Update: Apparently I am super clueless: my husband found this post and said: "you thought that was a bb-gun? That was a real gun." My bad...
I guess you could call our marriage a magenta (not enough blue to be purple, but a sprinkle of it) marriage; he is very red-state, while although conservative, I grew up in Los Angeles, so a lot of blue-ness rubbed off on me.
Guns are an interesting issue in our household. I grew up in a barrio, which is literally just a few levels above a ghetto safety-wise. We still hear gunshots regularly, and police helicopters with spotlights hover over our neighborhood often. We have had a getaway car abandoned in front of our house, and a suspect run through our backyard while being pursued by the police. I have seen drugs dealt, and prostitutes strutting their stuff on our block.
Now having said that, I feel really safe in my parents' neighborhood. My parents have lived there almost 40 years, and never once experienced a break-in. They don't even lock their back door. We also know our neighbors and wave to them as they walk by our kitchen window when they accompany their kids to school. The neighborhood is experiencing a revival of sorts: for years it was rented houses, and now they are owner occupied and you can see a lot of house-pride. One thing we never experience in our neighborhood are drive-bys. The violence isn't random. It seems very much tit for tat. So I have never felt the need for a gun. I have never felt unsafe.
My husband, on the other hand, grew up in suburbia in Kentucky, where kids could ride their bikes and roam free all day long without much fear of any harm. Despite this idyllic upbringing, he fully exercises his constitutional right to bear arms. And he thinks that I am nuts to have never felt the need for a gun while living in LA. (Now, I have to once again specify, we live in a lower-socioeconomic neighborhood, which I believe makes us less of a target for home invasion and robbery than living in a more prosperous neighborhood).
I view his gun ownership just like I view his predilection for Skyline Chili and chicken pot pie: it’s a cultural thing, and although I can eat Skyline Chili occasionally, it’s not something I crave, and I don’t think I ever will. However, after last night I have renewed respect for my husband and his guns.
We live in a pretty safe neighborhood in the South. We were suddenly awoken at about 2am by the sound of breaking glass. While I was still processing the noise, my husband was miles ahead of me. He jumped out of bed, turned on the light and before I knew it he was walking towards where the noise came with a gun in his hand. Now, I didn’t feel particularly threatened about the sound. But I thought this was all very exciting: my husband, walking towards the sound of danger, with his gun (albeit, it was just his bee-bee gun as the “real” gun was in another room, but man it looks menacing). I snuggled a little deeper into the covers of the bed and watched while he turned off the light in the bathroom and peered outside, checking to see if the window had been broken.
He quickly discovered that it was just the glass covering from a light fixture that must have been blown down by the wind (it was extremely windy and rainy that night…which was adding to the whole drama).
He walked back into the bedroom and put the gun back into its case, and put it back in its place, turned off the light and got back into bed. And promptly fell back asleep.
I, on the other hand, was pumped. I was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. “That was sooo hawt,” was all I could think. What a turn on! It took a lot of self-control not to start pawing my sleeping husband. And I realized: “this man is ready and willing to protect his family.” He was so calm and collected in his actions, so confident. I knew that if anyone would be trying to break-in, they would be meeting some serious resistance, and this was highly comforting.
It was a real eye opener to see what properly exercising your Second Amendment right looks like. And having seen it in action, I can honestly say, I like the fact that we have that right.