I am a gun. I was born a gun. You know—a piece, a nine, a pocket rocket, a ghost load, a banger, a strap, a chopper, a pocket warmer, a lead slinger, a Saturday night special, a rod, a biscuit, a boomer, a hole puncher, a daisy pusher, a smoke wagon. I am the Persuader. I am an Insurance Policy. I am a Problem Solver. I am the great Equalizer.
In the beginning, I was nothing more than a blank slate of steel, no different than my counterparts who would grow up and be forged into door latches, kitchen tools, or perhaps airplane parts. We all came from the same family, but as we evolved, heat and pressure molded us differently, guided by the hands and minds that formed us. Much like you. You too were born a blank slate, and then through the process of the hands and minds that shaped you, combined with time, environment, people, and experiences (applied heat) you too became who you are.
I have been around for centuries and I’m as controversial as God is. Some people say I have the same power in the fact that I too can be a taker of life. I can protect a life too, a guardian angel if you will. Controversy and emotion revolves around me, just as surely as the bullets that revolve inside my cylinder. Laws are made because of me. Laws are broken because of me. Laws are obeyed because of me.
I am a gun. I have a reputation. These days I am analyzed, debated, misunderstood, and maligned by those in politics and media. I am misrepresented in today’s careless culture of movies, music, and gaming. You have seen me so much of me in entertainment that you think nothing is wrong here and are desensitized to death and human suffering as you irresponsibly consume me when I am the cool lyrics in a hip song, or the destroyer of “bad people” or even “good guys” such as cops and civilians in movies or virtually real video games.
No, you and most of the media and entertainers only snap to attention when mass numbers of real people die. You demand that I be changed, but you refuse to look in the mirror. You easily turn a blind eye and conveniently step off your soap box, when it’s just one or two, here or there, maybe even in your home town, or perhaps the nameless, faceless kid killed every day by gangs in inner cities. The news is always so depressing you say, so you just turn it off, and indiscriminately hand your kids the XBOX controller while you go in another room to catch up on Facebook since your interaction time is limited or you make dinner and attend other chores.
Yet when you eat dinner as a family this evening in front of the big screen, you’ll fume with fury when you hear about the tragedy du jour, thinking someone needs to do something about all this but later when the kids are in bed, the same station that brought you the tragic news will bring you shows like Body of Evidence. It’s the show “that kills” the promo sound bite promises to deliver. You’ll apathetically watch, already having forgotten about the bad news out there in the world.
I am a gun. In your hands I can put food on your table or a trophy on your wall. I can rob a bank or stop a robbery in process. I can threaten to harm you and then I can follow through when held by the mind of evil. I can protect you and stop the evil when held by the mind of protection and justice. I can create carnage and I can end it. I am the line in the sand that many have boldly proclaimed I will not be a victim here.
In the hands of the untrained, irresponsible, and unstable I have had devastating consequences. In the hands of the responsibly trained and mentally balanced, I have served, protected, and saved untold, unseen, and unreported millions.
I am a gun. I come in all shapes and sizes and what comes out of me has only the potential to harm or destroy catastrophically. Much like the shape of you and the words you so freely say.
I am a gun. My sight is set only on what your eyes and mind choose for me to see. I am at the command of your finger and your mind. And when I expel my contents of deadly force, I hit only what you tell me to. I choose nothing. I am above the law, solely because I am a servant to you, regardless of whatever laws are in place, amended or repealed in the future.
Some will always see me as a source of evil, a deliverer of destruction and death. Perhaps that has been their tragic experience of which I had no choosing. Others will see me as a source of security, protection, and yes, recreation. This too, I do not choose.
I am a tool. Like a hammer, a knife, or a six-thousand pound vehicle, I can be used or misused. I am probably the inanimate object that is surrounded by more controversy than any other inanimate object.
I am a gun. You can fear me, fire me, be entertained by me, lock me up, collect me, loath me, sell me, regulate me, buy me, or love me.
Yet I carry no power of my own volition; I only mirror the mind of the man (or woman) whose grip engulfs me. Left alone without human touch I am powerless. Much like you. What grips you? What drives you? Is it fear? Is it freedom? Is it madness? Is it faith? In your hands, what drives me is what drives you.
I am only a gun. Yet I am so much more because I am an extension of YOU. I may be your tool of choice or the object of your hatred or source of grief. When discussed, I hit the target with 100% accuracy that serves as the nerve center of your deepest held beliefs. My reputation always was and always will be less about me and more about you. How I am portrayed, legislated, consumed, handled, and used is determined only by you.
For I am only a gun.