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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I’ve owned six guns. I’ve drawn them on bad guys. I want to be understood.

What gun owners really want

From the piece:

"Lock the doors," said my mother, hanging up the phone.

The rest of the plan was my idea, hatched in a moment of rustic melodrama that seems, 35 years later, picturesque, like a "Little House on the Prairie" episode. I loaded the shotgun by sliding a slim red shell into the chamber. I clunked the barrel shut. Then I made everyone go upstairs with me. My mother and brother stayed inside a bedroom while I took up position on the top step and pointed the old Iver Johnson down the staircase. For the first hour of my vigil, I imagined the violent scene that might unfold. I wouldn't shout a warning; I'd shoot on sight. The load wasn't powerful enough to kill a man, but if it struck him in the head he'd drop, allowing me time to ready another shell. Given the distance, there wasn't much chance I'd miss. I pictured blood. I pictured a person staggering. How realistic these pictures were I didn't know, since the movies in those days weren't graphic about such matters, at least not the movies that teenagers could see.

The night dragged on and on and nothing happened. The next day, the convict was captured by the police. I slid the shotgun underneath my bed where I felt it belonged, now that it was mine.


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