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on guns

February 13, 2013 by kim

You’re driving blissfully along an empty road, maybe, oh, say, three in the afternoon. It’s a suburban neighborhood, the sun is shining, you’re singing loudly to a Kajagoogoo song that is not “Too Shy”, (yes, there is one, don’t get snotty), and you’re happy as the proverbial lark. You pass a sign that says the speed limit is 35. You look down. Since your car is all fancy-schmancy, you know thanks to a digital readout that you are doing 41. There are no cops around. There are no other cars around. You’ve never been in a high-speed collision of any kind. You’re a teensy bit late to your next destination and your car is criminally fuel-efficient and full of gas. But since 35 is the speed limit, you slow down.

Did no one. Ever.

My working hypothesis here is that rules and laws are really only embraced if you have a leaning toward what they state already. If you have had experiences that support the rule, say you were going too fast and squished an adorable kitten that ran into the road, had to explain it’s death to the equally adorable six-year old it belonged to, and then received your speeding ticket in the mail, you’d be inclined to immediately tap the brake a bit. But if you think 35 is a dumbass speed limit and you feel a palpable ire rise up in the back of your head when you see the letters M, P, and H, then you’re gonna continue on your merry way. I truly truly believe this.

So I have a hard time understanding people when they use written laws to back up their points of view instead of their personal biases. I know, supposedly I can’t argue with written law, but I can totally argue with points of view. This is why people point to things in books and say, “See? See? You can’t do that!” or, “See? See? I get to do that!” no matter what common sense or, worse, MY experience says. And it’s true, I CAN’T argue with written law. First of all, if you’ve ever had to argue with an inanimate object, you know how embarrassing it can be. Screaming at a coffee maker, “LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU!” is a sure sign of caffeine withdrawal. But I also have no sympathy for written rules and laws. They have no inherent reason to exist. I can’t stop my inner four-year old coming out and saying, “But why?” when confronted with a written law as being the excuse and assumed argument ender. For instance, I don’t give a shit how old the Bible is, if there’s no rational and personal explanation given to go with those Commandments, I just see them as a big, fat, “Because I said so.” And that’s not good enough for me. (Hold for potential lightening strike…… nope. All good. I told you, my Higher Power has a sense of humor and supports me on this.)

I’ve been trying for a while now to understand why we are so freely allowed so many guns and why so many people are pointing to an old piece of paper but displaying such modern and personal passion about it. You know I am happier when, even if I don’t agree with a viewpoint, I get it. It makes me less likely to take something personally and more likely to make it personal. So. What the fuck, Second Amendment? I’m totally confused. First of all, it clearly says, “well-regulated” and a gym bag full of .45’s isn’t my definition of well regulated. Plus, it would seem that any attempts to regulate our current sale of arms is being met with resistance by those who… cite the Second Amendment. So already ya lost me. But it goes on.

Let’s look at some of the more vocal citizens who feel they need their weapons to defend their property and family from the threat of government invasion. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the government has these things called drones. They’re super cool. They can kill you like hella easy. They have gas, and bombs and snipers and, what’s more, if they wanted your money, chances are you’d just go to the ATM one day and it would punch you in the face. I don’t think people REALLY think they can fight off the impending U.S. Forces in their bunker with their guns. No matter how many rounds they can fire without reloading. Really?

So then, hows about protecting your property and loved ones from nasty criminal types? We need guns for that, right? We deserve the right to protect ourselves from Bad Men, right? Yes. Yes we do. But A) a gun is not the only deterrent, let’s be honest and B) if your gun is locked up the way it should be, I doubt there are many Bad Men who will comply while you hold up an index finger and say, “Wait right there. One minute.” If it’s not locked up, well then the chances are good the hand holding it might not be yours.

No! No! Studies! Proof! Rights! I can make a case for anything. We are back to my original point. Rules and numbers and laws are only good if you already believe what they say. I would much rather people just got nasty and honest with themselves and each other and say what they mean. It sure as hell would help me understand a lot better. I can UNDERSTAND when someone says, “I’m scared and it makes me feel safe,” or, “I’m weak and it makes me feel strong,” or, “I’m bored and it makes me feel excited.” Unfortunately, my own perspective will probably make me follow up with, “Tough shit.”

I want to know how it can be bad to make it harder for anyone to get a hold of a gun. Because these shootings are not being done by Bad Men, “criminals” or “crazies” without hope. People who were angry and desperate and had a very loud thing that could make their screaming be heard are doing them. Children of many ages who aren’t lacking in training or respect for the weapons, rather lacking an alternative in their own minds and have access to something very dangerous.

At least this was my experience. When I was sixteen, and the girls gathered in the high school bathroom every morning to plug their irons in and re-curl their hair that had been ravaged by the Oregon weather. They were very chirpy and very popular and I was very not. And one girl, not the prettiest or the most popular, but certainly the happiest made me cry sometimes. She was terribly nice to me. She was terribly nice to everyone and not many people were kind to me at that time of my life. She smiled as if she knew everything was okay. That made me cry.

My dad kept his Colt .45 in a box next to his chair in the living room. He made sure I knew how to remove the cartridge and that I should always treat every gun as if it were loaded. So I was very careful the day I brought it to school. I was clear that I didn’t want to take it out until I was in the bathroom, in a stall. And that the girls wouldn’t be happy when they saw it. And that for one second, that one pretty, chirpy senior would know how MY life felt, with its fear and its pain and its dark awareness that all was not right and nothing was fair. And then we would all die and my Dad would be sorry. And it wouldn’t hurt any more.

I obviously didn’t. The gun sat with its heavy weight in my bag all day and I was almost euphoric in my awareness of it. I returned it to its place next to Dad’s table when I got home. I ultimately didn’t want to make my mother cry.

Years later, I couldn’t get that gun away from my father, in spite of his demonstrated lack of sanity and judgment. So he easily blew his brains out when he decided his time had come last June.

They point at the written law and say, “It’s my right!” I ask why. A good law should have a good reason.

They say, “Cars kill more people than guns!” I say, “But a gun doesn’t get me out to Santa Monica in two hours.”

They say, “Why make guns illegal? Criminals will get them anyway.” They say, “If someone’s going to commit suicide, they’re going to do it anyway.” Yet, my own perspective says, “Yeah, but what say we make it as fucking hard to do as possible?”

Then, in the lull, we could maybe look at the REAL problems that make human souls feel such pain in the first place.


24 Comments »

  1. malfas says:

    I enjoyed reading this. Articulate and moving :)

    As for me, I’m in favor of banning all guns. I like to keep my perspectives simple I guess, eheh.

  2. Dru says:

    As an Aussie it is hard to get ones head around the abundance of guns in the US. I cannot see any place for guns…and hope I will always be the “shooted” rather than the “shooter”….
    I also feel that as someone who also grew up in a violent dysfuntional family that maybe, if I may be so bold, it is time for u to get help to accept what u have faced and obviously continue not to deal with… to even think of taking a gun to school scares the crap outta me..let alone put it out there for all to read.

    • kim says:

      I’m guessing you haven’t been reading my blog long. I’ve gotten A LOT of help and continue to do so. If there was anything that indicated I was other than horrified in retrospect, then I invite you to read it again.

      One if the ways I am in continual healing and intending service is by making public some truly terrifying private aspects of my life. This was intended to show that a teen who considers such actions does indeed need help, not condemnation or recrimination. And that when a mind is broken, an available gun can only be a bad thing. So not only do I “get help” but I hope to be a step toward help for others.

      I choose to believe you were serious in your suggestion that I obtain assistance, however I strive for commonality and resent the implication that by exposing vulnerable and dark truths that I am somehow suppressing things or less than my fellows. I hope that was not your intention.

