it was a year ago while i was home in texas for christmas, i was hanging out at a friend’s restaurant/bar out on the porch under the heat lamps listening to a guy tell me a story about some guy who tried to rob him. by rob him, i mean pickpocket. some dude tried to lift his wallet out of his back pocket. so what did he do? he pulled a gun on him. the guy of course dropped the wallet and ran. i can’t remember if he fired shots or not. i can’t help but wonder, is someone’s life worth less than the contents of your wallet? sure, it sucks to feel violated. it makes us angry. it’s a pain in the ass to have to get a new driver’s license and credit cards, but worth taking a life?

he then proceeded to show me his gun. and by show, i mean show off. i was unimpressed, although it was shiny. guns do not make me feel comfortable. i told my friend who manages the bar what happened. he was not happy about it. i’m not sure if he said something to the gun carrying man whose wife works as a server in the restaurant. i think he may have because when i was there a day or two later, they didn’t smile and wave.

assuming he has a permit to carry, he should know as a responsible gun owner that having his gun there is illegal. there’s a sign above the bar stating it’s a felony to possess a firearm in that establishment because of the percentage of alcohol sales. comes with a big fine. for good reason.

tomorrow, i am going home again for the holidays. it bothers me that “home” is a place where people carry concealed weapons. i feel safer here at my home in new york city.

the idea of having a gun in case some tries to rob you or break in to your house is insane, to me. it is making a choice based on fear. a what if. and what if that robber grabs the gun out of your hand and uses it on you? what if he shoots you first? what are the odds that any of these scenarios will happen in the first place? why are people so scared of the boogeyman?

my mom’s home was robbed three times before she got an alarm system, twice while i was living there. i lost a camera each time. never did either of us think, “i need a gun.” who wants a dead criminal in their home? who wants to die in their home trying to kill a criminal? it’s not been robbed once since the alarm system was installed.

i am reminded of the loving kindness meditation:

may you be safe.

may you be happy.

may you be healthy.

may you be at ease.

also moving are words spoken by newtown high school principal charles dumais:

“If you have not done so already, please take a moment now to think about what you wish the future to look like,” Dumais wrote in an email to his students and staff. “We had no control over this senseless, cruel, horrific act, but we do have absolute control over our response to it.”


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