Gun ownership is…

Well. As I’ve said before, I’m not a personal fan.

A few nights ago, my husband inadvertently locked me out of the house. I had planned to enter through our garage and didn’t feel like taking two sets of keys with me. He left the door between the home and the garage unlocked for me (though a spare is available, hidden), but there’s second interior door, that does not have a key, that gets you into the house.

It was accidentally locked. I couldn’t get in, because the spare keys we had hidden lacked the key to the front door (my husband was using it as his own key had broken inside the lock… and oh my G-d as I type this I realize fully that we sound like buffoons.).

I had to wake my husband up somehow, at 1:30 in the morning. I called both phones. He slept on. I knocked and gently called his name. Nothing. Knocked louder, called his name louder, and then he was there.

He had a mildly panicked and disoriented look about him (he’d been in a deep sleep) and it took him about a minute to register what was going on as we stood there, facing each other.

We both went to bed. Safe and sound.

Meanwhile, in Dearborn, Michigan, during the same weekend, at around the same time of night, a 19-year-old woman named Renisha McBride was in a car accident. Her cell phone battery had died. She went to a house and knocked on the door.

She was “shot in the back of the head as she turned to walk off the porch of the home where she sought assistance…. McBride’s maternal aunt, Bernita Spinks, said the shooting was not justified even if the resident believed her niece was an intruder looking to break into the home. ‘He shot her in the head … for what? For knocking on his door,’ said Spinks on Tuesday. ‘If he felt scared or threatened, he should have called 911.'” Spinks praised the latest police’s decision to seek charges against the resident in the shooting of her niece…”

Nope. Not a personal fan of gun ownership. I’m just not. My husband isn’t either.

And you know something?

I hope that resident–whether male or female, young or old, law-abiding or law-evading–gets prison time, and loses his or her right to vote.

Charges sought for Dearborn Heights resident in fatal shooting | The Detroit News.

for impolite company

Religion and politics. It’s not to be discussed at dinner parties, cocktail parties, any gathering of people of diverse backgrounds, or Thanksgiving. But I love to discuss either. Till dawn. Ad Nauseam.

I think it all started back when I was in the first grade, and a boy said to me during recess: “Do you go to church?” I answered, “No.” He concluded, “You’re going to hell. You pray to the Devil.” I said, “No, I’m not. No, I don’t.” He wandered off, being all of 7 years old. I remembered, and learned pretty early that sometimes people who believe they are right feel they have a right to hurt others.

I watched the news every night with my parents. I liked President Carter, because he was not associated with that other guy who had to leave because he was, in fact, a crook. My dad encouraged me to write the President a letter. I did. I was 7. The President responded with a nice letter and picture. I learned pretty early that sharing my opinion mattered.

I visited India when I was 10. Children my age begged for food or money, from me. Younger children too. I learned pretty early that I had more than most on the entire planet, and it didn’t feel right.

When I was 12 I saw the biographical film “Gandhi,” which depicted a Hindu assassinating Gandhi because Gandhi was trying to be fair to Muslims. I learned pretty early that religion and politics are mixed on purpose, to no good end.

When I was 17, a dear friend of mine told me he thought he was gay. In fact, he had fallen for a guy he met, and that guy was concerned he had HIV. My friend, raised Catholic, was distraught, and was terrified that his parents would disown him if they knew. He wanted to die. I learned right then that anybody who would make my friend feel unwanted and unworthy was absolutely, undeniably, wrong.

I was a minority growing up in a beige small town in the Midwest (oh, hilarity ensued–I’ve been called nearly every ethnic or racial slur out there, since it was hard for many to pin my looks down to a particular spot on the globe). I learned pretty early that before many people see me, they see the fact that I don’t look exactly like them.

I think about these events, and I wonder what has occurred in another’s life–another, who disagrees with me politically and religiously. And I want to talk about it.

What has shaped the person who believes, for example, that waiting for hours to eat at Chick-fil-A, because Mike Huckabee suggested it, will really show ’em? How is it that they can so easily conflate an “assault on free speech” with “manifestation of market preference?”

I don’t think I believe it’s a simple case of ignorance. I want to know what happened to those folks when they were 7 or 17 or 27. Something shaped them, just like something shaped me.

Religion and politics are said to be unfit for polite company, ostensibly because the topics reveal differences among us, differences that cannot be quickly or painlessly reconciled.

I think those differences can be reconciled, relatively quickly and painlessly, if everybody in the conversation is honest about why they think the way think… and if everybody in the conversation is curious about why another thinks differently.

We all have our reasons. Why do we so often keep them to ourselves?