      • Dru says:

        Certainly was not my intent to say u are less than others in any way.Or to offend. As I read your blogs I just wonder sometimes if sharing of such personal information on line is a good thing.
        I dont know…really I dont. I am very open with friends and can be with patients if empathy is helpful in a situation…but I feel there comes a stage when surely the dead should be forgiven and lie in peace…and again that is imho:)

      • Nick says:

        Whats the difference between broken and crazy, none. If you take weapons to school to hurt people blame yourself or your family for not being there for you not the fact that your father had a gun.

        • DB says:

          wow. what a way to A) miss the point and B) be as insensitive as one can get. Let me guess. You are from the US and there are a dozen guns in your family. Did you even understood this entry or did you just feel the need to attack when you saw what it was about.

  3. Aemi says:

    Ah, the 2nd Amendment. Good stuff. Perfect for those who needed their one-bullet-at-a-time guns to hunt for all of the food they ate. Because there was no Publix. If you can tell me you need a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle to go deer/elk/duck/pheasant hunting because it is essential in order for you to provide all of the meat for your family, well then, I approve.
    You’re a good writer, Kim.

  4. Anna says:

    The 2nd Amendment. It’s amazing how the gun lobby seems to forget to actually read the words in the actual amendment . . . “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Key words there “well regulated Militia”. Funny how the gun people don’t want to acknowledge those two little words. Also, there’s that word Militia. I mean if they really want to “bear Arms” then join a Militia or the 21st Century version the National Guard. Oh that’s right, these same gun nuts probably don’t have the balls to actually sign up and defend our country.

    I’m personally sick of the whole discussion (not specifically you, I’m meaning the national discussion) because it’s really not going to go anywhere and we’ll just have to sit and wait for the next massacre to appear on our nightly news. **deep sigh**

    • Rory says:

      There’s also that bit about the security of a free State. A percentage of these 2nd Amendment-wavers think there should be an armed insurrection against the State. (But since they also wave around the word tyranny, they think it makes treason okay.)

      Ted Nugent, one of the loudest mouths in this “debate,” actually quit bathing for weeks and soiled his clothes for a week before appearing at the draft board back when he was called. Brave militia man, huh?

    • Nick says:

      The second amendment allows for two things. Militias and guns. If you would like to explain to me how you think the government should regulate the creation of a militia to provide we the people protection from our government. Sounds ridiculous right? The second amendment was written in a time when people still wanted the power to fight back. Its just too bad that we as a country have been split into groups with opposing views to keep us busy while the rich take more of our money. The government will always be controlled by the rich the poor will always have to argue with each other over little changes like this (gun control) to keep our eyes off the prize(the rich are getting richer at our expense)

  5. Vicki says:

    So many wonderful points made. Being in a military household most people assume we promote having firearms in the house, actually it’s the opposite. We know and understand the dangers. Our children are too important to us to keep weapons in the house but we have still talk to our children about safety. Even though we don’t have any doesn’t mean that other parents don’t. My biggest fear is that my children will be put in the situation of being at a friends house who’s parents haven’t taught respect because of their irrational need to accumulate guns because of the “End of the World”, “Zombie Apocalypse” and/or “Civil War”. Gun control needed in a serious way.

  6. Vicki says:

    Oh and for people that are offended by YOUR BLOG posts: This is NOT required reading. If you feel that it’s TOO PERSONAL or OFFENSIVE…DON’T READ. It’s that simple. Sorry had to get that out. I personally find it refreshing to find someone who is able to open up and share experiences, whether happy or painful, in hopes to enlighten others and maybe spare others the same pain.

    Love you Kim xoxo

    • Rory says:

      I’m right there with you. Kim is not a 13-year old posting her address, for crying out loud. “I’m worried about your safety” has a strong whiff of “your openness makes me uncomfortable” here.

      There’s an app for that–it’s called the “back” button.

