I Officially Hate Guns

The shooting at Robb Elementary School last week is still fresh in our hearts and minds. I didn’t sleep much last week. As I stared at my ceiling I realized that a lot of my opinions on guns/gun control are wrapped up in emotions.


Guns, for me, bring back special memories:


When I was growing up, once a year my father and his 6 brothers would go on their annual pheasant hunt. My father worked 60 hour weeks to support our family. He put us first in everything and rarely did anything for himself. I remember the smile on his face when he’d come home with a pheasant or two and my mom would cook it up and we’d pretend to eat it. It wasn’t about the hunting, it was about the time with his brothers. I’d stand in the garage next to him as he cleaned his rifles and he’d lecture me on gun safety. I would soak up every moment with my dad. The smell of gun cleaning oil and spent shotgun shells is a beautiful scent to me.


My father and his brother also went trap and skeet shooting every now and then. I’d watch from the sidelines with pride and joy as I heard my dad’s deep voice, “Pull!”, hear the blast of the shotgun and then the sweet sound of the clay pigeon splintering into the air.


By the time I was 15, my father was gone. Then 15 years later, I was the mother of a son who grew up to love the same things my father had loved: fast cars, nice jewelry and guns. Who knows if it was hereditary or a coincidence but Keven had many of his Grandpa’s traits.


I taught Keven to drive at age 8. At age 11 we had our first gun safety class using my father’s rifle. We started shooting at the range and doing trap and skeet. Keven was an even better shot than my dad. I was so proud.


When Keven used my gun to take his life, I had moments of guilt thinking “if it weren’t for my gun he’d still be here.” But honestly - I knew that was bullshit. I think I felt obligated to feel that way because a few people implied it and it seemed like the natural response. The fact is, he had tried and failed to die from overdose many times, but he had a back up plan. The red rope.


The first time I saw the red rope it was in our garage rafters, hanging there as a threat of things to come. The second time it was hanging over the patio in the backyard. The third time I saw it was more alarming, it was in his closet, tied and ready, hidden among his clothes. I can’t be sure, but I know at least one of these times landed him in the hospital for a 5150 hold. In those days I had a hard time breathing, I never knew what would happen next.


After he was gone, I sold my guns. The one he used was taken by the police and I could have gotten it back but didn’t want it.


Chances are I will never need a gun. There was an incident in my life where I had a gun held to my head. I was 19 and had been at a bar with my friend (fake ID). After having my drink spiked with the date rape drug of the 70’s (Qualude) I woke up in a guy’s bedroom with him smiling at me like a maniac holding a gun to my temple. Obviously I lived to tell the story - and having a gun would not have helped me in that situation, it may have got me killed.


So I am officially giving up my defense of guns. The bad outweighs the good. Certain people should be allowed to have them but you can now officially put me in the category of people who hate guns.


My Boy