Monday, October 12, 2015

My Guns are Gone....

For about a dozen years I lived on a farm located 6 miles in any direction to the nearest town. I rented the farm house and freely roamed the 200+ acres which was partly wooded and partly leased to other local farmers. It was a great experience and I have many fond memories from those days "on the farm".
After a few years, the landlady noticed that the big ole blacksnake was doing fine keeping up with the smaller rodent population but groundhogs were getting too plentiful.  They can do a lot of damage to out buildings, are mean little possessors and were not helping my gardening efforts. So, when she offered the loan of a .22 to try to ward them off, I agreed to try. Though I didn't grow up with guns, along the way I had opportunity to learn to shoot and have some natural skill but groundhogs are thick skinned and hard headed. Soon, I decided to buy a shotgun or two.
Then the church just a short walk from the farm house was robbed. There were boot tracks around the house in the snow. Odd things happened up the road. I was six miles from the nearest town and a lot more miles from the nearest police barracks. I grew quite fond of my shotguns. But it troubled me to imagine the scenarios. Fortunately, none of those scenarios became real.
When I bought the house in Franklin, the guns were locked in the safe again. I felt no need for them. The police were nearby and if rodents became a problem, I couldn't exactly start shooting around the yard. I never wanted to imagine those other scenarios again. I never want to point a weapon at another human being. And if all hell breaks loose in the world - to a point of utter chaos - I'm not sure I want to be standing looking at the aftermath. I'm not sure how I would feel about my fellow gun holders at that point.
I'm not against guns. I understand the desire to protect oneself from imagined or real encroachment. But we need to balance our fears, and our needs, with the vision of the type of world we want to survive. I want a world of peace. I want a world built on trust. Weapons won't build peace or trust. Groundhogs aren't threatening my garden. My guns are gone.
We have killers in the world. They are creeping into our space from unexpected locations. I don't want to be the hero who kills the killer. I want to be the hero who loves the kid who could have become a killer - except he didn't - because someone loved him enough to show him a better way.

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