Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

Life in the Wild, Wild West

Of my blogs last year few drew as much as response as the one I wrote about gun control; it was entitled “Don’t Bring Your Guns to Town.” Here comes another.

This is a story in the paper here in Kentucky. An off-duty sheriff went to a rural home to purchase a couple of horses. He carried his pistol with him, although the news reports never explained why. Horses can be dangerous, I assume, especially when they are being forced to go where they don’t want to go.

Anyway: the owner of the farm was unaware of the pending transaction, it appears; the horses were being sold by her daughter. The owner comes out of the house, thinking her horses are being stolen; she is brandishing a gun. The off-duty officer calls upon her to put the gun down; she refuses; he shoots her dead.

The children of the dead woman now call it a “tragic misunderstanding.”

I am glad they used that phrase; for it is a classic example of what can happen when people carry guns. Misunderstanding, and then death.

How could this ordinary purchase, the sort of transaction that goes on thousands of times a day, have turned out differently? Well, the most simple and straightforward answer is this: sheriff, leave the guns at home; momma, leave the guns locked in a case. This would not have prevented the misunderstanding; but the sherrif and the woman would have thrown insults or rocks or corn cobs–but not bullets. The sale would have gone through, but there would have been no funeral.

This is why I am against the gun culture that is taking us back to the wild west.

Another example is the man in Philadelphia who bought tickets to a movie, took his seat, grew irritated when a family in front of him kept talking through the movie, stood up and challenged them, then drew a gun and shot the father, sat back down, and continued watching the movie until the police arrived to arrest him.

Now: how in the world, and why, do people get in the theater carrying a gun? and how would this tragic episode have turned out if he had been carrying, instead of a gun, a bag of popcorn or a coke? He might have thrown the soda on the talking father, but at least the father would not have been taken to the hospital and the irritated theater-goer would not be spending New Years Eve in jail.

There are too many episodes like this, and there are too many people ready to resolve disputes with a gun or express anger with a bullet. I still say: don’t take your guns to town.

NOTE: those of you who followed with interest my earlier blogs on preaching and the Academy of Preachers will be interested in the new, but yet unfinished site: http://www.academyofpreachers.net

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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