Why I don't want guns in my home

Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Disclaimer -- I do not think I'm "right." I am not making a political statement. I'm just sharing my reasoning for not having guns in my home. My opinion is just that - my opinion. I realize what I say may not be a good fit for you or your family. Please feel free to post a comment. I respect what you have to say.

On the phone the other night, I was joking with my mom about getting my concealed carry permit. She said, "Seriously, Denae, why don't you?" My father owns guns and is a responsible hunter. My brother is an honorably discharged, decorated Army Reservist. I'm not afraid of guns and I grew up with them as a normal part of life.

My first year as a television news reporter at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky, I covered a story that changed the way I think about guns forever. We had heard there was a shooting in the next county over (which is typical in Southeastern Kentucky) and I loaded up to check it out. When I arrived, a 17 year old high school star quarterback had been accidentally shot in the head by his father who was cleaning his rifle.  He later died at the hospital.

The son and his friends arrived home from football practice early and the father was cleaning his gun. He didn't usually clean it while the teens were in the house but he thought he'd quickly finish up while the guys grabbed a soda and sat down on the couch opposite the father. That's when the gun discharged. Sadly, there was a bullet in the chamber.

I have never witnessed such desperate weeping. It carved an impression into my brain and while at one point in my life, I wanted to own a gun, I feel overall it isn't right for me. Guns are designed to kill.

My father and brother give an excellent argument against my opinion - saying a gun can save my life if someone breaks into my home and also has a gun. They're right. I still don't want to chance killing an innocent person or my own child. My motor skills are best used to engage in social media, clearing out woods in the back of my property and tending to a garden.



Kate Spears said...

denae....this is a delicate subject indeed. as the girlfriend of an ex-marine/gun-owner, i have accepted the fact that if we get married, there will be guns in my home. i won't say it doesn't worry me though on some level. because i wasn't raised around guns, they seem sort of scary to me. i just found your blog and look forward to reading more from you. happy friday!

Crystal Young said...

Since the first time I shot a handgun, I have thought that owning a fire arm is a tremendous responsibility. It means the person holding the fire arm is capable of taking a life, any life. I wasn't ready to accept that kind of responsibility at the tender young age of 10-ish. I knew I was always able to change the world in a more positive way with my camera that with a gun. I also grew up in a home with fire arms. I am a pretty accurate shot, just like my mom. But on the other hand, Denae, I would be cautious about telling everyone in the blogosphere whether I had one or not.

Denae said...

Excellent comments, ladies. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Crystal - Not to worry. I have a sharpened samuari sword that I keep next to my bed and I'm trained to use. It is effective.

Daniel Dragomirescu said...

Interesting essay, dear Denae.
Would like you to be published in a future issue of the multicultural Contemporary Horizon Magazine?
Best from me and the editorial team of CHMagazine!
Daniel D. Peaceman, editor

Annie said...

It's definitely a controversial issue. I have handled guns and completed a safety course, but I don't own a weapon. If I did, however, I would make sure to keep the gun locked in a safe place, and the ammo locked away somewhere else. I see no need to carry a loaded weapon in the house, that's just too dangerous.

Denae said...

Annie - great points. Gun control, to me, is just as important as the right to own one. I should maybe attend a safety course.

SamZzz said...

My husband and I are both carry permit holders. And we both carry when able (my job does not allow it and neither does his). The important point to remember is there is no such thing as a gun accident. There is always something that could have been done to prevent it. I seriously doubt the father in this incident was a permit holder, and I don't know Kentucky's laws regarding gun ownership so I can't say whether he had ever attended a hunter's safety course... but Tennessee does require it before you can get a hunting license. And the permit class.. 10 hours of instruction and range practice. Had the father followed the most basic of rules this would have never happened. The first, second and third thing you should do before cleaning any gun is check to make sure it's not loaded and treat it like it is even if you know it's not. You are smart enough to follow that. Seriously, don't let someone else's carelessness jeopardize your safety.