I bought a gun once.

It was the week the Twin Towers fell. Funk wouldn’t “let” me own one before that time, for reasons I’m sure you’ve probably discerned by now. Yet even with the Towers down, he still didn’t want a gun in the house. I felt certain World War III was starting soon, so it’s one of the few times I went against his wishes.

After dropping my kids off at school, I hightailed it over to Dick’s Sporting Goods. At the counter, I asked the clerk which gun to buy. I wanted one that would put meat on the table and also protect my family. It was if my voice had asked the question over the PA system. In no time at all, a flock of men were surrounding me, mansplaining which gun would best serve my dual purpose.

I am an excellent shot.

After we moved from New York to Arizona, because there was nothing to do there, my father took my brother San and I up the mountaintop to shoot at tin cans with his pistol. I blew them away every time. You should’ve seen the look of pride in his eyes when I did. We moved to Florida a year later. My new high school forced me to take archery, and the same thing happened. I hit my mark every time.

To me, this pandemic isn’t a random act. It’s a holy time that’s requiring something from us humans.

As Georgia Nicols said, we’re being asked “…to build new structures to correct the problems we currently face because an old order of life is passing away.” And to that, I say thank God. Because think of the oppression some of us are living under. The social disparities. The loneliness. Climate change. You may think this isn’t happening to you. But if ONE of us is down, we’re ALL down.

My 12-gauge pump shotgun has never been assembled.

Thankfully, there’s been no need for it. But it sits on my shelf, should our country ever be at war, or should my family be unable to afford groceries.

My gun won’t come out of the packaging for peaceful protest, like those White Supremacist Terrorists’ claim they did in Michigan. And it won’t be carried, and only because it’s legal for me to do so. However, it may see the light of day should Funk annoy me. But fingers crossed that never happens. Because why waste a good lifetime in jail?

Here’s to you if have the courage to speak your voice and to step in kindness when you do. Both are essential, but kindness really matters. I’d rather be influential any day than have a moment of instant gratification from blowing off steam with angry words.

The photo: Does this look like a badass markswoman? Well, it is.

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