Day 21 – Why I Hate Guns and Envy the Japanese

CheneyOn Life, Writing Challenges51 Comments

GUNSLINGER

When I was twenty-one, I dated a guy who sold a machine gun to a stranger for $350 dollars. I visited him one afternoon, helped him hang blinds in his new apartment, and I pulled open a kitchen drawer to find the biggest gun I’ve ever actually laid my eyes on. It was just sitting there, the only thing in the drawer, black and jagged and knobby and foreign and two feet long. Is that small for machine guns? I don’t even want to know. I bleated out some string of words and curses that translated to What the hell is this and why do you have it? and I was met with the usual reply to questions I posed to him.

I just got it somewhere, I’m going to sell it, with his sly smile and bedroom eyes. Ugh.

I kept my thoughts to myself about the gun and two days later it was gone from the drawer, and my boyfriend told me we could go out somewhere for dinner that night because he’d made $350 from it. Boyfriend was a pretty strong word to use at that point, and shortly after this incident I caught him in bed with another girl and that was the end of that.

(Go home, past, you’re drunk!)

So, that was weird. I suppose it was the shadiest situation I have ever had personally with a gun, and as far as shady situations with guns go, I guess it wasn’t so bad. So that doesn’t explain to me why I have pretty much always had an intense aversion to guns. I tell people I hate guns, and hate’s a strong word and all that, but it’s probably true. I think I hate guns. I think I am one of those people that other people would describe as WACKADOO because I really would prefer to live in a country with gun laws like Japan, who had only 11 gun related deaths in 2008, while in the same year the US had over 12,000.

When I am in a public place and I see or get close to a security guard or a police officer, I tense up with fear. I can actually feel a quickening in my heart rate – my fight or flight kicking in, that most basic instinct. I don’t look at people with guns and think of safety. I look at people with guns and think: they could snap – they might just feel insane today, something statistically improbable could happen and their gun will spontaneously explode near me, someone could run up to them and grab their gun and start shooting, a child could grab their gun. Hello, anxiety.

So I am really glad I wasn’t home Saturday afternoon when the man who lives 20 feet from my bedroom window decided to barricade himself in his home and threaten to shoot the first cop he saw. I was alerted to this situation going down from my friend Brian, who called from Arizona where his mother had been looking on the New London Day website and saw the breaking news bulletin. I drove by my road at about 7pm to see what was going on and the entire street was blocked off. There were police, fire, ambulances, paramedics, SWAT trucks, news vans and tons of onlookers, and the place was lit up like Christmas. I knew right when I drove by that it was my neighbor who was in the standoff.

I’m glad I wasn’t home. Apparently this neighbor who I’ve never met or spoken to had number of guns of his house, and despite what anyone in these article comments say, he wasn’t a quiet or stable seeming man. I often heard him fighting loudly with other other people at all hours, and only a few weeks ago another neighbor sent the police to his house at about three in the morning because he decided to start blasting his metal music at 2am.

I’m glad I wasn’t home, but mostly because of what happened to the people who were home that afternoon. They were taken from their homes, shuffled out of their doors by men with guns and in tactical gear, made to leave all of their belongings and cars and they were walked out to the post road where they were then shuttled to the community center.

It must have been a living nightmare. I know that I would need some extra, and extra intense therapy if I were ever evacuated from my home by men with guns. One of my biggest fears, if I haven’t mentioned it yet, is of our country being occupied by militia. Someone else’s troops occupying my streets like we go in and occupy. Invasion. That scares the crap out of me. So, how do you think I would feel, hearing a knock at the door and being greeted by a man with a uniform and a gun?

But even worse, how would Elise feel? How would I explain to my little girl that once again, barely a month later, our lives were impacted by an asshole with a gun?

We were lucky that we were able to spend the night in a good friend’s guest room. We were displaced, but we weren’t entirely put out. Elise was really confused about why we couldn’t go home, so much so that I don’t really think she was that excited about the prospect of WE’RE HAVING A SURPRISE SLEEPOVER! She kept asking what was happening at our house, is our house going to be okay, can we go home tomorrow? But by the morning the questions dwindled, as they tend to do with her. Luckily she moves on so much faster than I do, she doesn’t spend hours ruminating about things you can’t control.

