Sunday, May 2, 2010

Guns & My Guys

I don't like guns. Blame the stories out of Africa, where easily accessible small arms play a key role in perpetuating endless violence. Blame Middle America, for gracing the week of my Bar Mitzva with two front page stories of students shooting up their schools with automatics (per Jonesboro and Columbine). Or credit one of my favorite teachers, whose attempt to prevent his children from playing with toy guns (video games, toy soldiers, water guns, etc) is a policy I readily admire.

My distaste for guns came up in conversation last week with a fellow soldier. We were chewing up guard duty time, talking about Israel's unusually high number of gun toting civilians. My friend opined that after carrying a weapon for so long as a soldier, he would certainly prefer to continue owning a gun in civilian life. I disagreed, explaining the many reasons why I am opposed to private gun ownership. Without batting an eye, he changed the subject to his family and began telling me about the paintball facility and gun dealership his father owns. Then he went into detail about the many guns, of all shapes and sizes, in his family home. As my eyes widened, he casually added that his father, you know, is a former deputy commander of our unit.

"So," I finally slipped in, "I suppose we don't quite agree on the whole gun issue. Good thing we can still be the best of friends, hey?"

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