What’s That in Your Pocket? The Gun Debate Comes Home (Anonymous Guest Post)

A man pulls a concealed firearm out of his pocket.

Someone I know, like and respect very much asked me if she could write a few guest posts for this blog. I agreed, because she is a fantastic storyteller and has totally legit reasons for keeping her identity private. So we’re calling her posts “Tales from the Family Crypt.” Read her first post here. Feel free to comment away (anonymously, if you like). — Susan

We are five hours and two states into a family vacation when I see the bulge at my husband’s side. When I saw it I knew. I just couldn’t believe it.

My husband is packing heat on the family vaca.

“Lee, what are you doing with that?!?” I am informed that “It is important to be prepared,” and besides, every state we are travelling in has a concealed carry law. This means that while I was busy packing band aids, lunches, and sunscreen (things we will actually use), my husband was Googling concealed carry laws. I could have f’in strangled him except he gave me that devilish look and turned away happy as a clam.

Oh, excuse me. They are not “guns,” as every drill sergeant will tell you. They are “weapons.” There is a special military punishment for soldiers who get this wrong.

My husband’s love affair with weapons started in the United States military. What do we expect when we send our 17-year-old baby boys (my husband’s age during boot camp) off to be military grade men? There my husband learned to break down and reassemble weapons blindfolded. He had a gift for it. He went to the range and learned he has a gift for that too. When I first met my husband it was a month before I realized he slept with a loaded handgun beside his bed. (Marital compromise #63 – it now rests inside a biometric safe bolted to the wall in our bedroom.)

Several years into marriage, we live America’s weapons debate in our home. With each new school shooting, I say “Guns kill people.” He replies “People kill people.” I concluded “People with guns kills people.” About the only thing we agree upon is that there should be intensive screening for buyers at gun shows.

What I have learned from my husband is this: Americans love their weapons.

It is cultural, going back to “settling the West.” Americans are physically violent. It goes back to “settling the West.”  Certain American communities believe in home grown justice because they feel outside the mainstream and distrust Johnny law. My husband’s family hails from such a community, Appalachian.  In my working-class white neighborhood, I have been stunned to learn that most of my neighbors have either a loaded shotgun in the closet or are “carrying.”

fashion woman wearing sunglasses wearing a veil over a black backgroundThis is most definitely not about logic. So in a world gone weapons crazy I have set before myself one task: to learn how to disarm firearms. Lee thinks this is the lamest strategy he has ever heard but he likes when we go to the range together. When my son is 15, I will teach him the same. With my husband’s assistance, we will succeed.

This mother writes from an undisclosed location in a tiny ranch house with a husband, two children, and no pets. For her day job, she must be unfailingly polite.

4 thoughts on “What’s That in Your Pocket? The Gun Debate Comes Home (Anonymous Guest Post)

  1. I don’t know what to say to this. I’m just glad nobody in my family insists on carrying a “Weapon.” I’ve heard all of the arguments about people needing guns to protect against the bad guys, and I’m even willing to admit that I’d probably rather see schools guarded by armed marshalls these days. But that’s only because I feel it’s a very unfortunate necessary evil now that our society has made guns so prevalent and easily accessible. Congrats, gun lovers, this is what we now get – armed guards keeping armed crazies from shooting up our first graders. I’m not sure I can count how many stories I’ve read in the past few weeks about children killing other children, themselves, or adults because they got their hands on a gun. I pray it never happens to you. I have a dear friend who is a gun advocate, and we are able to talk calmly and sanely about the pros and cons (I REALLY appreciate that – so many people are reactionary and unable to have a true conversation about this topic). He respects that I don’t want guns in my home and very kindly urges me to stock up on mace, because he is genuinely concerned about the possibility of intruders. Fair enough. I appreciate him for that, and I appreciate his logic. We do keep mace and we have any manner of blunt instruments handy. But I just don’t see the need to carry a firearm everywhere. I think it’s paranoid. And don’t get me started on the folks who say registering guns is the government’s way of laying the groundwork for a dystopian-esque confiscation program. This comment is already way too long…

  2. Christina says:

    Many more children die from the weapon that is kept in the family home for “protection” than they ever do from being shot by the weapon of a criminal. I don’t see any reason ever justifies the risk of carrying a loaded gun around!

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