I am not a gun expert, nor am I an expert on gun laws. I can’t tell you whether you should or should not have the right to carry a gun as it is your right to do so under our constitution. What I can tell you is that although you have the right to carry a gun, this right comes with heavy responsibility and every precaution should be taken that the person carrying the gun is able to fulfill that responsibility to the utmost to insure the safety of the public. Because what I am is the mother of a suicidal teen. And what I can tell you is that when people are depressed and suicidal, they often make very impulsive and rash decisions.
When my daughter was suicidal and I had her on the phone, I immediately thought of all the things she could use to harm herself. I thought about the pills in the cabinet and the knives in the drawer and then I thought, ok, I’m 5 minutes away and if she takes pills or cuts herself, I’ll have time to get her help and she will live through this. And then I thought, thank god we don’t have a gun and that she doesn’t have access to one because she would be dead if that were the case. This is the big issue I have with guns; they are quick, they are deadly, and when they are easily obtained, they spell disaster.
People can blame the mentally ill for gun violence all they want but I’m telling you it won’t do anything. The mentally ill are not responsible for gun violence, the guns are responsible for gun violence. I am sick and tired of hearing about how guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If this makes you able to sleep at night that’s great for you but it makes me cringe. There is nothing more swift and deadly than a gun. Nothing. And yet there are more tests, regulations, and monitoring for getting a driver’s license in this country. Would it be that devastating for people who want a gun for whatever reason to have prove that they are responsible enough to own one? Would it be terrible if a person had to pass certain tests to qualify for a gun license? Would it be that much of a hassle to prove that you have the right equipment to keep the gun in so that it doesn’t get into the hands of the wrong person?
For me, I’ve never wanted to own a gun. I choose to live my life without fear regulating every decision I make or ruling my world. What did Moadib say in Dune? Fear is the mind killer. I have no problem with people owning guns as long as they prove they are responsible enough to own, handle and store them. If you really feel safer with a gun, so be it. But in my book you need to go through every hoop to prove you are stable enough, responsible enough, and sane enough to own one. I will not bend on this belief. You are entitled to yours, but don’t you dare put my child at risk by having an unlocked, armed gun in your house, I will fight you every step of the way. And parents, my friend who works to eradicate gun violence is a huge advocate of the ASK campaign. We need to all ask if there are guns in the house when our kids go to their friends’ houses. It is the most important question we can ask and it can mean the difference between life and death.