Tag Archives: Gun control

The Anniversary

I can’t add anything to what the President says here:

 

The residents of Sandy Hook are reluctant to have a crazy media-fueled circus in their town on the anniversary.  Rather, people there are encouraging each of us to offer small acts of kindness to others.

It is a good idea today.  It is a good idea this season.  It is a good idea all year long.

25 Comments

Filed under Childhood Traumas, Elections, Gun control, Health and Medicine, History, Law, Mental Health, Neighbors, Taking Care of Each Other, Voting

Sometimes, These Things Happen

Unless you’re like me, you probably won’t believe this story.

No, this time it didn’t happen to me.  I don’t even know the principle characters involved in the story.  But I’m sure it’s true.

You see, there are some folks whose lives are filled with bizarre, inexplicable experiences.  Adventures.

I’m one of them.  After I was once held for ransom by the Washington Post, my friend Diana shook her head, laughed and said,

“Elyse, everywhere you go, you have adventures.”

She kindly refrained from inserting the word “stupid” in that sentence.  Still, she was right.

And I’m not alone.  In fact, based on the comments I received to my I Was Held For Ransom by the Washington Post story, there are a whole lot of us out there.

But perhaps no one is as “out there” – literally – as Nathan Baron, a high school student from Maine whom I just read about.

Yes, friends, Nathan is one of us.  Weird things just happen to him.  And last Saturday, well, something really strange happened while he was out there.  As in outside.  While he was hunting.

Nathan was sitting in a chair with his Remington .30-06 rifle, hunting.  No, sitting while hunting wasn’t the strange part.  But can I just please interject here that my image of the masculine hunter bringing home dinner has never before involved a collapsible Coleman chair?  Isn’t there some sort of stalking and movement involved in hunting?  Shouldn’t you at least have to stand for a while to make it more sporting?

Why be uncomfortable before drawing blood?  (Google Image)

Why be uncomfortable?
(Google Image)

Well, fortunately for Nathan, he was hunting in the woods just across from his house, because he had to poo (see, I told you that Nathan was just like me – I always have to go at the most inconvenient times).  Nathan plopped his gun up against a tree, climbed onto his 4 wheeler, and headed home to do his business comfortably.

[I gotta say it:  Nathan is not a bear.  So he doesn’t, you know … ]

Anyway, when he got back to his comfy chair in the woods from which he could shoot things, he couldn’t find his gun.  And that, of course, makes hunting that much more difficult.  What could possibly have happened to his gun?

As Nathan reported to the Bangor Daily News:

“There was a stream that was running about 100 feet away from me. I look, and there’s a beaver hauling that gun into the water,” he said.

The article continued: ” Let’s take a moment to let that sink in.  A beaver.  Stole.  His gun.”

Yes, apparently, the beaver just hauled it on home to his lodge without even getting a background check.

I will say that I’ve had many weird things happen to me, but none involved beavers.  Moreover, none of my guns has ever been taken by a wild animal.  Perhaps that is because I am smart enough to not have guns, which are dangerous in the wrong, ummm, paws.  And of course not having any guns makes it that much easier to keep them away from wildlife.  And bad guys.

But you know, I completely believe Nathan’s story.  Because weird, hard to believe things have happened to me my whole life.

Besides, who could make up such a stupid story?

I wonder if Nathan has a blog.

*     *     *

This is my 300th post!  Thanks everybody for making blogging such a delightful way to spend time.

72 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Childhood Traumas, Gun control, Huh?, Humor, Maine, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

Passing Through

It’s a place I’ve tried to avoid since the turn of the millennium.  I pass through there regularly, but I bite my lip, swallow past that huge lump in my throat, and try not to cry.  I do not stop.

That’s because it’s such a lovely place with a huge hole.  Last year that hole got bigger.  Not just for me but for all the folks who love its windy, tree lined roads, its historic houses, its New Englandness.  For all those who love children.  For all those who hate violence.

My sister Judy lived there.  I miss her.

I was forced to go through there.  As we drove north to Maine on Saturday, traffic came to a halt.  I knew the roads from a few decades of driving them.   I took them to get where we were going.  Yes,  we got off the highway, and I wound my way down the streets of Newtown, Connecticut.  Through Sandy Hook.

We stopped for gas at a Mobil station right next to the Blue Colony Diner, where my sister helped me laugh through my troubles thirty years ago.  Where the two of us solved all the world’s problems over coffee and pie.  Where we laughed and cried, but mostly laughed.

On the door of the gas station was a sign that made me cry, too.  But in a different way.

Google

Google

Yes.  Sandy Hook Chooses Love. Love over hate.  Love over violence.  Love over the 2nd Amendment.

And so do I.

 

51 Comments

Filed under Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Driving, Family, Gun control, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, History, Politics, Stupidity

Because You Never Can Tell With Some People

It wasn’t something John and I thought about right off the bat. Nope, there were other more obvious and urgent ways to protect that new baby we’d been lucky enough to adopt.

