It is a sad day here today. I guess it is a sad day for our country, but particularly for this state (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/08/20110108arizona-giffords-brk.html).
My state has passed a concealed weapon law recently that allows people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. There's always been a lot of guns in my state, but lately it's been excessive. People are packing in the supermarket. I always see multiple people with guns in the back of their pants at church!
Earlier this week actually, someone started taking hostages at the Baja Fresh by the mall about a half mile away from my house. A school in my district (actually the school I live closest to) was put on lockdown. All the students and teachers had to remain locked in the building two hours after school was let out because a gunman was running around.
Now with this incident in a city not too far south of here, I am really wishing we had better laws to regulate guns. I started thinking about some of my experiences with guns and I wondered if I've been oblivious to how negatively the abundance of guns has affected my life. I just haven't lived outside of this state since I was 4 (other than college). Here's some of the ways I've been effected. Tell me if you've had a similar experience. I'd like to hear how it is elsewhere.
The road rage in this city is bad. When I was 17 years old, we were on the freeway driving to the location where our prom was being held, and the car in front of us thought we had cut them off. They pulled out a gun and pointed it at us. We got off immediately (thankfully there wasn't too much traffic), and nothing happened but I don't know if anything would have.
2.) In My Personal Life
This year, when my friend left her unstable husband, one of the reasons that I felt so unsafe is that he owned a gun store and had a personal collection of over twenty guns. One night, right after it all happened, my phone rang from a blocked number at about 2:30am. I was worried that he was outside my house trying to find out if I was at home. I had no idea what to do. Again, nothing happened, but if guns hadn't been involved in that whole situation, I don't think I would have been scared at all.
3.) At School
When I taught fifth grade, we had a very hostile and disturbed young man in the class next door to me. One day, the mom called the school to say that she couldn't find her gun and she was worried that her son had it in his backpack. Now, I'm going to be forthcoming with the fact that I think the principal handled this poorly and should have called the police, but this is what happened. She ordered this young man's teacher to search his backpack because the parents had given permission. The teacher asked me to be present while she searched the backpack because she was afraid if he had just thrown it in his backpack with the safety off or there was anything else in there (with this kid anything could have been in his backpack. So, this teacher and I looked through his backpack and didn't find anything. His mom actually called later in the day to say she found the gun.
Well, this posts has been about guns, but I recognize that the tragedy is not. If your reading this I hope your thoughts and prayers will be with the victims and families--mine are.