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On the Road Week 7 – Guns, guns and more guns

On the Road Week 7 – Guns, guns and more guns

Today I am sitting in a Starbucks in Brenham, Texas. We’ve been on the road in the US for right at 7 weeks. When we decided to make this trip, I got quite a bit of push back from people.

People in Canada said:

  • Are you sure you want to go to Trumpland?
  • What if they start a war with North Korea?
  • What about all those guns?

People in the US said:

  • You have a gun, right?
  • Stay safe! *said with a worried look/tone of voice*
  • Are you sure you are going to be safe? You bought a gun, right?

I kid you not. I had multiple tell me to buy a gun. If you know me, you will know that is never going to happen. I don’t like guns. I don’t really care if other people have guns…normal guns. Like something small to have at home in case someone breaks in or a hunting rifle. I can wrap my head around both of those. Assault rifles? Guns modified to make them somewhat close to fully automatic? You must be joking. Why would anyone need those?

Also, I have lots of friends and families who are gun owners. The vast majority of them are fine upstanding citizens that could own all the guns in the world and I would not lose a minute of sleep.

Unfortunately, those aren’t the only people who own guns…..as we found out this week. Nope. Men who are violent domestic abusers also own guns. They then decide that the only way to “fix” their lives is to go into a church and kill over 20 people. The youngest victim? 18 months old.

Maybe I have become overwhelmingly Canadian in my thoughts since I left the US 14 years ago to get married to my husband (a Canadian). Whatever happened, it has made this trip much more uncomfortable than I expected. One on one, I still believe that Americans are some of the nicest people you could ever meet.

But.

I now pause before deciding to go to an event, before deciding to go to a big city, before deciding to go to a coffee shop or a restaurant or anywhere. I had to leave Tombstone because the melding of fake gunfire and most of the people walking around in normal clothes also having a gun on their hip (and not just for dress up…nope….real ones).

So where do we go now? What do we do? I have many, many people telling me that it is not a gun problem. Ok. Others tell me it is a mental health problem. Ok. So what do we DO? Something is broken. We have to DO something because wringing our hands and hoping isn’t going to fix it.

I’m not coming to you with my opinions on how to fix it. I’m to you with an honest question…what do we do now? Because we have to do something unless we are willing to just throw away the US and I, for one, am not ready to do that.

I wrote this on someone’s FB post…it tells you how deeply I am thinking ” Today I don’t know what to do. We have a government that I voted against who is unwilling to do anything. What can I do TODAY when they have no interest? Feels like nothing other than try to get more people to realize that the current government will IS NOT WORKING. Also to hope that maybe one day something will happen to make people let go of their guns. I was driving and thinking today and wondered “If I died in a shoot out would that make people care more? Because they would KNOW someone it happened to?””

I would love to hear your thoughts (but please be nice). I will be thinking about this myself, too. I will also be thinking about whether I am taking too many chances by being in the US right now. It feels dangerous. I do realize, though, that I am very lucky that I have options. Most people don’t. Which again leads me to the question about what we can do to turn the tide.

I know this post is very different from my usual monday posts but I didn’t feel like I could write about anything else today. I promise MerryAboutTown will not be a political blog but sometimes, you have to write what is on your heart. If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for listening.

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Matthew

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

This is a term that is brought up by so many people, “Law abiding citizen” and I use it not to center anyone out, but more to bring focus to these words. I won’t use the words in my opinion because it’s too easy of a way to sideline a topic in this case. NOBODY needs or should have the right to purchase guns like these. In the end, a criminal will always find their way to a weapon. A so called law abiding citizen is only a min away from a breakdown in today’s world. We have so much going on in the world today and whether we like to admit it or not, we don’t know our breaking point. How often do we hear, “he/she NEVER showed signs of doing anything like this” after something horrific? I could go on forever on this subject, and will not argue my thoughts, nor judge anyone for theirs, but think without changes to the amendment, (making it at least more difficult to obtain weaponry) as a starting point nothing really can be done. I’m deeply saddened to see my social feeds filled with lives taken daily, and can’t say stronger gun laws would have changed it, but it’s a start. That may make me unpopular, but just how I feel at this point.

Merry Kuchle

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

It doesn't make you unpopular with me at all. I think it is a place to start and that is what we need.

David McKay

Monday 6th of November 2017

It is not a matter of what one needs, it is what one wants. Does any person need 10,000 square ft house. Not really, but they want one and can afford it, so they buy one. The same can be said about guns and cars. If you don’t like guns, don’t buy guns. If you don’t like an AR 15, don’t buy one.. I have several neighbors that have them. Doesn’t bother me and I sleep just fine at night.

As far as what to do about gun violence, I’m open to anything that will work. Banning guns isn’t an option unless the 2 nd amendment is repealed. Don’t think that is going to happen. Common sense gun laws, what does that even mean? There hasn’t been anything proposed that would have stopped any of the mass shootings. I admit, I don’t know what the answer is. But I do know that taking firearms from law abiding citizens will not solve the problem.

Merry Kuchle

Monday 6th of November 2017

And you know that you were one of the people I mentioned that I have ZERO problem with owning just about any gun. But our current system is broken. The guy who shot the people in church should not have been able to buy a gun but someone sold it to him. That needs fixed.

Jason

Monday 6th of November 2017

I hope that you ARE safe while there & I can just imagine how dangerous it must feel. There's been a lot of craziness in the US lately & I agree that a majority of the problems are from easy access to weapons that shouldn't be available to the public AS well as mental health issues. It takes a messed up mind to commit such atrocities against innocent people and children!

Merry Kuchle

Monday 6th of November 2017

Agreed. It is not either/or!

Jen

Monday 6th of November 2017

I lost hope for the USA after Sandy Hook. If that didn't change anything, nothing will. It's very sad.

Merry Kuchle

Monday 6th of November 2017

You make a very good point.

Angela

Monday 6th of November 2017

The one question I can't get out of my head is "why does anyone need to own this kind of weaponry".

What is America so afraid of?

Merry Kuchle

Monday 6th of November 2017

Agreed. I just don't get it.

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