Why I Don’t Own a Gun
by Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on February 3, 2013

(Note:  I wrote this piece as the “con” side of gun ownership.  News Press ran a large feature about gun laws following the Sandy Hook school shooting.)

I don’t believe guns kill people any more than I believe movies are violent, money is evil, or dresses are slutty.  Sly personifications aside, I’m still not getting a gun.

I watched conspiracy king Alex Jones perform with Piers Morgan.  Jones did land significant punches despite his belligerence.  Guns may be used to kill more people in the United States than in other peer nations, but they are not the leading cause of preventable death in the country, not by a killshot.   Alex, so tell me again why I need a gun?

For protection, silly.  Got it.

The possibility of a housefire is remote (comparably), but I still have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.  But a gun is far from a fire extinguisher.

Former Marine John Dean “Jeff” Cooper popularized the different mindsets of combat readiness in terms of colors.  Code white is unprepared to take lethal action, vulnerable; codes yellow, orange and red are the realms of the armed – be aware that your life could be in danger, monitor adversaries, and prepare to take lethal action. An armed individual is perpetually in code yellow and up.

I’m not afraid of guns.  I’m afraid of Code Yellow and Up people.  I am afraid of people whose eyes shift from left to right assuming (perhaps hoping for) a malevolent foe around the corner.  I am afraid of people who initially assume strangers to be threats rather than friends. I am afraid of people who define government tyranny as universal healthcare.  I’m afraid of how they vote, how they raise their children, and what they do on first dates. Einstein said the most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe; I accept no one is ever truly safe, and we cannot paradoxically prepare for the unexpected. In that acceptance lies serenity.  That’s where I choose to live.

Poet Kim Addonizio wrote, “It feels so good to shoot a gun/to stand with your legs apart/holding a nine millimeter in both hands/aiming at something that can’t run.”  In the field, trained NYC police officers only hit their intended targets about 18% of the time. I’m hoping a paper target is the only one strapped amateurs ever have in their crosshairs.