Monday, November 22, 2004

Sex, Religion & Politics

My mom always told me about the three taboo topics you just don't bring up when having a nice conversation at the dinner table.

Well, we're not at the dinner table, and as much as I hate to say it, y'all are a captive audience so I get to talk about whatever I dag-gum (I HATE it when people say that. There's this one redneck in my office who always drops the phrase like a wad of chewed tobacco in a spittoon. But anyway...) want to. So, days after the Presidential Election that many folks would like to forget, I'm going to revive a friendly political debate.

This is why I hate guns.

I'll paraphrase the article for you... basically this crazy ass hunter in Wisconsin shot up a bunch of other hunters after a dispute over a tree stand. That's a little spot in the woods where folks wait for big game to pass by. Five people are dead and several others are hurt. Two hunters were gunned down after confronting the hunter... and others were shot when responding to calls for help. Some victims were shot more than once. Here's the kicker: police caught the suspect after he got lost in the woods and ran out of bullets.

Now, I usually stick to self deprecating humor and overly revealing journaling... but today I've decided to take a critical stand on a matter I am very passionate about.

Before you jump to conclusions about my party affiliation or the kind of person I am, please take a moment to read why I so strongly oppose guns.

Years ago... in the 1960s... my dad grew up in crime-riddled Youngstown, Ohio, a steel mill town with a dead economy and abandoned businesses. To this day the town is still heavily divided between the Haves and the Have-Nots. My grandfather worked for one of the steel mills, toiling on the night shift so he could get overtime hours to provide for his family... teetering between those two divided classes. His hard work paid off, and he was eventually promoted to a foreman job. All those years in the steel mills were enough for my grandpa to realize he wanted something better for my dad, and a college education was the key for that better life far away from Youngstown.

My dad worked hard and was able to get out of Y-town for college... but he'd come home in the summer time to work (shoveling glass in the mills) and hang out with friends. One day he and three other kids were driving around town when my dad took a bullet in his face during a drive-by shooting. A driver traveling the opposite direction pointed a loaded gun at the driver of the vehicle my dad was riding in... but with speed and the fact my dad was seated behind the driver, my dad was hit on the right side of his face... about an inch away from his temple.

Both cars raced off in opposite directions, my dad's car rushing to get to the nearest hospital. Once there... doctors relied on the bone structure of the left side of his face to use as a map when reconstructing the shattered side.

I wouldn't be here if my dad hadn't survived that little incident. To this day, despite his Republican tendencies, my dad is a strong supporter of gun control. I've been raised in a culture to hate guns, and this latest incident in Wisconsin confirms my apprehension for the easy availability of hunting guns as well.

1 comment:

Pink Poppy said...

I agree. I am not "anti-gun". I'm a Southerner, for Pete's sake. I'm no stranger to guns, and we happen to own several. But there are too many stupid people out there for me to feel good about just letting anyone and everyone have the right to use me, my family, or friends for target practice. Go check out Girl from Florida (link on my site). She writes on this SAME topic today--only it was her dad who accidentally shot his friend. Good post. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!