I am a gun. My name is Valor. I belong to a good person. My owner is married with children. My owner has a job and pays taxes. My owner owns a home. My owner worships a Judeo-Christian God-head and generally lives by a code and creed of honor.
My owner cleans me regularly and has gone to training on how to use me. My owner has a license to carry me around but out of sight.
My owner is of relatively sound mind. There are times when I have gotten taken out but never in anger! My owner is responsible.On only one other occasion did my owner get a little careless and left me out in the open but I was locked. Phew! While that was a close call, I felt better once I was put away and out of sight of my owner’s children.
Unfortunately, my owner did not have me locked away in a concealed place and, on that dark day, one of my owner’s children, a young adult, took me out of my holding place after having a pretty big melt down. You know teenagers and young adults often suffer periodic episodes of doubt, fear, confusion about their identities, their gender, their relationships, their pimples or any other physical anomaly — you know, hormonal surges,
etc. — and it was on.
It was terrible for me, being held in those inexperienced, unlicensed hands, when those untrained fingers played with my trigger and loaded me up to the hilt with a specially designed magazine — purchased for special occasions — that would fire me off in multiple rounds of rapid fire. The bullets that were put in me were specially designed to cause major damage to soft tissue. (Like I said, my owner had them for those “special occasions” that had not yet occurred.)
But, on that day, my owner’s young offspring had taken me, loaded me, aimed and shot me at totally innocent persons — all were unknown to either of us — just because of, what? We still don’t know. In fact, we’ll never know for sure.
Now, my owner is questioning me, my efficacy, my integrity, even my very right to exist, and that’s just not fair. After all, up to that tragic point of my life and my relationship with my owner, I had remained totally useful, valued and innocent of any wrong-doing. What’s a gun to do?
My owner’s child may have been suffering from a break from reality. Who was to know? Unlike regular physical checkups and a battery of childhood immunizations and other milestones marking healthy development, mental health checkups are not de rigueur in my owner’s culture.
Yes, there had been some periodic talks around my owner’s dining table about purchasing companions for me, you know, some additional guns for me to have around so that I was not alone and to provide me comfort at times when I might need additional support and to share those special bullets, you know, just in case.
My owner decided that he did not need to have additional guns but he was being considerate of me and my needs. I appreciated his thoughtful deliberations but, in the end, I remained a solo act. My gun owner was “responsible,” right?
Then on that day, on that dark and fateful day, neither my owner nor I was prepared for what happened and no one is able to explain how I came to be so abused. Now I and all my fellow guns have become so maligned in some sectors of society when we have done nothing wrong; we just exist for our higher purpose.
But since that day, I have begun to question why I exist at all. I am now in the forensic examiner’s hands, cold, uncaring, clinical, probing all my parts. I and many of my fellow guns await the fate of the courts and the lawmakers. My fellow guns are being subjected to the same scrutiny and we are all fearful that our fate is to become mere scrap metal.
That might not be such a bad fate for me, after all. My name is Valor and I have always been prepared from the beginning of my life to accept my calling but I feel bad for my owner.
He was “responsible” and did all the right things but, then, he did have me outfitted with that rapid fire magazine and those special bullets waiting for…
Antonia Williams-Gary may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org