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Guns – My Thoughts

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I remember an article from high school….

When I was in high school (almost 25 years ago, eek!) I remember discussing an article in a class one time about a little girl getting shot by her father.  I don’t remember all of the details, but what I do recall is the family had a policy of sleeping with all the bedroom doors shut and any of the children were supposed to knock before entering the parents’ room.

From what I remember, the youngest daughter, three years old at the time, didn’t knock one night and simply walked into the parents’ bedroom in the middle of the night.  Most likely she was groggy from waking up and didn’t remember to knock.  Maybe she was scared, or had a bad dream, or wasn’t feeling well.

The father, in his sudden awaken state, mistook his little girl for an intruder, reached for his gun in his bedside table and shot his daughter.

I was having a conversation with some friends….

Jump ahead about 15 years and I was having a conversation with some friends about a recent camping trip they had just been on.  My friend was telling me about a rowdy group of guys in one of the tent sites near my friends’ and how upset he was by this group.  I guess they were drunk and were being very loud, although contained to their site – they weren’t all over the camp site raising havoc.  Nonetheless, it was disturbing to my friend and it basically ruined the whole trip.

My friend said “I wish I had my gun on me, I would have put a stop to their rudeness.

I remember asking him, in my disbelief – “really, you would have gone over there waving a gun, just to shut them up?”   He said wholeheartedly  – “YES!”

I have another friend , when she goes fly fishing in the woods, she carries her handgun.  When asked why, she replied “because there are cougars and bear out there and I don’t want to be lunch.

I struggle with guns.

I completely understand the need and desire to want to protect yourself, your family and your home.  I think everyone feels these feelings.  After seeing the movie Contagion with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, there are times when I think maybe we should have a gun in my house.   Did you see this movie?  It is really good.  And after hearing a recent report on NPR about a flu that can go crazy and spread all over the world in a matter of weeks and how this movie depicted a true representation of what might happen – I’m leaning more and more towards getting a gun.

For a little side-note – there is a scene in the movie where Matt Damon’s character is watching from him home, his neighbor get shot from looters.  The world in chaos and there is no order, people are ransacking homes, stores, everything.  In this lawless situation, I can totally see where a gun would be a matter of life or death.

But I can’t help but think….

I think Trayvon Martin would be alive today if George Zimmerman hadn’t been carrying a gun that night.

In addition, Chad Oulson would be alive today if Curtis Reeves Jr. didn’t have a gun on him that night.

Guns change a person’s way of thinking….

Here are my thoughts – guns change a person’s way of thinking.  I think guns give an inappropriate sense of confidence.  I think guns make people paranoid but then not worried, because they are carrying a gun, they have nothing to worry about, they can protect themselves.  I think gun get people into situations they wouldn’t normally find themselves if they didn’t have a gun.  I think guns allow people to provoke a situation, almost creating a situation that isn’t really there.

I think if George Zimmerman hadn’t had a gun on him, he probably wouldn’t have provoked Trayvon Martin to the point of feeling threatened.  He might have just called the police.

I think Curtis Reeves should have moved seats if Chad Oulson’s texting (to his babysitter, mind you) was bothering him so much.

I think the little girl in the article would be almost thirty years old today and would have had a beautiful life with her family.

I think my friend’s camping story might have turned horribly different if he did have his gun on him that night – instead he has a really good “bad camping story” to tell.

I wish we didn’t live in a world where we felt so threatened.  I wish we didn’t always have to be right.  I wish we appreciated life more – and that means appreciating someone else’s life, even if you don’t agree with their actions, as much as your own.

As I watch the news these past few days, I see Curtis Reeves’s adult daughter weeping on the witness stand, pleading for her father’s life.  She is most likely around my age, my dad is in his seventies too.  But I can’t help but cry a little for Chad Oulson’s two-year old daughter…she will never get to see her 70-year-old father.  She will never see her father again.  Because Curtis Reeves took it upon himself to say he had more rights than Chad Oulson.  Because being quiet in a movie theater was more important than texting a babysitter.  Because Curtis Reeve’s had a gun and felt more powerful  – so much that he used his gun and killed Chad Oulson.

I don’t think gun control is the answer.  It will never be in this country.  I don’t think registering guns will work.  The pro-gun movement is too powerful and too rich.

I think we need a mind change instead.  I think we need to change our thinking.  I think we need to care about each other.  Value each other.  Even if we don’t agree.  I think we need to stop being so paranoid.  I think we need to stop feeling so threatened.

But how?

~Amy

PS – I know that George Zimmerman was found not guilty – I refuse to say innocent because I feel he wasn’t innocent in this situation.  I understand that I’m judging Curtis Reeves before he has had his day in court.  These are simply my feelings  – guilty or innocent in the eyes of a the courts it doesn’t change how I think guns change people’s perspectives.

 

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Author: amymunns

Finding more minutes in your day. Specializing in time management, goal setting, prioritizing tasks for small business, busy professionals and active families.

