Image from Huffington Post
To Whom It May Concern at the National Rifle Association:
Being the big liberals that we are, it would surprise many of my friends and neighbors to know that we own guns. Several guns. We live in a relatively safe area. We do not hunt. We don’t own guns for protection. We don’t anticipate a zombie apocalypse, though I joke about such a happening.
I grew up in Michigan. We lived out in the middle of nowhere. I am one of five daughters. My dad bought a mean dog and a shotgun. I was a tomboy. I had a Daisy BB gun. One of our neighbors used to pay us 25 cents for every intact clay pigeon we found in his pastures.
My husband grew up in Montana. He worked on a ranch. As a teenager, he fought forest fires in the wilderness of the Continental Divide. His dad owned guns. His dad hunted. He didn’t, but he learned how to shoot.
He bought his first gun in California. He bought another handgun when we lived in Illinois. He would go to target ranges to shoot. We live in Virginia now, and he has bought other guns. This is a list:
- Four Airsoft Guns/Rifles
- One Pellet Gun
- Three BB Guns
- One Glock
- One Revolver (inherited)
- One Pump Action Shotgun
- One AR 15
One dozen guns. An arsenal.
We have two teenage boys. We have a gun safe. We have acreage in the rural Northern Neck. My husband has taught my sons how to shoot with each and every one of the weapons in our possession. He has taught them proper gun safety. We have taught them right from wrong. We have given them our moral compass: help others; be kind to everyone; make the world a better place than it was the day before.
I asked my husband why he likes owning guns. He likes target practice: cans, paper bull’s-eyes, empty milk jugs. Our boys like target practice. Hell, I like target practice. I play darts and I use our bb, airsoft, and pellet guns. As much as I detest the “real” guns, I think it’s important that my boys understand that the damage a real bullet causes compared to the video games weapons they use. If a tree in the middle of the woods is a casualty to the incredible shredding power of bullets from an AR 15, so be it. I want them to understand that the damage is not an animated spray of blood as seen on GTA 5, but a ripping and rending and devastation. Bullets are not sound effects, and have consequences. They are deadly. Guns must be respected as much as they are feared. Life is not a video game.
My husband and I, liberals that we are, are supporters of gun-control. We are responsible gun owners. We do not believe in the fake news that if we have gun control, someone will come and take our weapons. We are not stupid. We understand how this type of misdirection, paid for by you, the NRA, is actually increasing the revenue of the gun manufacturers. And if the law changes, and AR 15s are banned, we will be first in line to file ours down into something useful: paperclips, perhaps.
We own guns and want:
- Thorough background checks: criminal, financial, psychological
- Examination of purchasers’ social media accounts
- Elimination of lead ammunition
- A ban on bump stocks
- A ban on ARs (okay, I want this)
- An increase of the minimum age allowed to purchase guns
- A mandatory purchase of a gun safe when minors live in the household
- A national registry of guns as an effort to eliminate and/or restrict stockpiling
- And comprehensive MENTAL HEALTH CARE for all
We are gun-owning liberals.
We own guns.
We believe in commonsense gun regulations.
We do not believe praying is the solution.
We believe the time for change isn’t now: it was decades ago.
We vote with our pocketbooks.
We are appalled by the politicians living in the very deep pockets of the NRA.
We vote in every single election, no matter how small.
We are not alone in this.
We. Will. Persist.
We. Will. Prevail.