Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

It’s Time to Talk about Gun Violence

There once was a middle-of-the-night when I called my dad, awake and sweaty, shaking from a terrible dream. In it, a man had climbed through my window, the same way that my roommate’s boyfriend had done countless times. Instead of having to listen to moaning while faking sleep, this dream brought blood and horror.

The local news had given my neighborhood a story to gossip about. An old woman – I think she was 90, although the years have withered away some of the facts – had been raped, killed, burned with gasoline, and thrown into a dumpster just blocks away from my crappy affordable apartment.

Sobbing, I called my dad, and told him that I wanted a gun.

“Shhh, Honey,” he replied. “Tell me why. What’s wrong?”

“I had a dream. That same one, where somebody crawls into the window and stabs me after stabbing my dog.”

“Ok,” my dad said. “Where would you keep it?”

“In my dresser, I guess.”

“Would it be loaded?”

“Uhm, no? I guess not? That little neighbor girl comes over sometimes…I guess I’d keep the bullets somewhere else?”

“Ok,” Dad replied. “Where would you keep the bullets?”

“By the bed?” I asked.

“So, somebody breaks in with a knife. You scramble to get the gun. He sees you lurching for it. Can you get it in time? Can you shoot him before he enters your window with a knife and now has your gun in his hand?
Could you shoot him, not knowing whether he wants your TV or your life?”

“Never mind, Dad. Thanks. I love you.”

“I love you too. Get some rest.”

That was the last time I wanted to have a gun in my house. I must have been 19 or 20 years old.

Yes, this is a post about gun violence, and something I’d never have anticipated writing about here, on Finding Ninee. I think it’s time though. I think it’s time that I write about loving my rights and my country and how I also think that our gun laws are completely out of whack and that while “people kill people,” guns help them, and make it way too damn easy to do so.

time to rethink gun violence - findingninee.com

***
It’s Time to Talk about Gun Violence.
***

Damp from the shower, I circle my frayed pink and yellow washcloth on the mirror, revealing more of my image through the steam. I comb my hair, and, after checking to be sure the door is locked so that my younger brothers aren’t able to barge in, I peel off my towel. For the first time in months, my eyes are not drawn immediately to my newly budding breasts, but instead to the bruise flowering red, blue, and brownish above my collarbone.

Fingering it with pride and disgust, I thought about the weekend, and about lying on the ground. On my belly behind a dirt mound, stiff hay-like grass poking through my jeans and into my thighs, I wiggled to get comfortable. I adjusted the strap of my safety glasses on the back of my head, where it was pulling my hair and felt like it was sliding up and slipping off.

I looked over at my brother, who appeared so much more natural lying on his belly. Like a little warrior, ready and comfortable on the dusty earth. My dad’s feet, near my head, reminding me to look through the trigger, to pull slowly, steadily, and to not shut my eyes. To see the target. He backed off, and told us we were clear to shoot.

BANG!

I hit my paper-person target several times that afternoon. It felt good. I liked it.

***

“Honey, I have some really bad news,” my mom squeaked into the phone. “Jeremy is dead.”

The 6’7” mostly unknown man who had been my forever childhood friend was dead.

“What?” I asked? Certainly, I’d misheard.

“He was shot on Friday. His mom verified that it was him today. She had to wait but today saw his body, his shot-up face and knew that he was hers. She knew that he was hers, and she knows that he’s gone.”

A young man, in his mid-20’s. Shot dead, in front of his pregnant girlfriend by a boy named David, who that morning told his friend and his Priest that he was going to get a gun and kill Jeremy. Kill himself.  

And, he did.

What if he’d had more cooling off time? What if it were hard for him to load that damn gun, to get bullets, and to shoot it? What if he’d had time to regret his actions? What if he’d have had to kill Jeremy, and himself, with a knife? With his hands?

***

“FUCK YOU!” I screamed. “I hate you and never want to see you again!” My neck, sore for days, was a painful and deserved reminder of temper winning over reason. Later, sobbing, “I’m sorry. I was angry. I didn’t mean it. I’m really sorry. I can’t even believe I said that. I can’t believe how mad I was. I don’t know who that screaming angry crazy girl is. I’m never like that, I promise. Please forgive me?”

