I think that’s the allure: the idea that if you have a gun, you can be in control rather than being at the mercy of someone else.Indeed, the moment I realized my position had changed came in the wake of a brutal rape-murder in my hometown of Lancaster. Two young men broke into the home of a beloved local teacher and slaughtered her. This doesn’t even begin to describe what happened. The District Attorney was reluctant to release details, perhaps concerned a lynch mob might show up outside the jailhouse.In subsequent online discussions, several people said: If she’d owned a gun, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.I couldn’t disagree.Sure, maybe the killers would have gotten the drop on her anyway; m. Maybe, had her weapon been locked up, it would have been inaccessible when she needed it most.But maybe it could have made all the difference.Ultimately, I think guns are a reflection of human nature and American culture. That very American anger and resentment that motivates so many killers is a rationale to limit guns. But it also is a reason to own them.And I think the loudest anti-gun rhetoric comes from those who have never been around firearms. If you have never owned one or known anyone who has, they’re scary machines used to kill and nothing more, and you simply can’t understand why anyone would have one unless they want it for nefarious purposes.For me, proximity created familiarity, which ultimately led to greater understanding. Your own mileage might vary. But the issue now seems more complicated, more nuanced, than it once seemed. There are no easy answers.
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