She grew up with guns in her house, her father, a police officer. She watched him clean them, was told not to touch them and listened. But not all kids do. She would never have a gun in the house because she doesn’t see the need, and only sees the danger; a baseball bat will suffice if she needs protection.
He carries because it’s his Second Amendment right. He knows how to clean them, always wants to play with them – he goes to the range for fun. He keeps them under lock and key. He doesn’t know why everyone else can’t see the fun in shooting a target. Moreover, protecting his family is his first and foremost goal.
They meet at their children’s Open House, the day of the 74th shooting to occur after Sandy Hook. This is how it goes:
“Did you see the news today? Another one! It’s ridiculous. And no one is doing anything about it.” She shakes her head.
“I know, right? Another person taking psychotropic drugs.” He wanders over to the art on the wall, admiring his daughter’s version of a caterpillar.
“Drugs?” She stops in her tracks. “Last time I checked he used a rifle. He didn’t throw pills at the kid he killed.” She peruses the paintings of flowers made for Mother’s day, darting glances at him.
“No, but he was probably prescribed some kind of chemicals for depression or something before he did what he did. He was probably just a bad kid or a messed up kid; I mean, he broke into his family’s gun collection or whatever to do this.” He bends down to check out the stash of dress-up clothes. “Oh look, Superman!”
Her eyes wide, she replies, “Really? Next thing you’re going to tell me is guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Are you moonlighting for the NRA?”
“No… I’m not,” he says, smiling.
“If he only had access to knives, do you think the same thing would have happened? I mean, really?” She stops looking at the artwork, and stares at him.
“Yes, I think it is totally possible and probable if you ask my honest opinion. Look at that kid at UCSB – he stabbed three people before he ever took out a gun. Not to mention, if someone is mentally ill or criminally inclined, they’ll find a way.”
“I think that’s crap.” Her arms cross, hip juts out. “Excuse my French, I know we are in a preschool. Let me rephrase, I think that’s poop. Gun access is out of control and the NRA needs to acknowledge that some regulation is absolutely necessary to stop this from happening again.”
“What needs to happen is we need to start having armed guards at every school, and we need to train teachers to shoot a weapon. It’s now part of the job, unfortunately, ” he replies.
“Yes, I really want my kid’s teacher to worry about that on top of EVERYTHING ELSE. This doesn’t happen in any other country that has the same amount of crazy people, but a much more reasonable regulation of their citizens’ access to weaponry. When are you gun lovers going to wake up?” She realizes her voice has risen just a little too much, and starts to walk away.