This post was originally printed on the journal pages of my Active Yoga website (www.activeyoga.com) where it sat quietly, head bowed. It is exhumed as a response to my friend Carol Horton who printed this yesterday. I am the quiet internet friend. I salute her for speaking out but I who have spoken before find that people are damn serious about their guns and there is no changing their minds.
There is also this writing which I posted on Elephant. I may not expect much but you know, I’ll keep talking anyway.
Steve McNair was found dead on his couch of gunshot wounds to his head and belly on the 4th of July. He was an even tempered quarter back for the Tennessee Titans who kept his cool under pressure no matter how tough the game. He was a leader in the Black community, the poor community, the kid community, the team community, the town community. His generosity was as huge as his presence.
I read in the paper that they found the person who sold his also shot dead under age girlfriend a gun two days before the murder, the gun that was found at the crime scene. It said they would not prosecute the seller as they couldn’t be sure whether he knew that she was under age. A licensed weapons dealer in Tennessee has a protocol to follow. Anyone else can hand over a gun on Craig’s List.
Why have we come to accept that we have the right to bear arms and to sell arms and to impose our arm bearing weight on non arm bearing people? Why do we need to defend ourselves in a pub or restaurant? What about my right not to have a loaded gun next to my kids? Isn’t it time to modernize some antiquated rules? Saying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people is as stupid as giving people a gun. No seat belt thanks and I enjoy my cocktails behind the wheel. Cars don’t kill people, people kill people, booze doesn’t kill people, people kill people. Most of our laws assume that we need regulating because otherwise we will do the wrong thing. Why don’t I get to sell my surplus of Oxycontin to my friends? Pills don’t kill people, people kill people, right? I have a friend who said of McNair’s partner, well she was crazy and I said that you never know who’s crazy. Everyone’s potentially crazy.
I overheard a friend lose his temper to someone on the phone and asked him about that. He said that he couldn’t help it. *##**ing whoever, just got him so mad! I asked if he wasn’t responsible for managing his own madness and choosing how to express it. I asked him what would happen if we all lost our temper that we couldn’t control while holding a loaded pistol. Would saying, “I couldn’t help it”, make it O.K.? We can all get a gun. We all get mad sometimes. Many of us lack self control. What do you expect will happen?
I’m only mentioning it because I’m hoping it will get someone thinking. I’m only mentioning it because practicing yoga has made me more patient, slower to react, certainly more thoughtful. So, if you’re going to walk around with a weapon of mass destruction in your pocket please consider yoga as your operator education. You may even come to decide the weapons aren’t such a good idea after all.