This column right here?
It arrives at such a perfect time. That acquaintance I mentioned earlier, the one I want little to do with now? She got herself a gun. A little handgun. She posted the fact on facebook. She told us the other night that she’s also applied for a concealed carry permit, and needs a gun that’s a little smaller to have with her at all times, I guess. Because, she said, “I’m a single woman at home with two kids, when I’m alone with them I want to be protected.” That’s fine and everything, but I strongly suspect that she got this gun (guns, soon) because she’s a little leery of an ex-boyfriend. Even asked if her if that was why, she said no. But none of us believe her.
Anyway. Back to Ms. Banks. I know what she’s talking about. I spend a great deal of time home alone with the children. Admittedly, I’m lucky, unlike Ms. Banks, that my husband is not deceased, and unlike my acquaintance, that my husband is no longer my husband or that my ex-boyfriend is not “hurtful in what he says” and “controlling” with an “ego” and “jealous.”
But like the off-duty police officer told Ms. Banks, I refuse to do much because I’m scared. I mean, I’ll call my neighbor at 5 in the morning if my husband’s away and something scares me. And my husband will wield a 9-iron or baseball bat if we both hear (or see) an intruder in or near our home. (This has all happened in the past three years.)
A police officer once checked out my house at 6am, because I’d heard strange sounds and my husband was in Asia. I was convinced that somebody was trying to break in. (Turned out, it was a Cuban tree frog, stuck in my toilet, trying to get out. He escaped the next morning, jumped into my bed. Called my neighbor… oh the story of neighbor against nature which we retell and retell…)
Anyway, the police officer, after surveying our yard, our fence, our home (except for the toilet in which the huge frog hid!), asked if my husband traveled a lot. I said “Yes.” He suggested three things: a bright outdoor light with a motion sensor; pad locks on our gate entrances to the back yard; and a dog.
He never suggested a gun. And gun ownership is a big thing, a common thing, where we live.
Let me be clear: I am not against gun ownership. I find guns fascinating in fact, and would like one day to learn to fire one. At a range. Only at a range.
But I don’t desire to own one. And it would sadden me, deeply, if I felt compelled to get one. And believe me, after two young men were chased out of our home by my husband (in his underwear) we have many compelling reasons, in the eyes of many, to get ourselves a gun (or two).
I recognize more women are buying guns now, changing the dynamics of power, either in the gun lobby or among women and men. Fine.
I also noticed that in Texas, women were required to hand over their feminine hygiene products before entering the statehouse. But people could still carry in a concealed gun.
As a woman, I most definitely need protection. But I will always feel more comfortable with a tampon in my purse than a gun.