My father has always had a lot of guns. We lived in the woods and he was the only male in the house. He LOVES to hunt. That’s probably an understatement. If I remember correctly, he would always mention a gun that was given to him by his father. I know that he cherished that “gift” because I believe his father was and, still remains, the greatest hero in his life. In fact, I believe, most of the guns my father owns were given to him. Although he LOVES to hunt, he is an expert marksman, so it doesn’t take much for him to secure his mark. He is not a connoisseur of guns.
I remember my father taking my two older sisters and me out to take practice shots with his various guns. It was never something that I was ever interested in. It just wasn’t. As our historical memory goes, my older sisters were never interested either. It was something we did because he told us to do it. Just like mowing the lawn and chopping wood…
One thing about my gun experience left a large impression on me as a child. I thought about it regularly after it happened. In retrospect, it shaped many of the decisions that I made from that moment on. It has become one of the hallmarks of my soul, who I am today. My father looked us in the eye and said “This is not a toy. This is made to kill whatever is at the other end of this barrel. It will kill you too. If you pick it up, you better be intending to kill something or someone. Do you understand me?”
I think I was eight years old, but I absolutely clearly understood what he said. In fact, as I just typed those words, an overwhelming feeling just came over my body. A sense of heaviness and responsibility. The notion that I could kill. My father has never had to worry about his children and gun safety. As far as I can remember, my sisters and I never picked up a gun unless he instructed us to. Aside from his need for us to learn to use each gun that was in our house, we were never interested in them. My two older sisters and I* have never intended on killing anything or anyone.
Anecdotally I remember one time, as a teenager, we were home alone and we heard a noise outside that didn’t sound right. My oldest sister grabbed a can of hairspray and a big knife out of the kitchen. I think I stood behind her with the broom. Whether it was an animal or a person outside, we knew we had to defend ourselves. In doing that, we subliminally chose NOT to kill, but to prevent whatever or whoever it was hurting us. We knew we had the option of sure safety all around us if. We could have picked up a gun fairly easily. We could shoot and we had weapons to choose from. We never picked up a gun unless Daddy asked us to.
In addition to the instruction on guns, my father was always good for letting us know 2 or 3 times prior to physical discipline that, not only was our behavior or language unacceptable, but that he was going to spank us if he saw or heard it again. Somehow we understood that the world was not ours and we had to respect not only his rules and his perspective, but others too.
Since then, there have been so many times in my life when I have been in situations where “I want to kill someone”. There are infinitely more times when I’m just mad as hell. On a regular basis, I am in a situation where I just want to beat the hell out of someone or knock a joka out. I never do it.
I get straight up angry and want to rip someone’s eyes out. That’s not unusual, but I never do it. I never step up to physically harm anyone without letting them know they have crossed a line. My father’s instruction about guns was so critical in my life that, at this point, I don’t even step up to verbally test someone without first telling them in a clear and calm manner that I disagree.
So I’m pondering the fact that there was never, nor is there now, an armed guard at any of the entrances to my father’s home or property to ensure the safety of any children who may enter. I would guess that there are more weapons there than were at any of the locations where tragic circumstances occurred. I’m trying to understand why armed guards at the location where there is no gun versus no guard at the location where there is a gun makes sense.
I’m trying to understand why giving someone a gun to protect themselves after a bullet has left another gun truly makes that person or anyone else safer. Remember the instructions; a gun will kill whatever is on the other side of the barrel. So giving someone a gun in a school where no other gun is perplexes me. Start there, how do you prevent the TRANSPORT of a deadly weapon into a place where innocent people could potentially be harmed.
I’m also trying to understand why any elected official in the United State Congress would strongly consider the requests of a group of people who are led by those who are planning to earn a great deal of money based on the number and types of weapon they manufacture and sell. I’m confused because I seriously doubt that any of the individuals carrying out any of the crimes we are concerned about spent more than $5,000 in total for the entire inventory of firearms.
Ok, maybe up to $15,000. So let’s say there are 500 people who we should be concerned about committing this type of crime in the near future. The most that any of the individuals subject to “lose” money, based on any actual law being passed, would be $7.5 million. Even if there were 100 people who would each lose that amount of money, in total, it would amount to $750 million. At that level, we still are not even approaching ¼ of one year’s commercial gun and ammunition sales**. Not even commenting on illegal purchase and unauthorized and ill advised “transfers” of ownership.
