Guns have always made me nervous. I am not against guns, in fact, I have always lived in homes where guns are present. They have always been handled responsibly and I was taught at an early age to respect their power and the inherent danger of carelessly handling them.
This weekend, I shot a gun for the first time ever. I actually shot two; a 9mm pistol and a 20 gauge shotgun, and it was kind of fun. I am glad I tried shooting and that I know how to use them, but I don’t think it will ever become a hobby for me. And it’s not that I don’t appreciate their value, I know that they serve many important purposes. I just don’t like the grave responsibility that comes with using that kind of weapon; you can wound or even kill someone if you aren’t careful.
Many other things in life come with grave responsibility too, and sometimes we use them so carelessly. Our words, choices and actions (or reactions) serve valuable purposes, but all to often they are used without much thought given to the consequences. They hurt and wound people. And maybe they don’t kill our victims, but they can kill something inside of them. We shoot off our mouths, and BANG! Down goes that person that annoyed us or made us angry. We explode out of hurt or anger and BOOM! We take out a loved one in the process. Because of this carelessness, we are all walking around with bleeding and festering wounds that make us less than what we really are. And wounded people wound other people, so the vicious cycle continues. It’s like a mental and emotional nuclear war, complete with radioactive fallout.
Maybe if we stopped to imagine that our words, choices and actions are tangible items that we hold in our hands; feeling the weight of the responsibility, knowing that it is up to us how we use them, we could end the cycle. Or at the very least, we could drastically reduce the fallout. If we thought of those emotional and mental injuries we inflict like actual physical wounds that we could see bleeding and infected; if we could actually see the pain they cause, perhaps we would be more careful.
What would life be like if we used proper care when handling ourselves? What if we appreciated the grave responsibility that comes with being human? What would happen if we put down our weapons, and instead of continuing to inflict pain, we chose to help heal it? What if we just stopped the war?