“Shhhhh, honey, of course I do,” came the reply.

What if I’d have had a waiting period on those words? Would I have ever said “I HATE YOU?” to a person that I love? What if guns were in my personal muscle memory? Would I have been desperate enough to use one, in the moment?

Wounded enough, inside, to kill a fellow human?

What if there were a better waiting period on words and on guns?

***

 

I think about guns. I think about how guns kill people.

***

I don’t know what the answer is when it comes to lessening the violence caused by guns in this country but I do know that the answer is not “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”

Killing a building full of students doesn’t happen easily with a knife, or a shotgun that must be cocked and reloaded. Heading to an ex-girlfriend’s house to kill her new boyfriend and then yourself with a gun purchased that morning is preventable.

Guns kill people. People use them to do so, because it’s a hell of a lot easier to kill a building full of young students with a gun than it is with a knife, or with fists.

Sure, people kill people but guns make it too damn easy - findingninee.com

The time is now, people. It’s time to speak out. To say that we, as parents, as humans, have had enough. My six-year-old knows what a lock-down drill is. 

The Right To Bear Arms was created in different times. We’ve evolved. It’s time to know that if Evil enters your home, or your life, Evil is more prepared to kill you and yours than you are prepared to kill it. With, or without, a gun.  

***
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence is “Now, people…” although I told my friend Kerri that I’d write about gun violence. It’s time, already. However, if you’d like to join, and prefer to NOT write about guns, or violence, we’d love to have you. Because really, love wins. Always.

Also? It’s Time to Talk about Gun Violence.

xoxo,
Kristi

FTSF Hosts: Me (Kristi from Finding Ninee) and Kerri from (Un)Diagnosed and Okay.

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  • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! I could go on and on and on and on. We are IDIOTS if we keep doing the same damn thing and expect something different. Other countries have one or two acts of violence and make changes. We seem to value our right to bear arms more than our fellow human beings. I just don’t get it. We have too many gun deaths in our country. I’ve been screaming this ever since Adam Lanza (and before) and yet nothing happens. I hopes, with all my heart, we can make some changes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.October 22, 2015 – 10:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - 1. I SO ADORE YOU LINDA
      2. YES YES YES YES TIMES INFINITY GOOGLE.
      3. Calming the eff down but we are idiots if we think it’s going to be okay the way things are. I hate it. I hate that Tucker knows what a lock-down drill is. I don’t get it. People all are like “I be protecting my family!!!” Which is SO STUPID because your own family is more likely to shoot one another accidentally than they are to protect one another from violence!!! FREAKING CRAZY!!!!
      SIGH I hope so, too.October 22, 2015 – 10:32 pmReplyCancel

      • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! Again and again and again. Like you said, infinity google. I like that! It maddens me that people now are suggesting teachers should be armed. I don’t know what people think will happen under these circumstances–but it likely will not turn out the way they envision this. More lives, more loss, more devastation. The scenario you used about the gun you wanted and your conversation with you dad is so spot on. None of this makes sense to me. I adore you too. I am truly sad that we cannot, as a nation, come to some REASONABLE conclusions regarding guns.October 22, 2015 – 10:54 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Infinity Google is a Tucker expression after I taught him the “real” Google meaning but YES YES YES. Teachers? Armed? SO FUCKING crazy ridiculous because again – good people with guns? NOT the same and doesn’t work and argh!!! We havetohaveto find a way to figure this out. I do NOT get it – the people who think they’re able to protect their families. How many stories in the news are that? NONE. How many a brother accidentally shooting? TOO MANY.October 22, 2015 – 11:17 pmReplyCancel

          • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - I’ll stop, because I could go on and on. I think these mad individuals are thinking we are still in the wild, wild west and they want their good ol’ shoot outs with the good guys against the bad ones. THAT’S FICTION. IT’S THE MOVIES! IT DOESN’T HAPPEN THAT WAY IN REAL LIFE. Most people will be so caught off guard and even if they weren’t, imagine the police arriving on the scene and shooting both the good and the bad guy because they CAN’T figure out in a matter of life and death seconds who started what. Well, I thought I could stop venting, but I guess my mind won’t allow it. Thank you for letting me go on and on and on. I hope we are not doomed Kristi. I truly do. But I’m a bit discouraged about this issue right now. Especially after traveling internationally and not hearing about one loss of life by guns in the countries I traveled. I realized I’m biased in my opinion, but we need to wake up. PLEASE WAKE UP AMERICA!October 23, 2015 – 12:46 am

          • Kristi Campbell - Linda, feel free to go on and on… America (and the world) NEEDS to wake up. Thank you for your passion and your words. The thought of your image of cops shooting both is chilling, and very realistic.October 23, 2015 – 8:40 pm

  • Janine Huldie - Beautifully written and just couldn’t agree more that it is most definitely time for a change. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share and speak your mind here us this today, Kristi. Hugs to you!!October 22, 2015 – 10:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - When James was two years old, I had to bring extra clothes to his preschool in case they had to shelter in place. Two men with guns were killing randomly – sniper-style out of the back of their car.

    I hate that this is the reality in which our children have grown up. Guns do make it too easy – I completely agree. It’s such a complex issue, and I don’t have the answer. But we have to talk about it, and make some changes. Regardless of where you stand on gun control, I can’t imagine anyone would argue that things are just fine the way they are.October 22, 2015 – 10:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I remember that although I was in Colorado at the time. I remember friends’ sisters RUNNING into Home Depot because of that guy. It’s time. It’s time to change.October 22, 2015 – 11:19 pmReplyCancel

    • Considerer - I remember you telling me that, and I remember being so shocked 🙁October 23, 2015 – 2:18 amReplyCancel

  • Angel the Alien - I’ve had similar dreams. Last night I had a really vivid dream that I was in college and I was in some sort of really crowded auditorium, and a guy with a machine gun was holding us all hostage. The dream seemed to go on for hours, and I was so scared and trying to figure out how to hide so that he wouldn’t notice me, because he kept randomly shooting people when he got mad. I’ve also had the dream where people broke into my house and shot my dog and then me. (Seeing my dog get shot was the worst part.) Its like having PTSD even though I haven’t really experienced any of those things, just knowing that they exist is terrifying.October 23, 2015 – 1:10 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Angel, I’m so sorry that you have similar dreams! That’s awful and scary and I know exactly what you mean about feeling as though you’ve got PTSD without any of the “stuff” actually existing. Dreams are powerful and fo real feeling.October 23, 2015 – 9:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Greetings: from someone in Canada, I wanted to participate in this too, because although we have less gun violence, the issue is still important to me. The examples you use help show how it is affecting your own life. Well said.October 23, 2015 – 4:38 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so glad you participated and yeah, the whole issue is important, so much. Thank you.October 23, 2015 – 9:20 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - I am going to be daring and give you two responses here and even have a descendent in opinion.

    First response is it is time people learn to love each other and celebrate living together.

    I living in an area where everyone especially the criminals are carrying a concealed weapon. I would hate to leave the law abiding citizens defenseless because criminals are not going to be affected by gun control. As a matter of fact, illegal gun sales go up and are more lucrative for merchants each time stricter control laws go into place. We see many more shootings.

    I grew up with someone with was a serial rapist and murderer. Your story was interesting in that he got the dog too and set the body on fire. No need to despise of a body after char. In the later years around him, after he was a convicted rapist set free, and we have plenty in society as well as murders, there were many times I wished I had a gun.

    Second response is better education about guns is probably what is needed. The NRA should write you a big fat check for your post over mine because people will see it and run out and buy guns. But good stewards of firearms do not shot other human beings unless they have absolutely no other choice and rarely do they take the kill shot. One rule of using a fire arm is never shoot anything you do not intend to eat.. A neighbor got a bob gun and shot a blackbird with a friend. The parents made them clean it, cook it, and eat it. Gun safety super important and is taught in the south at a very young age. Guns are not kept in u drew ear drawers here..

