This Little Ole Gun of Mine

I own a gun.

I’m not crazy, I just own one gun. I bought it with my friends as a dare, and it was a relatively simple. I provided some information, waited a few days and picked it up. I had a gun purchasing party, everyone came to look, even my girlfriend.

I showed them the safe and how I don’t have any bullets. They were surprised at how heavy it was, so was I the first time. You need to be strong to hold a gun. I think so too; I’m glad I’m not going to use it. I don’t know how. But I’ve conquered my fears of guns, I’m proud of that. I am.

I own a gun.

I was at the gym last week with my girlfriend. She’s nice, I really think she’s the one. We’re much more open. I’m much more open around her because she’s not like Trudy, Violet or Jess. No, her name’s Stephanie and I think she’s the one. I know she won’t cheat on me or take my money. She’ll support me. Not like the others.

I’m going to propose to her next week. I know it. I have the ring. We’re going to have a family, I need to protect my family. I can’t let her die. I won’t. And another man was taking an interest in her, I could see it. The way his body language suggested it, the way he dominated the conversation and smiled at her. She needs protection. They say it’s more likely for a woman to get raped or abused by those they know. He knows her, he could go to the next level.

She needs to protect herself. I can’t lose her. I won’t.

I own two guns.

It wasn’t my choice, Stephanie didn’t want it stored at her apartment. She’s worried I’ll get hurt, I told her that I didn’t own any bullets. And I keep them locked away in a safe. When I showed her, she laughed and told me I was stupid. I felt so small. Told me that having a gun without ammunition defeats the purpose.

Her Uncle mocked me when I tried to defend my position. Her whole family agreed that was being an idiot. I got upset, I was embarrassed. Then I told them it was because of my friends, my liberal art friends, I didn’t have the bullets and would get some the next day.

I’m ready to defend my fiancee now. No one can take her from me. I don’t know why the cartridge is so large. Nine bullets? I’ll only need one. I’ve seen the images, I know how dangerous they are. One bullet at close range and I’ll save her. When she moves in after the wedding, I’ll be ready. I’ll be able to keep her safe.

I own several weapons.

We had a child last year. It was scary, I love him. He’s so strong. He’ll grow up to be like daddy. I know he will. Big, strong, patient. That’s what I am, that’s what he’ll be.

We couldn’t raise him in the city, I told Stephanie that. We needed more space, a place for him to play and feel free. I told her the commute wouldn’t be so bad. It’s only forty-five minutes. It’s in a car. We’ll be fine.

But no one tells you there’s no police out here. I can drive for miles without seeing an officer. They’re not at the shopping centre, they’re not in the compound. By the time they get to my house, it’ll be over. I needed a shotgun. Of course I did. Handguns aren’t very intimidating, they’re too small. I’ll never fire it, but I need the attacker to feel fear. To not know that.

They’re locked up. Triple locked up. I keep the security codes hidden. I keep the ammunition separate. I’m responsible. I’m going to keep my kid safe. My wife safe. That’s all.

I’m prepared. I have all the weapons needed for any contingency. That’s what the NRA says.

And I need to be, I took Tim to the shooting range last week. I want him to respect guns, not be in fear of them like I was growing up in a pacifist household. He needs to know how to defend himself, stand up to the bullies at school. I didn’t, I was a coward. My son will not be a coward.

We tried to hit the target, I tried to hit the target, I missed all nine times. They say when an intruder comes to the door your adrenaline spikes and you can’t think. I would’ve missed him. I would’ve got killed. I bought a larger magazine, just to be sure. I bought a weapon that’s more scatter-shot and effective in close quarters, statistics say your attacked won’t be much further than twenty feet from you. I’m prepared for them now.

That’s what the NRA told me. I’ve read their website. I’ve talked to the guy behind the counter. He knows. He knows lots of things. I don’t believe him, but he knows things. I’m going to talk to him more often.

I had to buy a new gun-safe, the old one is full.

My wife tells me stop, we’ve got a daughter on the way but she doesn’t understand. I enjoy shooting with the guys, she enjoys the fresh meat I bring home. It’s a win-win. I don’t bring Tim, he’s only eight. He’s not ready for live hunting. I’ll wait till he’s ten.

I needed a single-shot rifle. The weapons we owned just mutilated the deer, it was like a massacre. I felt disgusted. With this gun though, with its punch and kick, the shot is elegant. It’s graceful to pull the trigger and watch the animal fall. It’s nothing like my parents told me. It’s liberating.

I won’t kill a human. That’s different. It’s totally different.

Our friend is scared. She’s twenty-seven and her husband is going crazy. He’s abusive, he’s hit her. We tried to tell her. Stephanie tried, I used to drink beer with him. He seemed reasonable. But he’s lost it now, they’ve gotten divorced and he’s threatening to abduct her kids.

I said she should get a gun, that I’d even help her buy one. I showed her my safe, how I was keeping them locked up and unloaded. She laughed at me, I felt so small. She asked me how I’d get my weapon out in time. How I’d be able to stop a crazy husband with a knife if I was opening the safe when he sneaked into my house.

I bought a new pistol, a small calibre, and I keep it in my drawer. No one knows it’s there. Not even Stephanie. The bullets are next to it. I can stop a home invasion now. I can save her.

I’m still responsible. It won’t kill them if it goes off accidentally. Medical procedures will save them, I’m sure of it.

