When Dan and I very first started dating, we had this entire conversation about guns. I am a John Lennon loving, flower laden, peace sign carrying, product of farm country Pacifist Hippie. And Dan, well, owns guns. We have had a variety of tactful but adamant conversations about guns in the house, guns when we have children, guns for fun etc, the last chat of which I think devolved into a conversation of why I think Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a delightful movie, and why Dan never bothered to see it. (“you can have one of those underground gun places, like Brad Pitt!” and "You know I hate action movies" and "this is not an action movie, it's a chick flick with a car chase and guns!")
But somehow I got trapped by my own brain in concocting a plan which will inevitably cause myself to have to handle a firearm and shoot it this saturday. It will be a delightful outing if only for the people involved, many of my absolute favorite people all at once in the Utah desert. But I am still questioning whether or not I will actually be able to bring myself to do it? It’s been years and years of a longstanding principle that I would not personally participate in the handling of violent weapons, even at the cost of my own personal safety. How can I rally for the complete eradication of deadly firearms when I myself will hold the power to life and death in my hands?
My conclusion at this great fork in the road is pathetically twofold. For one thing, this outing is a grandiose attempt on my part to connect some of my closest friends to each other, and allow them to meet the Object of my Affection. I am hopeful for new beginnings among my nearest and dearest in Utah. Which sort of promotes, you know, love and warm fuzzy non violent feelings, so strong in fact that it might break even the karma with the guns and the stuff.
The more notable reason is that I feel a little hypocritical on the whole gun thing. I have often said that I think that it is difficult for people who have never used a substance to make judgments on it. Utah legislators regularly make elaborate laws about alcohol because they don’t understand the culture and actual chemical process and effects of alcohol- it is a totally foreign world to them that they then legislate for as absolute authorities. This can actually sometimes lead to more dangerous acts and behavior, much to the opposite effect of their intent. So, if I truly intend to take a stand on this issue, it should be informed. There is after all nothing I abhor as much as an uninformed decision. Rather than making snap judgments about gun owners, rather than attempting to determine the right answer for a world I know nothing about, I am going to start informing myself, and I am going to acquaint myself with the force and power behind a weapon. And I’m going to have a damn good time doing it, too.