That’s the thing of it. We aren’t safe and we’re all going to die. It’s just a kick in the gut when something happens so close to you. 20 feet from your home. It’s a what if? scenario that keeps playing over and over in my mind, one I wish I didn’t have to think about, because I wish that guns could just not be a part of my world.

If wishes were horses…

Please take a moment to Like my blog’s Facebook page if you like this post. 

51 Comments on “Day 21 – Why I Hate Guns and Envy the Japanese”

  1. I have nightmares of a foreign invasion. They started right after September 11 and have continued to this day. They are so vivid that I wake up sweating and have to look out the window to remind myself the shadows are just trees.
    I don’t have that visceral reaction to guns in real life, only in my dreams. I don’t love them or hate them, but I will not bring one into my own home. My ex husband had several, and he often reminded me, but somehow that trauma is still on the back burner.

  2. I have nightmares of a foreign invasion. They started right after September 11 and have continued to this day. They are so vivid that I wake up sweating and have to look out the window to remind myself the shadows are just trees.I don’t have that visceral reaction to guns in real life, only in my dreams. I don’t love them or hate them, but I will not bring one into my own home. My ex husband had several, and he often reminded me, but somehow that trauma is still on the back burner.

  3. I share your hatred for guns. I don’t understand our country’s fascination w/ guns, when there are so many other civilized nations that can get along quite well w/out them. . . I’m glad you’re okay!

  4. I share your hatred for guns. I don’t understand our country’s fascination w/ guns, when there are so many other civilized nations that can get along quite well w/out them. . . I’m glad you’re okay!

  5. Thank you for your side of the gun debate. I come from a famiily of gun sports folk, and live where sheriffs take at least thirty minutes to respond to anything due to the remote location we live. Add in mountain lions and stuff and I do own a weapon to protect myself. I am properly liscenced and trained and hope I never ever have to use it to defend myself. But I know that a hungry lion or crazed robber or whatever can kill me and no one will respond for 30 minutes until I am long dead.

    I also know, whether good or bad, gun ownership is constitutionally protected. I think it is more to defend our liberty if God forbid our contry ever goes fascist and gets into genocide and the like, like in the Kgmer rouge, Holocaust, Stalin’s era etc.

    I know those ideas sound nuts but it could happen anywhere. Anything could happen.

    Should people be able to sell guns “under the table”? Heck no. Should criminals and crazies get guns? No. There should be proper channels to get weapons. But, that being said, criminals are criminals and will get guns in their own not-so-legal way.

    And should schools be protected from weapons? Yes. Making it simply an unguarded, unprotected, gun free zone has not worked. But no, students need not have guns and it should not be the old west with everyone packing heat. Moderation, training at police level, background checks, etc can be implemented. Just like in regular society.

    So I rambled. Feel free to agree or disagree. I wanted to give my side, and say again, thank you for giving your side. Thoroughly. Not just saying “no guns” for no reason or, even “yay guns” for no reason.
    I love hearing differing opinions. Yay for free speech and intellectual debate and yadda yadda.

    And hug little Elise, all children deserve love, protection, friendship, etc. Until society changes for the better, until gang-style culture and violence switch in the “cool department” with higher education, peace, love, and acceptance, we must all lead by example and show our children the good side of the world. That love and peace are the answer.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I totally understand and even though I do kind of hate guns, I think I would keep one around if I had to worry about lions and tigers and bears, oh my! I don’t think there should be guns in schools though. I think that schools should have better procedures or hire more staff to keep people out – Elise’s school is a free for all in the morning and afternoon at pickup time, parents can freely go in and out and no one notices who comes and goes. Armed security… maybe.. but guns in every classroom? That would make us even crazier I think.

