Friday, March 28, 2008

On gun control ...

How did I get ever get to this issue, anyway, from "Memories of my mother ..." ??

This topic has almost nothing to do with my mother. It has much more to do with the 'news of the day', which at that date (not today, 3/31 ... I'm editing, only) was at the top of my mind, and a lot of the news, it seemed, was focused on the mayor of NYC's investigations into guns making their way illicitly into his city.

It appears as tho some of his investigative techniques were in question, one of which included going outside of his jurisdiction to try and counteract such imports.

Another 'question of the day' seemed to include, "Would Barack Obama embrace the endorsement of a person who would authorize such tactics?" Vitriolics ensued from both sides, and I found myself 'thinking' (almost always a pursuit in and of itself) about the subject of gun control.

Hence, this post. There are no politics here ... only my personal thoughts, O.K? I apologize for the abrupt deviance off topic, altho I think I might have already alerted you that these "Memories of my mother" would not be of a daily occurrence.

All right, now that all that has been explained (?), we'll get back to the subject of this post, gun control.

As a child, growing up, I remember that my parents did not own a gun, did not want to own a gun, did not want to even be around someone who owned a gun ... in other words, there was not a gun in our house.

I can remember thinking, "Guns are scary things."

And yes, indeed, they are.

There was a young man in my class in high school who -- it was understood -- would always miss class the 1st day of deer hunting season (he'd be out trying to get his buck).

Well, this one year, he was in class as per usual. "What happened?" everyone wanted to know. "Didn't you go?"

"Well, yeah, I did. I went out into the back yard and there was this 10-point buck. I shot him, and my folks said I had to come to school." (Needless to say, he did not appear to be very happy.)

(You might not think this is funny, but I think it's hilarious!! But then, my sense of humor is somewhat odd, as you might have noticed.)

My very first personal experience with guns was courtesy of my first husband.

We were newly-weds, and living 'out in the country'. He thought that I should know how to protect myself, just in case he wasn't there.

Heavens to Betsy!!

The thought that I might have to try and protect myself while he wasn't there (and why shouldn't he be there, for crying out loud!?!), however, caught my attention, and I watched (all wide-eyed) while he explained the various intricacies of loading and then discharging a 12-gauge shotgun. (And, of course, I had to know how to clean the darned thing, so we spent a bunch of time on that!)

He had other guns, by the way, but he wanted me to know how to use and handle the largest one. His opinion (and probably accurate) was that, if I could hit the person with a 12-gauge, there wouldn't be much left of that person to keep coming after me.

Well, the first time I fired the 12-gauge, guess what happened? (If you can't guess, you just have no imagination whatsoever.) I fell right on my behind, that's what happened!! (What did you think happened??)

(By the way, I gave him the 12-gauge back after he had incurred a robbery in New Orleans and all of his other guns were stolen.)

My second husband, now, carried a concealed handgun in his briefcase. He "needed it", he said, to protect himself on the way to and from law school in downtown Houston.

I didn't like the fact that he was a law school student and had no permit to carry a concealed handgun. He (inasmuch) told me that my opinion didn't matter.

During my many years as a taxicab driver, I heard a lot of stories about drivers carrying handguns, some of which I believed.

I never did, some of which probably goes back to many years ago, when I lived in Columbus, Ohio.

This would have been in the 1960's, a decade of some trauma in this country.

My husband was teaching at Ohio State University, I was teaching in Hilliard, our daughter was attending the Columbus School for Girls, we were living in "Upper Arlington" (you kind of had to have your nose up in the air when you said that, you understand?) ... life was good ... I had more energy than I can even beGIN to imagine, tell you the truth!

I was doing some going out at night (not a lot, but some) ... either to play bridge or go bowling, one or the other.

There were stories of 'gangs' stopping cars on the city streets. Gang-raping the woman, if she was alone ... beating the man and then gang-raping the woman, etc. You get the picture, I'm sure. Ugly stories.

My husband and I discussed the option of my carrying a handgun in my purse. (Those were the days of long ago, when I actually carried a purse, I hope you realize.)

My comment to him was, "You know, by the time I could actually find a gun in this purse, I would have been raped and had the baby!"

I have never carried a gun to this day ... not in my purse, not concealed somewhere on my body, not in my car ... nor do I have one in my house.

It's not so much that I am opposed to guns, I don't think, as I am offended by the idea of having to use one, even in self-defense!

It is my very personal opinion that one ought to be able to go about one's own life -- whether it be in public or private -- with complete disregard for a possible need to defend oneself with the use of such potentially deadly force.

I'm living in a dream world, aren't I?

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