The safety dance

I ended a Twitter debate which had begun with hostility, because of our divergent and entrenched perspectives on access to guns, with a sincere peace out. It was pointless to continue our dialogue because neither of us were budging.

Nor were we living in the same world.

Our original lobbying of talking points was focused on keeping children safe in schools. My Twitter foe was convinced that the only way to prevent more school mass shootings was to spend millions of dollars on school security officers and to arm teachers. The ‘ole good guy with a gun defense.

We all saw how successful that was in Uvalde, right?

My position, predictably, was less guns – especially those capable of turning children into masses of flesh only identifiable through dna analysis. In my opinion, that type of weapon should not be made available to civilians. Period.

During the discussion, Mr. Pro Guns expressed that his most fundamental motivation is to ensure the safety of his family. From what?, I wondered. What is he so afraid of happening that he believes he must have a full battery of firearms to secure his family?

The Twitter conversation reminded me of an interaction I had with a childhood friend a few years ago. He lives in Florida, a state which permits legal marijuana consumption exclusively to adults with a medical need. My friend explained that he was interested in potentially obtaining a medical marijuana card, but was hesitant to apply for legal permission to indulge because he feared it might jeopardize his concealed carry permit.

His what??

Well, it seems, according to my friend, that “we are just one incident away from total anarchy.” He needs to be prepared to defend his family and his property from those who are intent upon taking it all away. Wow.

I’m living in a country full of people who, after years of being told that their very existence is being threatened by other people, (POC, immigrants, LGBTQIA+ folks) are convinced that their only choice is to arm themselves in an attempt to maintain their position in a society that may feel as if it is too rapidly changing.

In my opinion, their insecurity is what is fueling record gun sales in this country.

Americans are afraid – of people on the subway, of people in their yards, on their doorsteps and in their driveways. But, ultimately, Americans are afraid of change. White, heteronormative people do not want to lose their grip on the country and their own elite status.

As for me, I’m not concerned with protecting myself from home invasions or gun toting criminals looking to make me their victim. I’m not frightened  of armed people intent upon taking my possessions or the government seizing my property.

My fears are pretty simple and there really are only two: burying a child and addressing the demands of life at the expense of the desires of my soul. Of course, to a lesser extent, I’m afraid of dying a slow and painful death, losing beloved family and friends, and maintaining financial independence, but there probably isn’t realistically any more that I can do to prevent any of that from occurring. 

So, I’ve armed myself in the only way I know how – I live my life every day. I try to be kind to people, to look them in the eye and greet them with a smile. As my income has increased, so have my charitable donations. Giving is so much more satisfying than fighting to never have to share.

And, I’ve got two passports to get myself out of this gun crazed country.

3 thoughts on “The safety dance

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