As a gun owner, a serious conservative and a Republican Party member, I submit that we need to do more to control guns. Not with laws — there are already too many, most of which are unenforced — but within our community and within our relationships. To that end, I will share my story.
Many reading may remember that Oct. 22, 2005, was a life-changing day for me. Very shortly, within hours, I believe, after learning that my husband and a partner had died in a plane crash on Rabbit Ears Pass, I asked a friend to take my guns. I didn’t know what the coming weeks or months would be like, but I had some notion I would be brought to the depths of emotional hell and didn’t know how I would react. I’d like to think that if I had not had the wherewithall to ask someone to take my guns, someone who cared about me would have asked to take them. Gun ownership requires great responsibility, and that includes the ability and willingness to be honest with ourselves and others.
We all have particularly tough seasons in our lives. We all have friends we know who are going through hard times. We so often want to look the other way and not confront the elephant in the room, taking the position that “it’s none of my business.” We live in communities comprised of relationships. I believe we need to recover the ability in our close relationships to hold one another accountable. We need to care and be willing to make ourselves vulnerable for others to care for us. We need to be willing to ask — and be asked — “Are you OK?” without a pat “Yes, I’m fine” answer. Laws won’t stop the irrational, emotional moments of anger and senseless acts of violence. Nurturing relationships of mutual accountability, however, might just be able to help prevent tragedy.