    A gun is like a sword or machete. It is a tool which can be used for good or evil. It is up person who holds the tool. That is where learning to love each other and celebrate living together becomes so important. People will always find away to commit mass murder whether it be by massively poisoning people, using machetes to go house to house to chop heads off or shot each other.

    Responsible gun owners value life and should not be penalized by gun control laws which will have no effect on criminals. Now I do agree tougher laws on children using guns unsupervised by adults or even gun registration laws need to tightened up so the NRA can send me a check too! If every hunter taught a child how to hunt including, using a weapon, killing, cleaning and eating only what you kill…the world would be a much better place. Our hunter culture is fading and violence is the after math.

    I still love you and hope you still love me even though we may not agree on this point.

    JTOctober 23, 2015 – 4:58 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Not shooting anything that a person doesn’t intend to eat is good advice. I do not suggest that outlawing guns is the answer. I suggest that the US needs better laws to control them.October 23, 2015 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - “We’ve evolved. It’s time to know that if Evil enters your home, or your life, Evil is more prepared to kill you and yours than you are prepared to kill it. With, or without, a gun. ”

    Just STUNNING! And so so very on point. Because no, I think most people would be less prepared, and would deliberate over whether it was the tv or their life, and would hesitate, and there would be the moment they would have needed to use, were they going to. I just hate that it’s SO easy to kill someone there…you have to really be deliberate about it here. And it’s effort, and that in itself must be offputting.

    As to temper…yeah, I’ve been to those flashpoint moments, and who knows how I’d be at flashpoint and armed…I can’t vouch for that. I think I wouldn’t own a gun based on that point.

    This is so good, so thought-provoking…and I’m sorry to hear that you lost a friend to gun violence. Kinda illustrates one of the points I made, about just HOW MANY people are affected by every death. 🙁October 23, 2015 – 6:04 amReplyCancel

  • Susan Zutautas - Makes me so glad that I live in Canada with way stricter gun laws. I’m terrified of guns.October 23, 2015 – 7:03 amReplyCancel

  • Rabia @TheLiebers - We really need a lot of intelligent discussion going on around this subject. I don’t think taking away all the guns is the answer, but there are a lot better answers than not doing anything!October 23, 2015 – 9:38 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We so need that discussion and I thank you so much for giving this topic yours, Rabia. Truly. My mom’s husband is a hunter, and my dad taught me and my brothers to shoot. BUT something’s effing wrong. Totally.October 23, 2015 – 10:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Those were very powerful examples Kristi…you’re right – a waiting period, a cooling off period, something that possibly — no wait — MOST LIKELY could have prevented those deaths. It may not be the complete answer, but it’s a start and a start is what this country needs.October 23, 2015 – 10:15 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Emily. And yeah, I think a cooling off period is a place to start although I have no clue how to help make that happen, except to write it and shout it.October 23, 2015 – 10:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Brilliant. Simply brilliant. One of your best pieces. Powerful, succinct, pointed. Well done my friend!October 23, 2015 – 10:43 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - I love your take on this, thank you so much for adding your voice to mine. You are so right, the importance of that waiting period is really a cooling off and give you time to think. Awesome views here my friendOctober 23, 2015 – 11:53 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank YOU for thinking of it and for allowing me to add it to FTSF because IMPORTANT and huge and so so overdue. xOctober 23, 2015 – 10:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Great post Kristi. Your voice can tackle any subject with an empathy that transcends controversy! You are a rock star.October 23, 2015 – 12:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Mimi - I love this post. The way you weave your own experiences with guns into your overall message about them is stunning. You’re a rock star!!October 23, 2015 – 1:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Mimi. I have no words to express my gratitude for your comment. Thank you. I *know* and for real, thank you.October 23, 2015 – 10:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily Thrasher - Unfortunately gun control will not necessarily prevent suicide from guns. My mom recently ended her life this way and she used a gun that was not registered, in her name or anyone else’s. I guess you would call that a stolen gun.
    I really loved “It’s time to know that if Evil enters your home, or your life, Evil is more prepared to kill you and yours than you are prepared to kill it. With, or without, a gun.” If your determined to kill yourself or someone else, gun control is not going to stop them. It’s a sad truth.
    Thanks for sharing this post! I enjoyed reading it and it made me think!October 23, 2015 – 1:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandra - So shitty that there even needs to be a specific link up for posts on gun violence, but such is the world we live in, and there wasn’t one word I disagreed with. I too have gone to a shooting range (my husband was military, we used to get to go to these high tech sites…anyway, I digress…) and I loved the feeling of that riffle ramming against my shoulder as it fired towards my target.
    And yes, it’s totally sad that your son knows what a “lock down drill” is.
    Obviously making guns more difficult to acquire does slow the perpetrators, but in Canada gun laws are more stringent, and we too have mass murders. My husband always says, “Locks don’t keep the bad guys out. They keep the good guys, who aren’t even trying to, from getting in.” He says it more eloquently, but you get it.
    Thought provoking, riveting post. I agree, let’s keep writing and educating on gun control!October 23, 2015 – 2:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sandra!! My husband is retired Army. So much so many we have in common, and I love that those things continue to reveal themselves.
      I like what your husband says, whether you wrote it perfectly or not, because yeah, I get it. Thank you thank you.October 23, 2015 – 10:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Richard Rumple - Okay, Sis, you know I love you. This is one topic where we must agree to disagree, to a point. First, I’m for more restrictive gun control, but not gun elimination. I took qualification courses and was subjected to a background check by the state police to get my concealed weapon permit. I would be for the same thing for initial gun ownership.

