A Deadly Addiction

January 12th, 2011

Disclosure: I don’t (and have never) owned guns, but this worked best in the first person, so that’s what I went with.

Firing a Ruger 10/22 is lots of fun
(It’s a very popular gateway gun).
But its repeated recreational use
Can lead to serious abuse.
It’s easy to think nothing will happen to you,
I know – I used to think that too.

I didn’t plan to become a gun addict – things just worked out that way. My parents taught me to stay away from guns. I’d never fired or even held one until I was out with some friends one day, and one of them had a rifle (a Ruger 10/22). They each took a few shots and pressured me to take a shot too. I didn’t want to, but I was afraid they’d make fun of me, so I did. Almost everyone I knew shot guns, so I didn’t want to stand out.

It was great. Shooting that rifle and hitting the target made me feel good at something, and powerful. After that, I shot guns whenever I could. The first thing I bought when I moved out of my parents’ house was my own 10/22. After that, I bought a pistol (a Colt M1911), then gradually worked my way up to bigger and more dangerous guns.

I had a good job, but I was spending more and more of my income on guns and gun paraphernalia, and becoming more and more sucked into the gun culture. I became increasingly paranoid that someone was going to take away my guns, or keep me from getting more guns in the future. I was willing to do almost anything to keep that from happening.

I hit rock bottom about a year ago. I always thought I could use guns recreationally and that it wouldn’t hurt me or anyone else. I always thought I was responsible, not like the people who can’t handle it that you see on the news. But the odds are that if you keep playing with fire, you –-or someone you love—will eventually get burned. I only wish it had been me instead, because not living would be better than living with what I’ve done.

Like the enablers say, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” But the real truth is that people with guns kill a lot more people than people without them.

I know that many of you gun users out there are saying that other people might have a gun problem, but not me. I used to say the same thing. But it’s not an individual problem, it’s a national problem. With so much gun use, how can there not be abuse. Noone ever thinks it’s going to happen to them, but if that were true, then it wouldn’t happen to anyone. But it does happen, at a cost of over 30,000 lives per year in the US.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely anti-gun. I believe that it is possible for some people to be responsible gun owners. But there are some people that should never be allowed to own any kind of gun (including me, though I never would have admitted that before), and some guns that are so deadly that noone should be allowed to privately own them.

I’ve been gun-free for 11 months now, and my life has a purpose: telling people my story so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to them, and trying to change our laws to protect Americans from this deadly national addiction. You can help too by supporting common sense gun laws.

And just say no to guns.

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2 Responses to “A Deadly Addiction”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Enduring Strength (or: Together We Connive) Says:

    […] But one of the ways we exceed is in gun deaths per year. […]

  2. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Rights and Wrongs (But Which Is Which?) Says:

    […] political juxtaposition along the lines of A Deadly Addiction and Constitutional Quiz… “We are a legal business providing a legal service that our customers […]

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