Not. At. All.
Guns and the laws surrounding them have become (always been?) such a polarizing issue in this country and, while I think it's necessary (or at least a good idea) to participate in whatever groups/activities/forums/etc you feel best support your views (and I do this), I'm not talking about it here.
No. This is about something different.
Related... sort of... but different.
It's about pictures.
Yes, photographs. And Facebook. And the Internet.
Now, if you don't do the whole Facebook thing, you might not know what I'm talking about. And if you don't know any people who hunt for sport, you might not know what I'm talking about. Well, not firsthand, anyway. But I'm sure you can imagine.
I'm talking about those pictures you stumble upon by accident in your feed -- the ones of the dead deer, the hunters kneeling beside them, all proud and happy...
You know the ones?
God, I hate those pictures! I wish there was a warning label preceding them:
You are about to see a dead animal and a happy, proud hunter!
If you do not wish to see a dead animal and a happy, proud hunter, ABORT!"
I would so abort.
Now, I know why people hunt. I know it's necessary to cull herds. For some, it's necessary to put food on the table. I get it. I do.
But, even if it's necessary, I don't understand the pride in those pictures. I don't understand feeling proud of killing anything. And I really don't see it as sport. Sport, to me, is a game or an event in which all the participants have similar skills, abilities, and tools. That's not the way hunting works. Deer don't have guns. (Sometimes? I so wish they did.)
Now, to clarify (as I'm sure some people have their panties in a bunch by now), I'm not saying hunting is wrong. I'm not saying people who hunt are bad. I don't believe that for a second. And I'm not judging people who hunt. I'm simply saying that I don't understand the pride that comes (for some) with killing a living thing. I don't.
But even worse (to me), are those photos people put up of themselves holding or shooting guns that are not meant for hunting 'game'...
Guns that are meant for one thing and one thing only...
To hurt or kill human beings.
I just don't get it.
I know some people feel the need to own guns. I get that. I do. I'm so sorry they do, but I understand that people feel afraid and they do what they have to do to not feel afraid. And I think that if a person owns a gun, he/she should absolutely, most certainly know how to use it properly (so he doesn't shoot off his private parts [or someone else's] by accident, which seems to be happening with some regularity of late). I get that, too. I do.
But to be proud of it? To be proud of feeling the need to arm oneself and proud of how one looks when holding or shooting a gun?
Nope. I don't get that.
When a person (man, woman, or, especially, a child) is proud of his/her skill with a gun -- of how he/she can hit a target dead on (pun intended) -- I want to say, "Um, you do know that target represents a human being, don't you?"
I can understand a person feeling the need to be prepared to take a life if necessary. But it just seems incredible to me that anyone could be proud of and happy about their willingness (regardless of the situation), ability, or (heaven help us all) their desire, to do so -- to kill a human being.
Preparation to kill should not leave us smiling. It should leave us resigned and sick inside. We should not ever, ever joke about it. There is nothing at all (nothing at all!) even remotely funny or joyful or prideful about preparing oneself to kill.
So, to want to take and post photos of oneself, smiling and proud, with a weapon designed to do absolutely nothing but hurt or kill a human being?
I do not get that.
I do not get that at all.
Those pictures? Those smiling, proud faces? They offend me. They hurt me at my core, where my humanity is rooted.
I know I'm not the only one. But I also know there are many, many (oh, so many) people who do not share my view.
I do not get.
Nope. I do not get that at all.