3 thoughts on “Guns – My Thoughts

  1. I think Trayvon Martin would be alive today if George Zimmerman hadn’t been carrying a gun that night.

    And George Zimmerman would have been dead. Zimmerman violated no law. And according the Rachel Jeantel, Martin approached Zimmerman and asked if he had a problem. When Zimmerman said no; Martin — he who had a history of street fights — sucker punched Zimmerman and was bashing Zimmerman’s head into the concrete. Should Zimmerman have not fought back?
    Now remember that Zimmerman had been a neighborhood watch for months. Yet not one other person ever came forward and said Zimmerman acted inappropriately. Could the same be said for Martin?

    I think if George Zimmerman hadn’t had a gun on him, he probably wouldn’t have provoked Trayvon Martin to the point of feeling threatened. He might have just called the police.

    What could have Zimmerman done that justified Martin attacking him? The physical evidence showed that it was a one -sided fight. What words or deeds could have provoked Martin into attacking someone ‘following him’?
    Especially when the safety of his father’s girlfriend’s house was only 70 yards away when Zimmerman lost sight of him.

    The reality is Martin provoked the situation — his cell phone records (not admitted unfortunately) confirms repeated incidences of Martin fighting, of smoking pot and using a street drug called “lean” or ‘drank”. Excessive use of both can cause paranoia.

    I followed this case extensively – because I initially felt that Zimmerman had messed up. The more I looked at it, the more the evidence came out, the more I changed my mind. Consider your position had you stepped outside to ask someone “hey what are you doing looking in windows” — at most that is all Zimmerman did. Would you think that person would be justified in assaulting you?

    I think guns give an inappropriate sense of confidence.
    I disagree and I say this as a gun owner and someone who carries concealed. I am more aware of the liability I face as a gun owner. I’m more aware that I’m fallible and actively seek to avoid situations — because I don’t want to harm anyone. If you owned and carried a firearm; wouldn’t you exercise more caution, not less?

    45 Million gun owners out there. If overconfidence was an issue; there would be more fatalities. Yet the firearm related deaths, injuries and crimes are all trending down over the decades. Even while gun ownership increases.

    I think Curtis Reeves should have moved seats if Chad Oulson’s texting (to his babysitter, mind you) was bothering him so much.

    Please consider another aspect to this case…one that is very scary in its nature. Reeves was a retired, long term law enforcement officer — consider the militarization and ‘instant obedience’ culture prevalent in today’s Law enforcement agencies. Isn’t it just as likely this is a cause of a ex-cop feeling dis-respected ?

    Let’s not forget that Oulson also played a role in this — did his physical characteristics lead him to think he could bully an older man? Oulson could have stopped texting, stepped outside, etc. He didn’t. According to the reports I’ve seen (not sure how accurate) Oulson moved the situation from words to physical by throwing popcorn at Reeves. How much farther had it gone had Reeves not been armed? We don’t know….but not all bullies are armed. Some count on their victims being disarmed.

    I wish we appreciated life more – and that means appreciating someone else’s life, even if you don’t agree with their actions, as much as your own.

    I wish the criminals felt that way. Think of how many lives have been disrupted due to robberies; ones that rip memories and resources, destroying lives due to the economic impact. Think of how many people have been savagely beaten by criminals; either for the few dollars they had or worse the criminals pleasure in doing so. Think of the rapes and sexual assaults committed day in and day out, good neighborhoods and bad.
    Think of the murders.

    Now, stop and think that like you are considering people carry firearms for protection – The National Crime Victim Survey (due to methodology believed to under count) reports at least 108,000 Defensive Gun Uses per year — a firearm stopping a crime or preventing one from happening. The Kleck and Gertz Survey (supported by 16 others) reports 2,500,000 defensive gun uses.

    Should we disarm the law abiding so the criminals can have easier victims?

    I agree we need to work on a mind change. It isn’t gun control we need, it is criminal control. Doesn’t make a person any less dead if she her brains are bashed in with a rock than shot with a gun.

    • Thanks for your comments! Nice debate.

      I think with the case of Zimmerman – it shouldn’t even gotten as far as it did. My neighborhood has a Crime Watchers group and no where in the literature does it say “confront any suspicious activity on your own accord.” In fact, it says the contrary – “if you see any suspicious activity, do not confront the person, instead contact the police.”

      And that’s what I mean – why are we so quick to jump to act and react. Curtis Reeves as a retired police office should have known how to defuse the situation – not continue to provoke it. I probably put more responsibility on him because he was in law enforcement.

      I agree with you – there will always be the people who don’t obey the law – and when I say that we all need to have a change of mind set – I mean everyone. I don’t think I’d call it criminal control as you did though. Because that is putting all of the onus on the criminals – I think EVERYONE needs to adjust their thinking. Even me.

      How do we start to change things though? Does that start with education, better parenting, reducing poverty, getting help with mental illness, reducing the violence in video games – – I think the answer is yes to all of these. And there are probably more factors I didn’t include. I think our society as a whole needs a change. We seem to be stuck in this rut of trying to fix things with things like “gun control” and “lock em up” mentality – I think our problems are deeper and will never get fixed with these band aids – – b/c they aren’t getting to the route of the problem.

    • Bad tactics are bad tactics. The gun is a last line of defense, not a first line.

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