    However, just Monday, a couple of hoods came through our neighborhood knocking on doors. My wife, having just exited the shower, didn’t answer the door. A lady three doors down did. The hoods forced their way into the house thinking she was the only one home. They were met with three grown adult males that attacked them. One of the males was shot in the back during the melee. My wife has gone back to keeping her pistol handy and not opening the door without it. Lord only knows what would have happened to her if she’d have opened the door Monday.

    Now, we live in a good neighborhood. The criminal element has grown bold today. They are coming into good neighborhoods and attacking because there’s nothing left worth stealing in theirs. Any person over 60 is a prime target. They must be prepared as the average police response time is over an hour unless a shooting takes place.

    Guns are not the source of violence. People are. Children have grown up in the streets instead of in the home. Children having children, but no learned responsibilities to pass on, have created an “anything goes” society that is focused on getting what it wants regardless of who gets hurt.

    Society has got to change. Core values must be re-established. Mind doctors, who flaunt their excuses for criminal acts, must change and start defining the lines between right and wrong behavior. Otherwise, the next shooter, hears the doctor’s words, finds validation in his feelings as he finds similarities between his life and the criminal being discussed, and proceeds along a violent path feeling it’s the correct path for one in his situation to follow.

    It all starts at home, but it is also the responsibility of society to provide acceptable social norms and guidelines. The old “spare the rod and spoil the child” expression may have been more accurate than originally believed as we can see where our permissiveness attitudes in raising children have led us.

    I feel your pain, understand your feelings, and wish it was as simple as eliminating guns. Unfortunately, my wife, after three instances of either break in, physical attack, and possible victim, in less than two years, feels much more comfortable knowing she has something to help her defend herself when at home alone.

    I do too.

    Luv ya!October 23, 2015 – 2:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - A powerful post on a difficult topic. If I had a magic wand, all guns would magically vanish from this earth. They cause too much pain and sadness. If nobody had guns, nobody would need them for protection. That said, I have family who have served in the military and who are currently police officers. I have friends down here in the South who are avid hunters (gross!). I also have a cousin who died far too young because of a gun and an “accident” with his girlfriend. I don’t know what the answer is. I just know that it makes me very sad that my kids had to endure a lockdown drill at school (again) yesterday because of the “just in case” and because of what guns (and the people who had them) have done.October 23, 2015 – 3:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Lisa, I so so get that. Because if NOBODY had one, what would the world be? Sadly, the whole 2nd amendment makes people think that it’s some type of affront on them personally to question gun laws. And yet, my 6yo knows that people randomly kill children??? WTF???
      I’m so so sorry to read about your cousin. Sigh. I guess talking about it comes first?October 23, 2015 – 11:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Don - I’m sorry, I’m still picturing you in your towel post shower…what was this about again?? Lol.