      • Vicki says:

        Great thing about Blog sites: If you don’t like, don’t read. :) Also, not necessary to try and be self righteous or condescending if you are uncomfortable with the topic or story shared. More people need to be as open as Kim. It’s healthier than judging others and ignoring your own issues. I find Kim amazing in her willingness to share. Xo

        • Nick says:

          So what you want our freedom of speech and the right to bear arms all in one day? Yes this is a blog, yes you agree, good for you guys :) the great thing about this country is we can all have an opinion and an opportunity to express said opinion. Sorry we dont agree but dont act as though I should go away you wouldnt want someone to tell you to shut up, would you?

          • Vicki says:

            All I’m saying is if you are offended by the open honest posts on this site, that are of personal opinion and of events that were personally experienced, don’t read. This is not a news site, an official government page, or a public poll. These topics are personal posts on a BLOG. Attacking someone for their personal experiences & viewpoints and telling them they are wrong for their thoughts on the subjects they choose to write about, in their BLOG, is really ridiculous. Blogs are written from personal opinion. If you don’t like the Blog, just don’t read. And YES you can have a different opinion but voice it in a respectable manner & stop the personal attacks. Kim is NOT the government. She is a wonderful beautiful soul that is posting personal experiences and thoughts that mean something to her. IT’S HER BLOG.

            On ward from here as adults.

  7. Kathy K says:

    KIm I love your posts and how open you are about your life. I think the fact that you are a popular, and well liked for want of a better word, celebrity helps people who may not have anyone to speak with. You have fans from shows that have a young audience and a nerdy audience, hello fellow Supernatural fans. Your blogs make a difference so please don’t ever let someone tell you that you share too much.

    As for guns I personally wish that we could just ban them. I understand what the Second Amendment says I just think it’s ridiculous to think that this is ever ehat the founding fathers intended; people owning gun clips that hold hundreds of bullets, armor piercing bullets, and the ability to purchase these things on the internet.

    I’m realistic though and don’t ever believe we will ever get rid of guns but, I hope we at least use some common sense and make it more difficult to get weapons and easier for those who need mental health care to receive the help they need.

  8. Mangacat says:

    WORD. Well, many true words. I kinda feel like ‘Bowling for Columbine’ should be a must-watch on every High School curriculum (but then again, I’m not sure if American students would react to it the same way we did when we got a special showing in the cinema at the time it came out).
    From a scholarly and anthropological viewpoint, I understand the development that led to the USA’s very tangled relationship to guns and the difficulty people are having letting go of that mindset. Violence is universal and no culture is free of it and being German and growing up in a country with a very violent history that is still echoing in our people and national awareness some seventy years after the worst outbreak, I’m no stranger to the concept. However, I also grew up in a district where out of about 250 000 people that live there exactly six have the permission to carry a weapon (apart from the police force) and about 1500 own a permit for sports purposes. We still had our school massacre and people get crazy and kill other people (though very rarely with guns obviously), which goes to show that not everything is solved by having them heavily regulated. But my world doesn’t cave in just because I don’t have a .38 in my bedroom closet, I’ve never felt less safe or more threatened by the prospect of someone trespassing on my property or person because I don’t have a gun. We can and do live without them… it’s just that deep seated national psychosis that America won’t admit to, hiding behind the roots of their civilized society that keeps progress from happening. I commend the effort of any sensible American (and other persons) for work for that to change, and especially you for spreading the realization that the UNDERlying problem is the real deal that people should be worried about that guns are just a symptom of that mask the real malady. That is probably the thing that all modern societies have to start facing head on if they want to continue existing in peace without destroying themselves from inside out. And I really like your approach to the law, more people should have it. Incoherent rant over.

