you may have heard on the news that there is an ex-los angeles police officer on a murderous rampage in southern california. he has killed the daughter of his defense attorney and her fiance as well as another police officer and wounded his partner. authorities found his burned out pick-up truck in a snowy field in the san bernardino mountains near the resort town of big bear. his footprints lead away from the truck and disappear into the snow. he is armed and extremely dangerous. on his facebook page is a manifesto (the news reporters and the police are calling it that) that lists all of the people he plans on killing. this has been going on now for several days and he has yet to be found and apprehended.
i don’t live near the san bernardino mountains, but they are just a couple hours drive from my home. when i got home last night i did say to m. that the fear this marauder evokes makes me seriously consider owning a gun. are you shocked by that statement? if you knew me, you would be. i know i am.
there was a .22 rifle propped up by mother’s bed for many years when i was growing up and she was a single mother. when mary lived with us and later with her last husband, roy, there were always guns in the house. we went hunting every year, if not always for deer, then ducks, grouse, pheasants beware. i did not like shooting living things and voiced my opinion to the adults in my life about how cruel i thought it was. they ignored me.
i was taught to load and fire a rifle and a shotgun. my uncle would take me and my cousin out into the countryside to shoot at tin cans or to go skeet shooting. once i was old enough to stay at home by myself i no longer went on hunting trips because of how much it sickened me. i am an anti-war, anti-killing, anti-gun bleeding heart liberal.
until last night. when you look around your home; there lies your napping dogs, your loved ones, all that you’ve worked for all your life, the trappings of comfort and family and to think that one crazed individual could end that so easily frightens me deeply. my house may be my castle, but it is not my fortress. it is mostly glass and so easily entered to be ridiculous. i cannot imagine how fearful the residents of the big bear area must be.
and i want a gun. m. agrees. “just for an emergency,” he said last night as he struggled to get up from the couch to greet me when i got home and expressed my fears.
we will not own a gun. the fact remains, though, that we have considered it and at a gut level understand why someone else may want to have one, “just in case of an emergency.” that seems a valid reason to me this morning as i hear the wind whip up the canyon, brushing past the rose bushes and wiping the windows with its cool touch.