I have been struggling lately with my feelings on gun control. About a month ago Adam called me excitedly saying he was going to be up in Indianapolis picking up his new handgun before he came to my apartment. I knew that he hunted and had sat next to his rifle in his car (the closest I have ever been to a gun, I might add) but this somehow was a whole other level. When he arrived at my apartment that night, he took out the gun, put it together and showed me how he would load and cock it, and then pointed it. I about flipped my shit. The whole time he had that thing out I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I did actually hold it, I refuse to be called narrow minded, but it was a serious step out of my comfort zone, and I would not point the damn thing, no matter how much he asked. Adam knows about my hesitation to his owning a handgun, he knows I do not agree with the fact that he, a regular citizen, can just have his loaded gun in his house. He says I feel this way because I’m just generally uncomfortable around guns as I’ve never really been around them. Not true.
I have no problem with the responsible gun owner. The kind who, like Adam showed me he would always do, keeps his gun in its locked box, unloaded, bullets elsewhere, with the gun itself locked in the uncocked (or whatever it’s called) position. The gun only comes out to be used recreationally at shooting ranges, etc. Here’s my problem: most people are not responsible gun owners. Most people keep their guns loaded and under their beds. Any dumbass could walk in, find the gun and start shooting whoever he pleased. What if you have a gun, loaded and easily accessible, in case you need it for personal protection. Or, you think you’re being responsible and leave it unloaded, but for quick loading purposes, the bullets are near the gun. You have friends over, you all get drunk, the gun somehow comes out, maybe a friend finds it or you take it out. Who’s to say you, the “responsible” gun owner, does not accidentally hurt someone? Or maybe your kid, who knows you have the gun because kids aren’t stupid folks, gets in a fight with someone at school. He says, in an attempt to be seriously badass, that he’s going to bring his dad’s gun to school. He probably has no intention of actually shooting anyone but who knows what will transpire once he pulls the thing out of his backpack in the school parking lot?
I read an article on cnn.com this morning (court decision on gun control is personal for 2 women) about gun control in Washington, D.C. and the city’s ban on handgun ownership. Two women were quoted in the story representing both sides of the discussion. One woman stated very well my feelings I think. She said, “No one here is trying to fight against your right to have a gun. What we want is for dangerous people not to get access to one, and today it is just too easy. We cannot keep sacrificing innocent people because you have a fear that you’re not going to be able to have your right to own a gun.” The other woman quoted in the article owns a gun for personal protection as she lives in a high crime neighborhood. When she called the police to report threats and vandalism, their advise was buy a gun. Well that just seems like it encourages the already high crime problem and the cycle bad neighborhoods in big cities are stuck in. I understand that this woman feels she needs protection. As a young woman living by myself in downtown Indianapolis (honestly a relatively safe city in comparison I think) I do not feel comfortable walking my dog later at night. I keep it to the front of my apartment building. Then again, living in this part of town was my decision. If things get out of hand, I consider it the responsibility of the city to get crime and violence under control. I do not think I should have to go out and buy a gun and feel as though I have to take things into my own hands. And no, I am not so naive that I think a city of any size can be completely crime free. OK, now I’m heading towards my whole stance on poverty and education and how that is basically the root of a lot of our problems in this country. And that would be a whole other discussion and as this blog entry has already become much longer and more ramble-y than I initially intended, I will leave that for later debate.
On a completely different note, I miss camp so much it hurts and I have admitted to being a wannabe Southerner. I might have a problem.