A few years ago, I was at a family funeral. My cousin's son told me this story - and I think it's important because it's an indicator that it's not just that we disagree about the place of guns, it's that we're not even in the same room talking to each other.
My cousin's son described to me that every week, during hunting season, his buddies and he get in a buddy's pick-up truck and they go hunting. My cousin's son rides shotgun. A third friend rides in the back.
One week, my cousin's son was ill. He didn't go on the weekly trip. The guy that normally sits in the backseat was promoted to riding shotgun.
That week, the driver's gun went off. It was loaded. A bullet blasted through the friend's head. Dead.
My cousin's son told me this story as I'm sure my eyes were popping out of my head and he concluded it with this.
"Clearly, God has plans for me, or I would've been in the truck that week."
Before he made this statement, I am sitting there thinking- OMG, I cannot imagine anything more traumatic than knowing a friend's brains were blasted out because of an accidental misfire from a gun, and this is surely the moment when you are going to say "I used to be all-in for recreational guns but now, I just cannot support it. No friend should have a bullet planted through their brains." That's not what he's saying.
In fact, that's not even close to what he said. He made his friend's death a statement about his own worthiness. His friend's death was a wake-up call to him to make the most of his life, because he was spared.
We need to figure out how to get in the same room, because there are too many gun deaths in this country every year.