, have a handgun. I like to fire it at the range. At targets. Not people.
When I was a little girl my dad had a pistol. He taught my mom how to fire it because he was gone. A lot. She hated it. She still slept with it under her pillow.
My older sister and I knew the gun was there. It never crossed our minds to play with it. It wasn’t a toy. I don’t remember ever being told it wasn’t a toy. I also don’t remember growing up playing games like, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty – Black Ops, Manhunt, or Mortal Combat. Those seem to make a fun game out of killing as many “people” as possible.
We played Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, and War. We used mud pies as bombs and mostly our fingers for guns. We used make-believe bows and arrows. We got in trouble if we pointed our cap-guns at anyone. Ever. While those guns were toys they weren’t those kinds of toys. They still had moving parts and could still hurt someone and we learned that.
I’m not blaming mass shootings video games, mind you. But I do think it desensitizes humans who play them to a certain extent. So if someone already has a bent toward the uncaring that might just help them see other people as game pieces instead of real and breathing.
It’s just that when I was a kid I learned about real guns before I had a toy one. I heard the near-deafening boom as the bullet left the chamber. I saw the damage it inflicted and/or could inflict on a living thing.
As I previously mentioned I grew up in rural South Georgia where rabid animals roam. My first memory of a gun being used was when I was probably four years old.
My parents had bought this little country store and we were living in a room in the back of it. Two double beds, one on each side of the rear exit. That’s what we seemed to have. Two double beds and a hot plate.
One morning we were awakened by the sounds of growling and barking at that rear exit. My dad, wearing only a pair of blue and white striped boxers, opened the door a crack to see what was going on. The growling and barking lunged at the door and my dad slammed it shut.
He reached under the pillow and grabbed the pistol. He carefully cracked the door a smidge again. The growling and barking lunged again. He tried throwing a few things at the growling and barking but it was undeterred. Finally he opened the door once more, just a crack, and when the growling and barking lunged he shot it. With a yelp it went down.
My dad’s philosophy about guns was that they were a tool. He didn’t hunt for sport. He only used it when he felt it was necessary. He used it another time, that I can recall, to put down our ailing Irish Setter. With tears in his eyes.
My point is that anyone that can shoot people without batting an eye has something wrong with them. How can the life of another mean so little? How can the pain inflicted not at least make one pause? Is there some empathy chip missing?
So maybe the gun lobby has a point – to a point. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And maybe if they couldn’t get their hands on a gun they’d concoct homemade bombs and improvised explosive devices. Or use machetes or swords.
Why is the gun lobby in this country against more intensive background checks? Or even making it impossible for someone on the no-fly list to buy a gun? Why are our lawmakers more afraid of the NRA than they are the people who are able to obtain guns?
Is there any way to rid the world of senseless violence when there are apparently those walking among us who would just as soon snap our necks without a second thought? Why are there so many people who haven’t any conscience or empathy? What can we do about it?
To be continued…