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The Truth About Why I Don’t Own a Gun

The Truth About Why I Don't Own a Gun by @BarbaraDelinsky, Guns, GovernmentWhy I Don’t Own a Gun

It goes back to my childhood when I never had a toy gun. For one thing, I was a girl, and guns were considered improper toys for girls. For another, my parents never owned guns – largely because their parents had grown up in the shadow of Hitler, a time when soldiers came to the door with loaded guns and took innocent people away. My husband’s grandparents knew the same terror.

So we raised three sons without guns.  Granted, they made guns out of Legos, and G.I. Joe came with miniature plastic ones. Still, they learned that a gun was a tool of war and had no place in a home.

Here’s where cultural influence creeps in. Our sons also grew up in a region where guns had a practical purpose. Hunters had rifles. People wanting security against home intruders, or women wanting protection if they had to be alone in a dark parking garage had handguns.

That said, I never considered buying a gun. Guns are weapons. So are knives, and I have enough of them here to cut steak or chop vegetables or use, if necessary, on an intruder to my home. Okay. So I’d have to physically “get” to said knives in order to protect myself. But wouldn’t I have to “get” to a gun as well? Would I really go through life with a gun tucked in my boot?

Mass Shootings With Guns 

And now we have mass shootings in which innocent people are shot dead by assault weapons that have no other purpose than to kill. Columbine in 1998, Sandy Hook in 2012, and now Parkland, to name only three such horrific events?  Yes, we need more money to treat mental illness. Yes, warnings of this last tragedy were ignored. But the fact that a mentally-ill 19-year-old was able to easily and legally purchase ten guns chills me to the bone.

Is this what Americans had in mind when they ratified the 2nd Amendment in 1791?

I would never suggest that we abolish the 2nd Amendment. No one is suggesting that, least of all the many Democrats who own guns. The only ones rabble-rousing on that score are right-wing pundits and the NRA.

As the grandchild of immigrants who fled to America in search of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I grew up thinking America was that place. But when the most basic right granted us in the Declaration of Independence – the right to life – is superseded by an unregulated right to own killing machines, something is seriously wrong.

My Hope For Our Future

My hope? Do you know how many 17-year-olds in the US turn 18 every year? Nearly 4 million. If even half of those register to vote each year, in time we’ll have a powerful bloc of voters who grew up knowing gun violence and want it stopped.

Until then, I mourn what America could and should be.

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  1. Susan Peterson on February 26, 2018 at 6:50 am

    I really appreciate your words….they are right in line with my own thoughts and feelings. It seems so reasonable, but is met with so much opposition. It makes me wonder what the side opposing this is afraid of. I worked at public schools for 29 years as a teacher’s aide, and the thought of arming teachers and other staff terrifies me, and takes away from what a teacher’s role should be.

  2. Lea Wilson-Reynolds on February 26, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Although I totally believe in the second amendment, I personally do not own a gun. As I told my brother who thought i should get one after our next door neighbor assaulted my husband, I know where I am going when I die—straight into the arms of my Heavenly Father. And I don’t want to be responsible for killing someone and sending them to hell because of their wrong life choices. So, I depend on God to protect me and my husband out in the middle of nowhere. My heart breaks for those who have been affected by any mass shooting, and I do believe that guns should be more difficult to obtain. Why this young man who was so troubleed was allowed to have a weapon is beyond my capability to understand!

  3. Cheryl Crimmins on February 26, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I agree with everything you said with every fiber of my body, Barbara. It baffles and terrifies me why people see the need for these weapons and would like to see them in the hands of every citizen with the exception of the mentally ill. I thought Sandy Hook would be the beginning of real dialogue between both sides. Apparently, gun control is such a hot-button issue, that any dialogue disintegrates into name calling too quickly for a resolution to be considered. In the meantime, more weapons get into the wrong hands and the innocent pay the price. My heart breaks that the 17 souls were taken in Parkland. If any good can come out of it, it will be due to the strong and passionate voices of the grieving students left behind. Finally, a shift seems to be taking place. It is my hope and prayer that these young people can accomplish what we have failed to achieve- a ban on these automatic weapons and more support for the mentally ill. If their voices are strong enough, I hope their voting power will be!

  4. Susan Edmondson on February 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    I agree. I have started responding to people I’m in a discussion with by asking why do they need an automatic gun to kill an animal or why do they object to reasonable gun control. I ask if we can discuss the issue without getting bigged doen in the actual names of guns (there’s a lot of mistakes being made in naming automatic rifles, assault rifles etc). I will join students on their March in Indianapolis on 3/24. I email and call my US Senators.

  5. Pat Tasso on February 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you, Beautifully said and I couldn’t agree more

  6. J Page on February 26, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Very well said. Pray for our country.

  7. Marge Horgan on February 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I agree with you completely, Barbara. Bottom line….over and over again…Guns Kill !

  8. Barbara Butler on February 27, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Thank you for these great words. I totally agree. I am so saddened by all of the school shootings that we have had over the years, but this year it has turned into a total nightmare. I have been so proud and excited to see these articulate, bright students protesting and moving towards making a difference. I hope everyone of them that turns 18 this year chooses to register and vote out of office those that are taking money from the NRA both in state and federal government.

  9. Janice Swenson on February 27, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Thank you for expressing so well how I feel!!

  10. Cindy on February 27, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Well said. You brought up everything I’m feeling. Thank you.

  11. Madey Sperber on March 1, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I’m with you, Barbara!! To me the whole topic is Infuriating! The lives of children, teens, adults are important. Please, Congress, wake up and stop being so beholden to mistaken values. The 2nd amendment is NOT now, nor has it ever been, an issue here. If one state were in fear of attack by another, perhaps training that militia might be necessary! However, these are different times. Let’s support these vocal, traumatized kids in Parkland before another massacre of innocent people. So glad they are stepping up. And they will soon be voting age!! Hunting may be a sport to protect. Killing is not.

  12. Judy on March 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    I feel about guns much the same way as you do. I grew up in a home without guns. My father’s mother refused to have guns in her home after witnessing a child being killed accidentally by another child who had gotten a hold of parent’ gun.

    My husband has guns. He is a hunter. He used to belong to the NRA but dropped membership when their policies endorsed semi- automatic guns

  13. Fonda on March 5, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I have read all your books but now I think I’m done. The second amendment should not be changed. I have a gun for protection and if I or my family are threatened I will use it. The part you are missing is you cannot control the criminal young or old, if you took away all guns from law abiding citizens the only ones left with them would be criminals. We need tougher laws and judges.

    • Barbara Delinsky on March 5, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      I’m sorry you feel you can’t read my books now. I absolutely find nothing wrong with your having a gun for protection, and, as I said in my piece, no one is wanting to delete the 2nd amendment. You’re entirely right. We can’t control the criminal young or old. But if one of those who are shooting up schools did it with a handgun, rather than an assault weapon, there would be parents in this world who would still have their children.

  14. […] music won’t solve our country’s problems, but at least it may cool some tempers. Well, only […]

  15. Karen on July 24, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    I just read my first book by you, The Summer I Dared, and quite enjoyed it, thank you. I am so thankful my Dad immigrated to Canada, and not the USA. Also thankful for the much more restrictive laws regarding guns in Canada, and also in Germany, where I now live. Thanks for voicing your opinion so eloquently – these things need to be said, and heard!

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