Pulling the Trigger
Intro: Usually, I avoid controversy. Not always.
My father was a hunter. Grouse, mostly. Once he shot a deer and I cried to see it. He kept his rifles in a closet ready for hunting season: A .22, a shotgun, a 30-30, and a 30 ought something. He kept the bullets hidden safely somewhere else.
Once my younger brother, twelve or so, decided to show off the guns to a buddy. He pulled a trigger and shot a hole through the television, the drapes, and into the wall. Somehow or other, one bullet had been left in the rifle. My parents were stricken by the thought of what might have happened that day.
This is not written as a lecture about the evils of hunting. It’s a much simpler thought. Guns are dangerous. We never expect things to go wrong. Sometimes they do.
That same summer, in the army camp where we lived, another twelve-year-old boy and his sister, fourteen, were alone at home. They were arguing in their front yard loud enough for all the neighbors to hear. Several were watching through their living room windows, annoyed by the commotion created by the squabbling kids.
Again and again she taunted him with all the reckless passion and contempt a teenager can heap upon a younger brother:
“You’re a gutless chicken! Chicken! Chicken!”
And again and again, the boy fiercely denied it.
Finally, shaking with frustration, he ran into his house and came back with his parents’ revolver. In the front yard, before anyone overhearing the argument could react, he shouted “I’ll show you who’s a chicken!”
In the next instant, he pointed the revolver towards his own head and pulled the trigger. And quicker than thought, the promise of a young boy’s life was forever gone.
In Arizona a Congresswoman is fighting for her life. Others are in serious condition. Several are dead, including a federal judge and a nine year old child. It seems this is all because a young man who apparently is mentally unstable was able to buy a gun.
What are we thinking?!
Copyright by Margaret French