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.
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.