  6. Thank you for your side of the gun debate. I come from a famiily of gun sports folk, and live where sheriffs take at least thirty minutes to respond to anything due to the remote location we live. Add in mountain lions and stuff and I do own a weapon to protect myself. I am properly liscenced and trained and hope I never ever have to use it to defend myself. But I know that a hungry lion or crazed robber or whatever can kill me and no one will respond for 30 minutes until I am long dead.
    I also know, whether good or bad, gun ownership is constitutionally protected. I think it is more to defend our liberty if God forbid our contry ever goes fascist and gets into genocide and the like, like in the Kgmer rouge, Holocaust, Stalin’s era etc.
    I know those ideas sound nuts but it could happen anywhere. Anything could happen.
    Should people be able to sell guns “under the table”? Heck no. Should criminals and crazies get guns? No. There should be proper channels to get weapons. But, that being said, criminals are criminals and will get guns in their own not-so-legal way.
    And should schools be protected from weapons? Yes. Making it simply an unguarded, unprotected, gun free zone has not worked. But no, students need not have guns and it should not be the old west with everyone packing heat. Moderation, training at police level, background checks, etc can be implemented. Just like in regular society.
    So I rambled. Feel free to agree or disagree. I wanted to give my side, and say again, thank you for giving your side. Thoroughly. Not just saying “no guns” for no reason or, even “yay guns” for no reason.
    I love hearing differing opinions. Yay for free speech and intellectual debate and yadda yadda.
    And hug little Elise, all children deserve love, protection, friendship, etc. Until society changes for the better, until gang-style culture and violence switch in the “cool department” with higher education, peace, love, and acceptance, we must all lead by example and show our children the good side of the world. That love and peace are the answer.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I totally understand and even though I do kind of hate guns, I think I would keep one around if I had to worry about lions and tigers and bears, oh my! I don’t think there should be guns in schools though. I think that schools should have better procedures or hire more staff to keep people out – Elise’s school is a free for all in the morning and afternoon at pickup time, parents can freely go in and out and no one notices who comes and goes. Armed security… maybe.. but guns in every classroom? That would make us even crazier I think.

  7. This is a debate that even effects us here in Canada. I too live in a pretty rural area and while I don’t hunt, I do own some guns to protect baby calves from coyotes and such. Here we have to take a course in order to even purchase a gun, but still, criminals will find ways around that.

    I appreciate your view on this and truthfully, I don’t know what the answer is on gun control.

    1. Not many countries have figured it out well yet. At least in Canada you have to take a course to purchase a gun! Here, you don’t. Ugh.

  8. This is a debate that even effects us here in Canada. I too live in a pretty rural area and while I don’t hunt, I do own some guns to protect baby calves from coyotes and such. Here we have to take a course in order to even purchase a gun, but still, criminals will find ways around that.
    I appreciate your view on this and truthfully, I don’t know what the answer is on gun control.

    1. Not many countries have figured it out well yet. At least in Canada you have to take a course to purchase a gun! Here, you don’t. Ugh.

  9. We have guns in our home, but no assault weapons. I’m not sure why people need those.

    I like your comment about Japan. My only thought is this: once you go so far down a certain road, can you ever go back? Has Japan always had their gun laws? It seems like it would be very difficult to disarm a society once it is already armed. You know, without going all Adolf Hitler and everything.

    1. Haha! I am not sure how long Japan has had those laws, and yes it WOULD be difficult to disarm the US – there would be a revolution, for sure.

  10. We have guns in our home, but no assault weapons. I’m not sure why people need those.
    I like your comment about Japan. My only thought is this: once you go so far down a certain road, can you ever go back? Has Japan always had their gun laws? It seems like it would be very difficult to disarm a society once it is already armed. You know, without going all Adolf Hitler and everything.

    1. Haha! I am not sure how long Japan has had those laws, and yes it WOULD be difficult to disarm the US – there would be a revolution, for sure.

  11. I personally can’t stand to be near a gun either. It’s death, pure and simple. And whether people want to surround themselves with this or not is relative to the level of threat they feel to their personal safety. Most peoples fears about this country going fascist are unfounded in logic or history- the wealthy already control the population, and that population is willing, why would they need to mess up a good thing? Plus guns aren’t much of a defense against tanks and bombs, so there’s that.
    Anyways. I have no problem with people who would like to better protect themselves with handguns, or hunt with rifles. Assault rifles don’t make sense in the hands of civilian population.
    Ok I’ll stop rambling now!

  12. I personally can’t stand to be near a gun either. It’s death, pure and simple. And whether people want to surround themselves with this or not is relative to the level of threat they feel to their personal safety. Most peoples fears about this country going fascist are unfounded in logic or history- the wealthy already control the population, and that population is willing, why would they need to mess up a good thing? Plus guns aren’t much of a defense against tanks and bombs, so there’s that.Anyways. I have no problem with people who would like to better protect themselves with handguns, or hunt with rifles. Assault rifles don’t make sense in the hands of civilian population.
    Ok I’ll stop rambling now!

  13. I understand why some people are nervous about guns but they don’t bother me. I am more concerned with the crazies on the road,but that probably comes from having seen more incidents of road rage than anything else.