  9. Salyiha says:

    This whole blog post uses all the arguments I’m trying to get into the skull of some of my US american friends for years now. For me it’s all so CLEAR, but the things I get back are the same answers again and again and again. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Over and over again, like a broken record. I don’t think the ones making these arguments even think about it anymore. It’s set in their minds like the fact that water is wet and the sky is blue. I just don’t get how a killing spree with a half automatic gun ends up with even more people buying that gun – a gun that shouldn’t be used outside of the military anyway. Who needs such a gun to defend themselves. I get the hand gun – I do. But the weapons everyone is fighting over are killing machines, invented to kill as fast as possible, as many people as possible. Why does a house wife or a normal worker need such a weapon. I just don’t get it. I don’t even expect all guns to bet banned. I know that won’t happen. But these killing machines you get in every supermarket or the hair dresser next door? In pink and with Hello Kitty stickers? Seriously? The money for all these guns should be put into helping people who are in real need with real problems.

    Thank you for being this open here, for having the courage to post these incredible private things. Seeing the things you have to deal with every day makes me more determined to get through my own shit and not give up like I want to so often.

  10. Nikki K. says:

    Wow. Some heated commenting going on around here.
    Anyway–wonderfully done, as always, Kim! I am truly humbled every time you share something so personal and heartfelt with us.
    I am very sorry that high school was so awful for you–I know I wasn’t overly popular either but I did have supportive parents and that makes all the difference. Hopefully, someone else who is experience pain similar to yours will look at this post and realize that others understand what is happening to them and how they are feeling and that just because they have low points where they think of doing things they never would normal doesn’t mean they are bad people!
    All right, I’ll step off my soap box and pass it to the next person.
    PS–I didn’t specifically comment on the gun part of your post because I agree, wholeheartedly. The end.

  11. Nikki K. says:

    **normally

  12. wade says:

    Miss Kimberley,

    I could go down two different roads here, both would get me in trouble by someone. I’ve never been around pet rabbits, I’ve eaten rabbit, so maybe a rabbit could sense this and go all Holy Grail on me, this has me leery of rabbits. Have yall gotten a rabbit yet, I do know they make good fertilizer if that helps sway you. Live rabbit’s not dead ones, though dead ones would probably make good fertilizer too, not that I’m suggesting anything. So I think I am both a dog person and a cat person. I know a lot of people that are either one or the other, and just tolerate the other, but I think I am truly one of the unique ones. I also feel a pet is a member of the family and should be treated like one. So many of these so-called pet owners are so irritating to me. People that move and leave pets behind, or turn them into the pound when they aren’t puppies anymore. Or when these single people that live in apartments, they work, they go to school, and then think they can properly take care of a big dog. I feel so sorry for these animals; most of them give their love so totally and unconditionally, and just want some of it back. I say most cause well my grandparents had both dogs and cats, and I got along with all of them except one. She was my grandfathers cat, she was orange her name was Girl and she hated everything and everyone in the world except for my grandfather. He’d call her name and she would come running, nuzzle his ankles as she did her figure eight’s. For as long as I can remember he always had that crazy orange cat, I thought she was ancient she wasn’t. He apparently had many many orange female cats, they were all called Girl, he got most of them from shelters. How he managed to get lookalikes, all with the same evil temperament that also loved him I never found out, one of those mysteries lost to time. But yeah I like both dogs and cats, we have a dog though. The Mrs she is allergic; to cats, lots of dogs, mold, mildew, pollen, air, well not air but most of the stuff floating in the air. We have a dog. This last summer we got Freddy the dog, from a local rescue. He was about 2 years old mixed breed about 30 pounds. He was the most passive aggressive being I’ve ever encountered, anything he didn’t want to do he would roll over onto his back. He has nipped at the youngest a couple of times, but the youngest deserved it and he wasn’t hurt just warned, so all is good. The kids get to learn what it takes to take care of a dog: feeding, grooming, cleaning, walking and I get to enjoy having a dog again. Well there you go, I followed no path to get here, not that here has anything to do with the depths of the pain that etch the chasms our soul. I hope you and your sweet family have a happy day dear lady.

  13. cynth says:

    Thank you thank you – I love being able to understand a little better how it felt and what it meant that you brought the gun to school. Also, I totally know exactly what you mean about the popular girl who is actually nice to the rest of us, we had one – but only one – at my school too. Actually, she moved away at one point, maybe to your school? Her name was Judy.

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