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Commentary: Are you locked and loaded?

I had a woman attack me on a thread about guns on my Facebook page this week.

Normally, I don’t involve myself in these sorts of conversations, but this woman was angry and there were two women (friends of mine) who did not agree with her about the need to be locked and loaded. The angry woman insinuated that these women – and any woman who wasn’t carrying a loaded gun – relied on a man to keep them safe.
She informed everyone that she lived “in the real world amongst rapist, murderers and thieves.”

When I informed her that all these women said nothing of needing a man and were simply saying that they did not understand the gun culture in America and that we all live in the “real” world and not everyone is a rapist, murderer or thief – she informed me that I was not facing reality or was ignoring it, and that it was just obvious that the women were dependent on a man.

Seriously?

I walked away from the conversation pissed – on many levels. Pissed that this angry woman thought she had the absolute right to tell those of us who do not agree with the whole locked and loaded mind-set that we were not “living in the real world.” Pissed that this is who we have become – a land of – if you break into my home – I’m going to kill you – and I need an AK47 and a closet full of ammo to make sure you are dead – sort of people – and mainly pissed that I allowed this angry woman to get to me.

When did we lose civility? When did we lose our ability to want to communicate with one another? I’m sure there are perfectly valid reasons this woman is so scared and so angry. Had she given me the chance to know and understand – I might have had a little more compassion for her need to have her gun so close. Instead I walked away from that conversation having no desire to engage anyone else on that thread in any sort of dialog about anything. I was just done.

I understand that we all have different opinions, and we all live different lives, however, we must respect one another. Telling someone that they aren’t living in the real world and they aren’t facing reality is certainly not leading you down the path of civility or understanding.

If you feel you must own a gun and keep it loaded and tell us all that you would not hesitate to kill – so be it. Whatever. That is certainly your right to do so. I don’t agree – and I’ll be frightened for you and probably of you – but – it’s your life.

However – if I tell you that I don’t own a gun - please don’t assume or tell me I’m one of those women who is dependent on a man to keep me safe. You will just look and sound foolish to those who know I’m a lesbian and not dependent on a man – for anything.

And finally – let’s find us some common ground – some respect – and perhaps some dialog that doesn’t include the words: “I’m right – you’re wrong – I won’t listen.”

Let’s be kind to one another.

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SDGLN Contributor Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.