Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Gun in the House

I've never been strongly for or against gun control. I've always said laws wouldn't keep guns out of the hands of those who want them any more than laws have kept heroin out of the arms of junkies. On the other hand, I think we do need fewer guns all the way around and that without them, many of the killings wouldn't happen. That is what I believed until last night.

I don't own a gun, but I'm pretty sure if I went to get one I wouldn't run into any problems. I'd pass a background check easily and if you know me you'd say I'm probably a pretty stable person. I could be trusted with a gun. Or could I?

Last night around 1:30 am. I was lying in bed reading when I heard a "bang". After the second one I thought perhaps some snow or ice was falling off the roof and hitting the side of the house. Then I heard another one. At this time I went to my bedroom window and looked out.

I live directly across the street from a bar. In fact, the courtyard is less than twenty yards away. When I opened my blinds to look out, I heard the cheering of a crowd. There was a group of about ten guys in the courtyard of the bar and they were looking my way. And then the snowballs came again. At first I thought they might have been friends urging me to come out and play. Then I realized I didn't know any of these guys.

I couldn't understand and I stood there for a minute trying to wrap my mind around why they would be throwing snowballs at my house. Had I pissed someone off? No, I was lying in bed reading. Were they guys just trying to be cool and see who could throw the furthest? Were they just trying to hit the building or were they aiming directly for the windows? After a few more throws I realized they were aiming for the windows.

Now I realize they were just snowballs and probably just some drunk guys trying to show off, but at 1:30 in the morning, all alone in the house, with no apparent reason to be targeted, I felt like I was under attack. I was scared and then angry. My next thought was, "I wish I had a gun."

I watched as six guys took turns throwing snowballs at the windows standing between me and the cold night air. I needed to make them stop before one of the windows was broken.

I needed a gun. I didn't want to kill anyone, but I was damn sure if I went out waving a gun at these punks, the snowball throwing would stop and a couple of them might piss their pants. I wanted them feel just as violated as I did. What's more, I suddenly needed a gun because if they were randomly throwing snowballs at my house, I could just as randomly be targeted to be beaten up, robbed, or worse. I needed something to protect myself.

The feeling and need for a gun was quickly replaced with sound reasoning. I called the bar and asked them to tell the guys to stop. They did and it stopped immediately. Then I spent the next hour wondering if they would be retaliating against me for reporting them.

I don't know why they picked my place to throw snowballs at, or why they wanted to break some windows, but it probably wasn't personal. It was random. A random act done by some, probably drunk, guys trying to be badasses.

So now I understand why someone would want a gun to protect themselves, and I also understand that in the absence of a gun, I was forced to find another solution. I'd like to think if I would have had a gun I never would have gotten it out before sound reasoning would kick in. I would like to think that. I guess it all depends on how scared you are and what's at stake.


  1. That's a quite interesting, well-reasoned take on the argument.

    But is going around threatening people with death or serious really the right thing to do in any situation?

    The more people with guns, the more things can slip out of control in a situation. Humans are prone to acting stupid when we feel we are in danger, and sometimes that danger is imagined. And what if the threatened party is just as stupid when they feel they're in danger. What if, when presented with a gun, the drunk guys were to feel so threatened they would actually turn on you, then you'd be forced pull the trigger just because someone was throwing snowballs?

    Things can escalate very quickly with a gun involved.

    1. That should have been *serious injury