Your Brain On Guns
In “My Month With a Gun,” anti-gun violence activist and author Heidi Yewman describes an encounter with a suspicious man in a parking garage stairwell.
“I thought about the 9mm in my purse as I clumsily continued down the stairs in my skirt and heels. He followed me,” she writes. “I thought: ‘Should I pull the gun out? Should I point it at him?’ My heart racing, we finally got to the lobby door, where the man simply passed by me. I’d grown paranoid. He wasn’t the bad guy I perceived him to be, and the gun did not make me safe.”
“It’s a good thing a gun was present or a heated argument could have broken out,” goes an old joke. But time and time again, the presence of a gun escalates everyday anger, fear and suspicion into lethal events.
Who can forget the three Muslim students killed last month in Chapel Hill allegedly over a parking space? If the alleged perpetrator Craig Hicks weren’t a gun lover, a fistfight might have broken out.
Last week in Hudson, Florida, 12-year-old boy allegedly shot his 6-year-old brother to death, wounded his older brother in the leg and then turned the gun on himself. First reports said the boys were arguing over how to cook dinner.
Barbara Campochiaro, sister of Helen Campochiaro, the mother of the boys told the Tampa Bay Times that her sister owned a firearm and the children “were raised with gun safety.” As happens with chilling regularity, the gun in the home for “protection” was used against its own occupants.
Also last week, a Houston woman driving to work was shot in the head after she honked at another driver, police said. Maybe the shooter felt threatened–the honker could have been a bad guy. Maybe he was standing his ground. The woman is in critical condition at a local hospital, with bullet fragments lodged in her brain.
What if every time you were mad enough to kill, you could? Add guns to a road rage incident or cooking dispute and that is exactly what happens.
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