Shot at

With the school shootings offering up gun safety once again for the so-called national dialogue, I am reminded of the time when I was about seven and got shot at.
We were at my aunt’s friend’s house which backed onto the shore of Lake Erie. People often shot out over the lake since no one was there (look for boats first).
One of the friends, an older man probably in his 40s, took me out back with a .22 so we could target practice. Since the shooting was at bottles and tin cans and we knocked some down, I went up to set them back up for more target shooting. As I walked up, a bullet whistled past my head. The idiot had shot past my head at a remaining target.
Afterwards, I realized he was drunk. No one at the gathering noticed he was drunk before he took me out nor was anyone outraged about me getting shot at. I believe I told only my mother or my aunt later, so there wasn’t much for them to do about it anyway.
I offer this as an example of the sort of things that occurred back then – that would’ve been in the early 50s. Had I been shot, it would probably have been attributed to an accidental discharge. The intoxication would probably have been treated as a normal condition – I don’t remember talk of drunk-driving back then, hence the need for MADD and SADD.
My point is that if we could changed public attitudes toward drinking and driving, perhaps we can change them on the proliferation of military-grade weapons in the hands of civilians. But to do that, we’d have to confront our well-armed past and look at just exactly why we needed and still need to be armed with such weapons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *