Monday, October 26, 2015
Last week a catalog arrived from the "Vermont Country Store." What an eclectic bunch of stuff you get purchase there! They stock a lot of retro 1950s toys, home furnishings and gadgets. I found myself awash in nostalgia: chenille bed spreads, spinning tops, tinker toys, pink princess telephones, flannel house dresses and corduroy jumpers. I began to fantasize about turning the guest bedroom into a shrine to the 1950s. I became oddly comforted by the idea.
He has finally gone completely off the rails. He has swallowed the Kool Aid of Rush Limbaugh and FOX "News" and believes that this gun will protect him from the bad guys. He gave a very cogent response when I asked him "why?" He is doing everything right, from taking classes to keeping the gun in a lock box separate from the ammo.
Why, then, am I so unglued?
Because I can see no scenario, none, zip, nada, where having a gun makes him safer. Indeed, it only endangers his life and the life of my mother.
My weekend was spent on the Internet looking up statistics for gun accidents, and gun regulations in our state, and investigating legal avenues for removing the gun from his possession. He is a mentally competent adult and in this foolish and dangerous country, is allowed to possess a firearm.
Let's explore the term "mentally competent," shall we? Does it cover diminished sight, hearing or reflexes? No, it does not. Does it include Tea Party paranoia? Nope. Does it address the loss of power and control an elderly white man feels when sees the world changing dramatically around him? Can it begin to take into account the idolatry of the military and the machismo of being a man with a gun?
I donate to several causes devoted to gun regulation in this country. Have been for awhile. I, personally, wish that all guns were completely illegal. But I realize that is a tall order, and so I will settle for gun regulation that makes it more difficult for citizens to acquire firearms. I know that after a mass shooting the sales of firearms increases. I just never thought my own dad, paranoid as he is, would be one of those people.
It scares the hell out of me.