Gun (Out of) Control

There's a story in the paper about a teenage boy who was shot dead on the sidewalk walking home from the convenient store.  The man who shot him was not arrested because he pleaded self defense, and in Florida it seems, they have a very wide definition of self defense, so that if you are a white man who gets out of your car to confront a black boy walking on the sidewalk and if an altercation ensues, you can shoot the boy dead and not get arrested.  

From far off, the sign looks like a bird in flight.  The signs bloomed over night, on the doors of the public library and the university and the schools and the hospitals and businesses downtown.  We didn't need the signs before because there was no need for them.  But things change, new laws are passed, and now in Wisconsin, people can carry concealed weapons in order to defend themselves against their fears.  So, it is up to the guardians of the doors to put up a sign if they don't want guns inside.  And every time I notice one of the signs, going to pick up my daughter from preschool, going to return books to the library, going to meet friends for coffee, I feel that familiar shimmer of fear.  I am afraid of people who are so fearful, they feel the need to carry a gun.  I am afraid that their fear and my fear only makes more of the same, and that a little sign on the door is no match for a loaded gun.

1 comment:

  1. You eloquently spoke my feelings on this troubling turn in Wisconsin that allows the concealed carrying of guns. Fear, anger, hate and guns can lead to tragic and terrifying crimes against innocent victims like the one in Florida. It already has.