Thursday, May 23, 2013

14,000% is a Tough Statistic to Grasp

Y'all know I rarely get political or religious on my blog. Those topics, to me, are extremely personal and entire wars have been started over them, so it's stuff I generally shy away from...

Until the topic ends up in my backyard... literally.

For those of you who follow Inklings on facebook, you already know that we had a cop show up at our door last night asking if we had heard a gunshot. The Girl and I had just gotten home from making an ice cream run, but when Hubby heard me say, "Gunshot?", he jumped out of his chair and flew to the door, saying, "About 30 or 40 minutes ago? That was a gunshot? Yeah, I heard it." That's when the officer asked to come inside to talk to us about what happened.

Apparently, the people who live behind us called the cops about an "accidental firing" of a gun inside their home. The bullet went through their exterior wall (we can see a huge exit bullet hole on their second floor) and down into our patio porch in the backyard. Because The Girl and I had gotten home just minutes before the cop arrived, and Hubby wasn't sure if what he heard was a gunshot, this story slapped me in the face, and hard.

What if my kids had been in the backyard playing? Tears started to well up in my eyes almost immediately, and I had to excuse myself to the upstairs while Hubby took the cop out back to look for a bullet hole in our home. Sure enough, they found one, plain as day.

The thing is, we know the people who live behind us. Hubby works with the guy and is friends with him. We've been to their house for a cookout. They are good people. Responsible people. Careful people. Hubby has tried, since the incident, to get in touch with him to find out what in the hell happened because we
were worried. This guy has like 18 kids in that house. Okay, it's like 4 or 5, but still. We have no idea how the gun went off, if any of his family was injured, or what in the hell is going on.

Which is what brings me to my political rant of the day- the one that so graciously landed in my patio roof. I hate guns. Always have. I've had so many people tell me that I hate guns because I fear them, so I've shot guns. I've shot rifles, shotguns and handguns, and I still hate guns. I don't support restricted gun laws, nor do I stand up for the right to bear arms. My feelings on the subject aren't strong enough for me to fight for a cause one way or another. People are going to own guns, and if they outlaw guns, criminals will find a way to get guns, and then we'll just have illegal guns in the hands of morons instead of people who know how to use them.

But so many events in my life have caused major internal struggles for me when it comes to guns. Back in September I disappeared for a few days because I had received news that the guy who taught me how to tattoo had died. Very difficult time for me, emotionally, especially when I found out how he died. He accidentally shot himself, in the head, at the tattoo shop, during business hours. It was never clear whether he thought the safety was on or what, but it was ruled an accident and not suicide in the end. He was always careless with his guns, and when I was his apprentice, I always hated when he had those damn things out in the tattoo shop. I can remember telling him a few times over the years that those guns would be the death of him. Everyday I wish I could take those words back.

Now I have a random stray bullet that flies through my back yard, where my kids play, into my house, and I live on a military base- safe and secure, right? In all of base housing, the 1 person who misfires 1 gun just so happens to live behind me; the woman who already hates guns but sees them as a necessary evil; the woman who tries like hell to keep political crap off her blog but also shares with her readers her real life; the woman who is a firm believer in 'everything happens for a reason'... WTF, Universe? Really? Why my house? Why not the house of someone with no kids who is a firm believer in the right to bear arms so they look at this scenario as 'shit happens' instead of tipping the scales more toward 'stricter gun laws'. So thankful no one in my family was hurt, but this scenario did not help my good guns vs. bad guns internal struggle.

Courtesy of the BBC

This post is jumbled and may not make sense at parts, as it is pretty hard to collect my exact thoughts right now. I honestly can't tell you right now what the end result in my head will be. I know I hate guns more than ever, but I know the consequences of stricter gun laws or outlawing them altogether. I will end with this, though. Hubby and I lived in England for 3 years. They have hella strict gun laws over there, and as a result, their murder rate is 1/4 of that of the US, and they have an average of 60 gun deaths per year as compared to the 8,500 in the US. I was more likely to get stabbed or raped living in the UK, but the person(s) would have had to have gotten close enough to me in order to do that- not shoot a damn gun off inside their house, which is across a field, and have it enter my yard where I'm minding my own damn business. Or, what about the people in Colorado who just wanted to go see the midnight premiere of the newest Batman movie? Or the kids in Sandy Hook who were just going to school that day?

While I understand the whole 'guns don't kill people, people kill people' saying, statistically speaking, we have 14,000% more people who kill people, with guns, in the US, than in a country where guns are banned. 14,000%. I ran the math. Several times.

That's a very tough statistic to grasp.

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  1. I'm a gunowner and avid hunter BUT I will not say anything about that. what I will say to you today is this: I'm so glad you and your family are safe and nothing tragic occured. I'm so very glad.

  2. Excellent post. I'm with you every step of the way. Still trying to sort out my own feelings about guns . . .