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GUNS — This could be click-bait

Click the safety, Click-Click to chamber, Click the trigger.

Photo by Judeus Samson on Unsplash
Americans, and maybe everyone else, have a lot of addictions. Many addictions are dangerous. We all live between freedom and death.

If this article triggers you (yeah, that’s a pun), there might be a problem. I am going to discuss my philosophy, psychology and history with “the Gun”. (I know, “Damn intellectual!”)

I am an older, white male. Which means that I grew up with guns. Cowboys and soldiers were the icons of my childhood, even more than sports figures.

My Dad had guns in the house, and it was the “LAW” that no one touched them without his permission. He was a kind and loving man and disobeying him was a sacrilege.

He had grown up with guns for hunting and target practice. That changed with WWII:

“The worst thing that can happen to you is to come face to face with someone that looks like you or someone that you grew up with and kill or be killed by them.”

He trained my brother and I how to use guns and went hunting most years. I think he loved the wilderness more than the hunt, since he very seldom brought home a kill.

I still loved guns and wanted to be a shooter and fighter. I bought into the cultural image of: If you have a gun, you are dangerous and you can kill and you are a MAN. I can call BS on this now, but it was a core belief as an angry young man. It was good that guns were not available to me then.

I missed Vietnam due to a blind eye and Dad hugged me and cried when I was not drafted. He knew that I could not always in control my emotions and he hated that war. Soldiering was not for me.

In my 20’s my anger mellowed a bit, and my dad married his second wife and moved to Texas. He was on the road a lot so he bought a pair of pistols so that he and she would have protection.

When I was 31, my dad and his wife got into an argument and she shot him in the back of the head, went in and called the police, and shot herself in the head. I still have a lot of emotion around this. My father had been an anchor in my turbulent life.

In my 50’s I got a job, for a few years, as a Corrections Officer and qualified to carry a firearm. The questions that lived in the back of my head were: “Could I aim to kill?” and “At what point would I pull the trigger?”

I know: “Don’t think about it. Just take ’em out!”

That answer works in the moment. Versions of that are portrayed on screens around the world. I also feel that only a true psychopath would not have problems afterward. Withheld emotions do not die by themselves. I’ve survived some needless deaths of friends and family and known useless violence. A natural death that is close is emotional. Even when you are not the perpetrator, there is human guilt.

“Killing is not so easy as the innocent believe.” 
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I know there are those who have caches of weapons set aside for some perceived coming violence. You are ready to die heroically. Personally, I have not had that kind of ideation since my teens. But that’s just me.

Keep your guns. I don’t care why, exactly, you need them. Yes, there are ethical hunters, sportsmen, and collectors who want their weapons. But, I have questions.

Do guns make you powerful?

Do guns alleviate fears or rage?

What would you feel like if they were somehow unavailable to you?

Would you expect me to lie sniveling on the floor while you protected me from some terrorist?

I do not know your answers to these questions. I am not a total pacifist, but I try to cause as little harm as possible.

Just something to consider. Thank you for reading.