    No, you done good here, lady! Lock down drills make me sad. Like we’re prepared to face the fact that a deranged fuck will come into a school with our kids there and we’re teaching them how to accept this? No. There should be no drills, there should be answers to making sure the drills aren’t necessary.October 23, 2015 – 4:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL douche, and I don’t know whether to love you more for either but thank you and yeah, lock down drills kill me. Fucking shit that we’re supposed to teach our kids where to best hide? You’re so so right. Here’s to doing whatever THE FUCK IT TAKES to making the drills aren’t necessary.October 23, 2015 – 11:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - Wonderfully put, Kristi. And I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend.

    I am getting increasingly frustrated with people who meet every discussion about rational, reasonable and practical gun control measures with “Don’t take my guns!” I haven’t heard any of us suggest taking guns. Better training for potential gun owners. Eliminate automatic weapons being sold. Register to buy bullets. Prosecute people who don’t properly and responsibly store their guns. Simple as that. Most responsible and level headed gun owners agree with most of these things.

    Sorry to rant here, your article was spot on. I’ve considered buying a gun when we’ve had break ins and crimes in our neighborhood. But what your dad pointed out? That’s exactly true. In actuality, I most likely wouldn’t be able to have it handy in an emergency. And with children in my house there is no way I would keep one loaded and not locked up.October 23, 2015 – 4:04 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Gretchen, thank you thank you. And yeah, I’m so sorry for his loss as well. For his mom. For all of us who never got to see how he may have impacted the world. Sigh.
      I agree with your frustration about “DONT TAKE MY GUNS!” because really, that’s not what most of us are saying, right? I mean not wanting our kids to know what lock-down is is different from shooting an animal for food. YES to eliminating automatic weapons. Yes, to registering to buy bullets. I’d never have one here, either. THANK YOU.October 23, 2015 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Yup, you and Kerri really nailed it so much. How it’s not black and white. It’s not that we’re all either on the side of NO ONE SHOULD HAVE GUNS, or EVERYONE SHOULD. There has to be a middle gray area. I have to believe it. And other countries manage it.
    I say.. I could never have one. Could never see one.
    But I’ve never had someone break into my window at night and I’ve never had someone hurt one of my children.
    Because.. I just don’t know.
    But I know we need change.October 23, 2015 – 4:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Tamara,
      Gah. I don’t know what the middle gray area is either but I know it’s somewhere between the 2nd amendment and the banning.
      I know.
      I know exactly what you mean.
      I know that I want to say thank you.October 23, 2015 – 11:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Darwin Steckelberg - I disagree that we’ve evolved, given that violence is so prevalent these days. There were times when kids had hunting rifles and shotguns in their vehicles parked on school grounds. There were times when schools had shooting ranges and took marksmanship classes in line with math and English. We didn’t have mass shootings all over then, so what’s changed?

    It used to be that two school kids who had a beef with each other would meet after class and duke it out. Now, in this day of “zero tolerance”, kids get suspended for making “finger guns” or in one case even biting a Pop-Tart vaguely into the shape of a gun. If one kid picks on another and the victim dares to stick up for himself, the victim can expect to be punished just as severely if not more so than the perpetrator. Even the slightest aggression must be squashed before acted out–where’s the outlet for all the pent up emotion?

    Kids are so buried in their electronics they can hardly communicate with each other if there’s not a smartphone in each other’s hands. They play video games where they get online and gun down random strangers from all over the world ad infinitum. There’s no emotion in any of it–it’s robotic.

    When there’s a mass shooting, we have multiple 24/7 news outlets broadcasting the shooter’s face, name, and biography for days. Hardly a peep for the victims. The next aspiring social reject looks up to these shooters, relates to them and their stories of not fitting in, and looks at the body count as a “high score” to beat.

