I really should cut the Facebook habit. But, there have been times in the last couple of years when Facebook was my link to sanity, my link to people who thought more like me, and my connection to people who cared for me beyond what was expedient. I guess I have an emotional tie to Facebook. That said, there are still times it drives me nuts. Mostly, because at times it gives me a little too much of an unedited look at people’s beliefs.
It is kind of like when my wife first found out that a lot of her friends in Louisiana carried handguns in their glove boxes. Before living in Louisiana, I grew up in California and lived in New York City. So, I guess I just have a different way of thinking. The thought of these soccer moms at my wife’s Bible study having guns in their glove boxes really threw me for a loop. It wasn’t like we lived in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. These friends all lived in safe suburban or rural communities. I really don’t understand why the fear, why the need for the guns.
I felt kind of the same way when I saw this picture posted on Facebook. First, let me say that I support the second amendment. While I don’t own any guns (other than my BB gun from when I was a kid), I think people should have a right to own guns. I wouldn’t mind a little more control in terms of wait periods, and such, but I think people have the right to hunt, shoot for sport, or to collect guns. What I don’t understand, though, is the fear and aggression that seems to come through in the image here. The person that posted this also lives in a safe neighborhood in a small community. Why do people like this think they will need a gun to protect themselves?
Further, I’m not convinced that owning these guns actually makes them safer. My grandfather and my grandmother’s second husband both died from gun accidents. They were both hill folks who had hunted all their lives. They knew how to handle guns but made mistakes. My pastor in Louisiana had a close friend in Mississippi who got up in the night with his gun because he thought he heard a burglar. He thought his wife had stayed in bed; but, she followed him. He ended up thinking she was a home invader, shooting, and killing his own wife. These are both anecdotal and I don’t know the statistics. But, I question how much safer a gun in the home actually makes people. In fact, one of the main reasons I don’t own a gun is because the idea makes me feel less safe.
What concerns me, especially with messages like what is seen in this image, is the apparent eagerness to use guns on other persons-bad ones for sure, but persons none-the-less. I can’t imagine the feelings I would have if I ever shot and killed someone. I’m certainly not eager to do so. I love liberty. But, some rhetoric really concerns me.
This essay is from our Anastasis Series where we resurrect articles from the past that are either still relevant today or can be easily updated. This piece first published on September12, 2012, and has been lightly edited and updated.