You. Me.

You. Me.

I’ve handled a gun only once in my life.
I was in my early twenties, living in Fort Worth, Texas.
My cousin thought it unusual, I’d never experienced, so he grabbed his pistol, swooped me up
and off we went to a familiar, secluded, open field.
Once there, Cousin placed a few aluminum cans on a fence and proceeded to show me how to properly manage a firearm.
He effortlessly aimed and hit every one, knocking them off with a powerful blast.
Then it was my turn to show I had paid attention and knew exactly what to do
& so, I took his gun.
I focused.
I pressed.
I missed by a mile or two.
Tried again, and maybe once more, those cans never budged.

Oooooh well, I said, as I handed the hardware back to my laughing cousin.
I thanked him for the lesson,
went about my life
& haven’t thought about holding a gun since.

Until recently.

These days, it seems, most every person I know and even those I don’t, urges, cautions, emphasizes, how naive I am because I live a no gun lifestyle
& I appreciate the concern, I truly do, but
You are YOU.
I am ME
& I mean absolutely no disrespect when I respond, nope. no thanks.

No matter how ugly this world oftentimes seems, I can’t, I won’t own a gun.
I was brought up to never, ever hurt another person’s body.
I taught my children to never, ever hurt another person’s body
& I know me, I’d rather take my chances on humankind.

So if you feel the need to tell me how unbelievably ignorant I am, go ahead.
I will not change my mind
& if that means I might leave this world by the hatefulness of another ?
So be it.
I know where I will be going next.

I know, without a doubt, I will be reunited with an incredibly awesome friend
& the first words I plan to say are I tried. I tried my best to spread happiness, kindness, love.
I’ll have to remind my pal, His earthly word is hard
& some of His people continue to answer hate with hate, force with force.

I also plan to ask if I get an opportunity to try again.
Hopefully, I do
& if I do, I’ll promise Jesus, I will live the exact same way of life.
I’ll try my best to quietly, consistently pass around His happiness, His kindness, His love to you,
to them,
to her,
to my neighbors,
to the guy on the train.
All in the hope, they, in turn, will take that love and hand it to you
to them,
to her,
to neighbors,
to the guy on the train.
So that maybe, just maybe, one day, we won’t need all those firearms anymore.

To every proud, licensed, law abiding, USA loving, happily hunting, honest to goodness great citizen I know out there,
I applaud you.
I appreciate you
& I soooooo anticipate your exasperated response to my words.

Just remember …
You are YOU.
I am ME.


And When