I went to a funeral today, it was a friend’s son. He was twenty-three and had just graduated from university. Everyone had been so excited back then, but afterwards Wall Street collapsed. It was unlucky, people told him to grin and bear it. At least he was earning minimum wage at a convenience store for twenty hours a week. It was a good life.

Then he bought a gun and shot himself. Straight through the head. I think he must’ve been crazy. I think his parents were hiding something. Maybe depression, maybe they put him on drugs? Or it could’ve been the games. And how could he have got a gun anyways? Doesn’t the government regulate this? Why couldn’t they tell? I’ve owned them for years, I’ve never thought about killing myself.

I wrote to the NRA about this issue, about how the government is failing. They agreed with me. They published my email in their newsletter. I feel pretty proud. My family’s safe. I’m looking after them.

I bought a newer version of one of the pistols to celebrate.

My daughter and wife came home in tears today. They had been accosted by a man who said racist things. He was white. He must’ve been crazy because I’m white and I don’t think those things. I’m not a racist. I married outside of my tribe, love conquers all. I told them most white people aren’t like that. That society is just and fair.

She slapped me when I said those statements. She threw the NRA magazines and pamphlets at me and quoted some statistics. I’m sure they’re lies. She told me that I was putting my daughter’s life in danger, that having a loaded gun in the house increases the chance of accidental gun death. Then she went and got my gun, the one I had ready in case of a home invasion and said Tim had found it.

I argued it was a small calibre, I argued that cars kill more people and we drive all the time. I told her that she needed to arm herself. If she’s afraid of men then she needs the power to fight back. I have the power. I can keep them safe.

Stephanie grabbed my gut and laughed at me. She made me feel so small. I was asked when I’d been to the gym last, queried if I could even beat her seventy-five-year old Uncle in a fight. I told her I could. I yelled at her until Melanie started to cry.

My wife stayed at her mother’s. She said I was too angry to stay with. She’s lying, I’m not angry person. I’m a calm person. I’m not afraid. She’s afraid. Steph’s afraid. That’s why she said those hurtful things. That’s why I raised my voice, to make her see.

I’m not afraid, I have a new gun. I have a concealed carry permit.

It didn’t take much to get it. A few checks, a couple of smiling doctors and I can be safe wherever I go. Wherever my family goes. They know I’m good, the government knows I’m good and sane enough to carry a weapon. They know I won’t lash out in anger or hurt anyone. Of course, I won’t. Otherwise they wouldn’t have given me the permit.

I haven’t been to the shooting range in six weeks. Why should I? I can carry wherever I go. I’ve trained enough. I’m ready.

I have only one gun now.

Stephanie was cleaning out my gun closet today. She said I could keep one, just one and that would be OK. I have a condition according to her, that’s what she told me. Me: a calm, patient man who goes to church and has helped her raise two kids. Supported her when she went back to work. It’s like she doesn’t trust me anymore. It’s like she thinks I can’t save her when they come. She’d rather rely on the police. The corrupt and incompetent police.

That’s not what she said, of course, Stephanie explained herself in a rationale manner. At first, she talked about the news and how someone had broken into another person’s house and stolen their weapons before going on a rampage. Then Steph told me everyone knows we have guns, after all, I show them off to people who even have just the slightest interest. I even brag whilst opening the safe in front of them. Me, a bragger? I thought she’d finally lost it.

So I explained, calmly, that she was wrong. It wasn’t guns. It was video games. It was our culture. Our rape culture, our patriarchy which she fought against every day at work that was creating the violence. Not guns. These games and movies were distorting and desensitizing our kids. That’s what was happening.

For some reason she mentioned Australia and then Japan. I don’t know why she mentioned those countries. It’s our culture which matters. Not theirs. She mentioned they play video games too. I guess they do. When I emailed the NRA about this, they highlighted an Australian study showing Homicides haven’t dropped in their continent despite the stricter gun-laws.

It was paid for by their gun lobby. But they’re scientists, scientists don’t massage facts. I know that. I am one. We’re rational people, humane people. Calm and decisive. I only go to church for my parents, once they’ve passed on I’ll tell everyone else I’m an atheist.

I have several guns again. It’s not my fault.

They want to take my weapon: the one I carry to keep my family safe. Even though there was a home invasion four streets away, the government wants to take away my pistol. He’s in the pocket of Hollywood. That’s what it is. He should be going after the cultural arbiters and not my gun.

It doesn’t don’t kill people. It never has. I may have flashed it once, twice, at those who got angry at me, but it hasn’t killed anyone. They just knew who they were missing with then, they knew my power. But I’m not a murderer, they don’t give weapons to murderers, the government has a process. He’s trying to distort the process, to take away my right to defend my kids. To keep my wife safe.

I won’t give them up. I had to buy a couple more and stash them around the house. Secretly. My friends and kids will never know, but if they come, I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready to defend what is mine.

I have a gun.

It’s cold and it’s precise. It’s got fifteen rounds in it and sits under my arm. I’m not a gun-free zone. I’m ready. No one will take my life, no one will hurt my family. Not at this funeral.

Not at my son’s funeral. No one will slander his name because I have a gun and I am ready to save him. I cannot fail. It is my duty. I am a man, the pamphlet told me so. I am a man and I have a gun.

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