  14. I understand why some people are nervous about guns but they don’t bother me. I am more concerned with the crazies on the road,but that probably comes from having seen more incidents of road rage than anything else.

  15. I think I just might be a WACKADOO right along with you. I saw a documentary about one of the Virginia Tech shooting survivors. He went undercover to a bunch of gun shows where people were just walking around selling all kinds of scaring killing machines. Anyone could buy a gun. There was no background check, or wait three days or even show i.d. In come cases they asked for it, but he just said he left it at home and the gun seller sold it to him anyway. Absolutely terrifying.

    1. I KNOW!! That is my biggest beef with our stupid gun laws. Why is it that you have to have a permit to buy a gun in a store, but you don’t have to have one at a gun show?

  16. I think I just might be a WACKADOO right along with you. I saw a documentary about one of the Virginia Tech shooting survivors. He went undercover to a bunch of gun shows where people were just walking around selling all kinds of scaring killing machines. Anyone could buy a gun. There was no background check, or wait three days or even show i.d. In come cases they asked for it, but he just said he left it at home and the gun seller sold it to him anyway. Absolutely terrifying.

    1. I KNOW!! That is my biggest beef with our stupid gun laws. Why is it that you have to have a permit to buy a gun in a store, but you don’t have to have one at a gun show?

  17. That is really scary. After being a student of constitutional law for so long I understand the Second Amendment, and the protection it affords to private citizens to own guns for protection. But the thing is, no freedom is unfettered, and it is entirely constitutional to place limits on that right. Machine guns and assault rifles and high capacity magazines certainly have no place in a civilized society. And the idea that anyone in the country can buy a gun without so much as a background check? Completely crazy.

  18. That is really scary. After being a student of constitutional law for so long I understand the Second Amendment, and the protection it affords to private citizens to own guns for protection. But the thing is, no freedom is unfettered, and it is entirely constitutional to place limits on that right. Machine guns and assault rifles and high capacity magazines certainly have no place in a civilized society. And the idea that anyone in the country can buy a gun without so much as a background check? Completely crazy.

  19. Oh, man — being evacuated like that would probably scar me for life. I know they do it to protect you, but being marched out of your home like that sure feels violating, doesn’t it?

  20. Oh, man — being evacuated like that would probably scar me for life. I know they do it to protect you, but being marched out of your home like that sure feels violating, doesn’t it?

  21. That sounds like a really scary situation. I do my best to not think about the inevitable death we all face, otherwise I’d probably just sit in a corner holding my knees, rocking back and forth.

  22. That sounds like a really scary situation. I do my best to not think about the inevitable death we all face, otherwise I’d probably just sit in a corner holding my knees, rocking back and forth.

  23. Guns make me nervous too. But I recently had dinner with a group of very close friends and I was alone in my anti-guns in the home stance. Each of them had a gun in their house for protection. Granted many of them live out in rural areas and are isolated. If that were my situation, I might think differently. And all these have children. That’s what I worry about. Accidents. My 19 yo is an avid sportsman and has shotguns. But they are stored when he is not home. Ultimately, I think this is a mental health issue as well.

  24. Guns make me nervous too. But I recently had dinner with a group of very close friends and I was alone in my anti-guns in the home stance. Each of them had a gun in their house for protection. Granted many of them live out in rural areas and are isolated. If that were my situation, I might think differently. And all these have children. That’s what I worry about. Accidents. My 19 yo is an avid sportsman and has shotguns. But they are stored when he is not home. Ultimately, I think this is a mental health issue as well.

  25. I feel exactly like you when I see a gun: what if that person just has a bad day and goes apeshit? It’s too much power for a person to wield. That’s how I felt after Newtown – it should be impossible for anyone to go into a room and pick off human beings one by one like fish in a barrel. Luckily I live in Canada where you don’t often see guns, but still. Scary.

    So glad you and Elise are okay.

  26. I feel exactly like you when I see a gun: what if that person just has a bad day and goes apeshit? It’s too much power for a person to wield. That’s how I felt after Newtown – it should be impossible for anyone to go into a room and pick off human beings one by one like fish in a barrel. Luckily I live in Canada where you don’t often see guns, but still. Scary.
    So glad you and Elise are okay.

  27. Pingback: Ricky | Blog Apocalypse

Feel like sharing some thoughts?