    We pass “feel-good” laws to create things like “gun-free” zones. How does that stop someone who’s already bent on committing far worse crimes like murder? The nutcase who shot up the theater in Colorado actually picked that theater over others closer to his apartment because it was marked as a “gun-free” zone.

    “It’s time to know that if Evil enters your home, or your life, Evil is more prepared to kill you and yours than you are prepared to kill it. With, or without, a gun.” — Sadly, that’s true in most cases. But not all. If you do not want that responsibility, so be it. Some of us are prepared to defend ourselves and our families. Outlawing guns isn’t going to keep them out of the hands of Evil. It’s just going to give them better odds of finding unarmed victims.

    I’m with Richard Rumple for restrictive gun control, but not gun elimination, because guns are a tool that are used everyday by law-abiding citizens to successfully defend themselves from violent perpetrators–Evil, if you will. Again, you won’t hear about that on the 24/7 news outlets, because it’s not the sensational headline that grabs attention and ratings. How is the person who is weaker, smaller, handicapped, and/or outnumbered supposed to defend him- or herself?

    I don’t have the time to write near as much as I’d like about this topic, because there are so many factors, in my opinion, that contribute to the state of violence and mass shootings today far more than just the availability of guns.October 23, 2015 – 4:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - Jeez! those examples are just perfect for man to attach himself to a weapon of mass destruction!

    Sometimes progress of mankind is questionable 😛October 23, 2015 – 4:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - Whenever I hear the argument ‘guns don’t kill people…’ this is EXACTLY what I think!! Kristi Rieger Campbell, you’re is so right on point, as usual!! #gunsense #BlogsUsingTheirVoiceOctober 23, 2015 – 4:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Hall - It’s time to talk about gun violence….and it’s time to stop shaking our heads muttering “I can’t believe it happened again” and then continue to just sit on our hands. An election year is coming up so one thing we definitely gotta do is VOTE with this issue in mind.October 23, 2015 – 5:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - *Stands at laptop with a slow resounding clap* PERFECT. This is just PERFECT. I absolutely love how you described these events, all tragic and all real…

    So very real.

    It’s up to us to work on the words, but dammit! Lets get those guns under control NOW.

    Your message is powerful. Thank you for speaking out and for speaking to this ever-present dire situation in our country. It’s just too easy to get a gun. Period.October 24, 2015 – 2:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I love that meme. Perfect point! I have a whole unpublished draft that I wrote on Friday. I went to Starbucks and everything. But I just couldn’t find the words to conclude it. I didn’t intend to link up and then I was fired up about a man who killed a 4 year old when shooting at her father’s vehicle. This was over road rage. I was so upset to hear that. Too damn easy! >:-(

    Anyway, maybe I’ll publish it some other time but I hope the conclusion is inspired by another senseless crime.October 26, 2015 – 11:39 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh Kenya, I hate that another child died from a gun. It’s just so completely awful. 🙁
      I look forward to reading yours if and when you publish it.October 27, 2015 – 3:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily Nichols Grossi - Yes to this, Kristi! Thank you for writing so powerfully about this topic!!November 1, 2015 – 10:15 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - —We took all of the guns from Kay’s house 10 years before he shot her, but he found another one.

    I’m not sure what the answer is, but our country DEF. needs to DO SOMETHING.

    Instead of doing NOTHING.

    I’m mad as hell.

    xx hate guns in Minnesota.

    PS. We need extensive background checks and LONG waiting periods.November 4, 2015 – 5:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh Sweetie. That you took them out and that he got another one. Too easy. Not long enough waiting. Sigh. I don’t know the answer either but I know with all of me that we have to start doing some of the things. Longer waiting. More control over ammo. Starting anywhere is a start.
      HATE GUNS everywhere.November 4, 2015 – 8:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Morgan - I totally agree with you! Talking to your little ones about gun violence and safety is incredibly important. It will definitely put you at ease as a parent, too. Nice tips! Thanks for the advice!August 3, 2016 – 4:49 pmReplyCancel

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