In fact, we didn’t actually worry about Jacob playing in a house with guns until he was, actually, playing in a house with guns and he was out of our sight.

It was a day or so before we were to leave Connecticut and move back to the DC area.  Our neighbors, the Planters, had us over for a good-bye dinner. It was John, me, Linda and Paul, their two grown daughters and their significant others. The eldest daughter, Jade, had a daughter Juniper, who was Jacob’s age.

All was well for a while. They were nice people. Linda had retired from an insurance company and and divided her time between cooking and playing classical piano.We could hear it whenever the windows were open, all summer long.   She was quite good. Paul was a upper end contractor.  He was also a hunter.

For some reason that I have conveniently forgotten and  for which John will never forgive me, I brought up guns and gun control at one point during dinner. It was then that I learned that our soon to be former neighbors believed that they needed an arsenal to fight off the ” black booted” thugs from the government. The US government. Black helicopters. They thought that the 2nd Amendment guaranteed that he could have any weapon that he government had. Including nukes.

Huh?

It was at about that time that I realized that Jacob and Juniper were downstairs. They were being supervised by another relative, so I hadn’t been concerned.  But the discussion made me a little uneasy.

I knew there were guns in the house, but I no longer felt quite comfortable that these folks were reasonable. I didn’t know where the guns were, whether they were locked away, or left leaning against the wall somewhere accessible to my 4 year old son.

*     *     *

That was the last time for many years that I didn’t ask about guns in the home of anyone Jacob played with.  Even when the parents seemed like they didn’t fear the guv’ment.  Even when they seem like normal folks.  Liberals, even.

It is incredibly awkward to ask people if they have guns in their house — akin to saying “excuse me, are you an irresponsible parent who would endanger your own child(ren) as well as mine?”

Still, I had to ask. Every time Jacob went someplace new for many years.

I did it by lying through my teeth.  To new friends and acquaintances.  I shamelessly blamed my husband:

“I have the most overprotective husband” I would sigh.  He made me promise to ask everyone before letting Jacob go play … You don’t have guns in your house, do you?  Arsenic?  Nukes?” I’d laugh, and the other mother or father would laugh too.

And then they’d answer.

“No, of course not,” was generally the answer.  And then I was comfortable letting my son go to their house.

One time, though, I did get a “yes, we have guns in our house” answer.  I was surprised. You will be shocked to know that I kept an open mind.

That time, my friend Suzanne invited me and Jacob over, and took me down to her basement and showed me where her husband kept his hunting rifles. In a locked, secure gun safe.

If I had learned that the person had guns and did not secure them, their kid would have been welcome to play at our house any old time.  But my son would not have been allowed to play there.  Nope.  Not a chance.  It is simple common sense.

Guns+Kids=Tragedy

Naturally, I felt bad for blaming John.  Oh who am I kidding.  No I didn’t.  It was much less awkward, doing it that way — it made the other parents feel less threatened, less like I thought they were crazy, irresponsible, folks who wanted to kill children.  With my way, well, I had the comfortable knowledge that my kid wouldn’t become a statistic. It was worth sacrificing John’s pride for peace of mind. Especially because he still doesn’t know I did it.

Friday, June 21st is “Ask About Guns Day,” sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Because all too often pediatricians are called on to try to save children who are hurt by guns.  They know that asking can save lives.

ASK.  Because you don’t want your kid (or grandkid or really any kid) knockin’ on heaven’s door, do you?  I just had to ask.

77 Comments

Filed under Family, Gun control, Health and Medicine, Neighbors

Test Your Co-Workers!

It’s sometimes hard to take a story that is so shocking and make it more interesting.  More exciting.  More absurd.

I tried.  I’ve been working on this post all evening.  But nope.  I just can’t top the lunacy of the real thing.

Here is the stupidest story of the day (in my humble opinion):

HALFWAY (Oregon) — Two masked men wearing hoodies and wielding handguns burst into the Pine Eagle Charter School in this tiny rural community on Friday. Students were at home for an in-service day, so the gunmen headed into a meeting room full of teachers and opened fire.

Shocking, no?

Terrible.  But read on.

Someone figured out in a few seconds that the bullets were not drawing blood because they were blanks and the exercise was a drill, designed to test Pine Eagle’s preparation for an assault by “active shooters” who were, in reality, members of the school staff. But those few seconds left everybody plenty scared.

Now when you go to work, look around and figure out who on the staff would take a job like that.

“Hey, Joe!  You know how those other teachers are actually liked by the students?  Wanna make them shit their pants?  That’ll stop them from laughing at you.

But think about this.

Instead of trying to limit guns, ammunition, access to lethal weapons, this community hired staff members to pretend to shoot their colleagues to see whether the teachers would react properly should the guns that haven’t been taken away from fucking lunatics should be used in a school shooting.

Ummmmmmmm.

Here’s the full story.

What is wrong with some people in this country?

Oh, and what if there was “A Good Guy” with a gun in that faculty meeting.  Then it wouldn’t have been a drill.

94 Comments

Filed under Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Gun control, Hypocrisy, Mental Health, Stupidity