I’m trying to understand why any member of the United States Congress, of their own effort and use of common sense and resources, would even consider any of this information when trying to determine the best legislative approach to significantly minimizing and literally removing the ridiculous and unnecessary threat of gun violence to anyone on US soil. I believe that is the legislative question.
I understand that a large percentage of these individuals may have a mental issue when they pull the trigger. But considering there isn’t a treatment that would eliminate the mental issue immediately, they would still be likely to commit the crime during treatment. Assuming that type of miracle, and I do believe in them; any member of the United States Congress would also be responsible for remembering that many of those committing these crimes are actually completely sane. Even if they are able to fake it good enough for the court system, many of them are sane. They would commit the crime regardless of any access to mental health support and treatment.
In this case, any member of the United States Congress would not only confuse, but disappoint me if they would consider the words spoken, recommendations, or suggestions of anyone who may be subject to “lose” money based on a reduction in the volume of gun sales directly related to legislation period. But especially if they would listen to those people without having a photograph of every child unnecessarily killed by a gun within the last 10 years right in front of the lobbyist as they spoke. What needs to be considered by anyone in any position to direct, write, vote on, and enact legislation regarding the crimes that have unnecessarily killed individuals is what happens if they don’t do their job. DEATH. DEATH by MURDER.
I’m trying to understand why there is no discussion about the pont of sale accountability of the gun owner. My father’s instructions were effective because, in the delivery, we understood what the results of our actions would mean to us as individuals. We clearly understood the personal impact of our choice simply to PUT OUR HAND ON ANY GUN. I did not, nor do I ever want to be a murderer. Of anything. Regardless of the fact that I love meat, I don’t want to be the one to kill the food on my plate.
Point of Sale Accountability. That’s a tuff question. I don’t want to be fat, but I LOOVVEE oreo and chips ahoy cookies. I LOOOVVVVEEE being at the beach ALL DAY all the time, but I also need to eat in order to stay alive, so I have to engage in activity that someone is willing to pay for. I LOOOVVVEEE to see my kids happy, but I also want them to be healthy, well behaved, and able to determine for themselves what makes them happy, and able to pursue that happiness independently, whether I – or anyone else for that matter, is an active influence in their life or not. That means I have to discipline. That means I have to follow through, that means I have to stick to my stated plans. Whether I like it or not.
I don’t want the United States Congress involved in my eating habits, my time at the beach, nor my desires for my children. I don’t want that because I heard somewhere that in the United States of America I have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. From the same source, I also clearly understood that my enjoyment of those 3 rights should never cause unnecessary harm to anyone else. I understood that I am responsible for remembering that.
You can’t kill someone else because of the way you feel!!! “I feel disconnected; I felt alone, I was angry. I didn’t understand.” SO. You cannot pull a trigger because of the way you feel.
If you pick up a gun, you INTEND TO MURDER period. If you pick up a fork, I expect you to eat period. A fork was manufactured to help you eat. Guns are manufactured to help you kill. If you put your hand on it, the United States expects you to intend to kill.
Conceal and carry. Stand your ground. Whatever. Anyone who puts their hand on a gun expects to be a murderer. That is Point of Sale Accountability. People who go into the woods are very clear that they consider themselves successful if they return with a DEAD animal. You are either hunting animals or hunting humans. The United States allows the murder of animals for nutrition or sport. We do not allow humans to be hunted and murdered for nutrition or sport.
If you are hunting, you probably are not going to use a handgun or assault rifle. Should you use too many shots to kill the animal, the meat is likely to be tough, so real hunters just don’t do it. If
you do not have and actively exercise a hunting license and you own a gun, then you should be required to register yourself as a potential human murderer. Immediately our nation has an increased level of defense against these ridiculous crimes. Immediately the responsibility and the magnitude of your choice are glaringly evident to you, in front of witnesses. Eventually, your acceptance of this title, of this activity, should also become evident. Ideally your ability to carry out your intent to murder should be limited, only to those who intend to harm you – simply because of the way the feel.