Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Line in the sand

Let's talk about guns.

Grandma with a shotgun
photo by Geoffrey Fairchild

To be honest, I don't really know where I stand on the issue. Actually, the problem is that I keep leaping from one side to the other much like Frogger. I think the world would be a better place if no one owned a gun. Perhaps this is a bit cynical, but I just don't think that will realistically ever happen. So, if guns are going to exist, where does that leave me?

When you look up pacifist on the Web, Merriam-Webster tells you that describing yourself or something as pacifist means strongly and actively opposed to conflict and especially war. Wikipedia goes on more of a long-winded tear about the various forms of pacifism and the differing degrees to which people take it. I have always considered myself a pacifist in the sense that I detest violence and am opposed to war and other acts in that vein.

Snapshot: Woman with Shotgun
photo by robot_zombie_monkey

I do believe that, if a genocide is truly happening*, it is up to someone to step in. I also believe in self defense and taking care of my loved ones. Remember Christmas a couple of years ago? What about hunting? I think hunting for food is acceptable, while the killing of another creature for sport is a bit insane.

Why this conversation at this particular time? Because people frighten me, and I need to admit it. The evening news, the morning paper and any number of popular TV shows tell tales hour after hour of the horrific deeds we do to our fellow man. Because I shouldn't be afraid to go to my project site alone on a Sunday and run into two men just hanging out. I shouldn't worry on the evenings when my mom doesn't answer her cell right away that someone has broken into their house and is holding them hostage. I shouldn't have less than six degrees of separation from multiple women who have been raped.

So...sometimes I find myself thinking that one day I might want to own a shotgun, and this, too, scares me.

Carole Lombard: Armed and Dangerous
photo by Michael Donovan

I remember Kasey Wheeless ending his life with a gun in high school and another kid who lost his life when he and his friends were messing around with a gun they thought wasn't loaded. Fear isn't a reason to own a gun. No good can come when arming the paranoid (not that I'm paranoid).

Where do I stand? Maybe I should just stop watching TV and following the news. ;-)

What about you?

*We're not talking hidden weapons of mass destruction here.


  1. I'm cool with guns. But I want people to be educated about them and not be crazy. Of course, that's one of those perfect scenario things.

    However, guns kinda scare the crap out of me...but I also really wanna go to a shooting range.

  2. Being around the military, I'm used to be surrounded by guns. I feel safe around them, but that's likely because they all know what they're doing with them. I know how to shoot a gun, but I'm not sure I want the responsibility of owning one. I think I'm okay just depending on others to protect me with theirs, if the situation arises.
    I wouldn't even consider owning a gun if I had kids. The thought of them getting ahold of that thing scares me to death, and I don't even have them yet!

  3. Guns definitely scare me,too. I remember finding out a friend on the debate team in college used to carry a gun to meets (he pulled it out to show us at the hotel). It completely freaked me out.

  4. A friend of mine pulled out his unloaded gun to show me and I FLIPPED out.