I Have a Very Complicated Relationship with Guns

by Brett Parsons

I have a very complicated relationship with guns and I really wish I didn’t. Because I hate guns, I hate the idea of guns, the idea that any person could have that much power. And I want to hate everyone who owns a gun, who takes pleasure in shooting something that has the power to kill someone so easily. Because I ask myself how can you justify that. And then I think it’s easy, that I will always hate guns and never understand people who need them and I think they should all be gotten rid of to make things happen.

But my grandfather owns guns and my cousins fight over who will inherit them one day. In my grandfather’s cabin—my absolute favorite place on earth—guns are displayed and admired.

In my grandparents bedroom on one Thanksgiving my grandpa showed my cousin the guns he keeps locked in a box under his bed. 4 guns longer than my long arms, were sitting on the bed and I felt sick. In that small room, where guns outnumbered people I actually thought I was going to vomit. I couldn’t understand how anyone would want one of these.

And then we are outside, in the mountains of West Virginia, the aesthetic is just perfect: cans and bottles are set up on a fence and everyone takes turns trying to shoot them off and the laughter is almost louder than the sound of the gun shots ringing out and I wish I could say that made me sick.

I hate to admit that I get it: there is a competition to it, a power to it, and people are having fun.

And obviously there is a difference right?

the guns we use old, they hold 3 bullets at a time and are terribly hard to actually use and aim. These are not the guns that people use in mass shootings. But does it really matter? I mean, when it comes down to it, how different is it really? It’s still a gun, still something that could take a life in seconds.

I want guns gone, and I want people to understand how sick they are, how disastrous they are but I also want to bond with my cousins and learn new things from my grandpa, and join in on the infectious fun…

Like I said earlier, I have a very complicated relationships with guns.

But then maybe it’s not that complicated

because in one second if I had the option to choose to get rid of them all I would

I would take them from my family if it meant change was coming

maybe it’s complicated because this government doesn’t value the lives of kids killed in a place where they come to learn.

I think this government should change

I think my family should change

I think that maybe I should change

I think we really need change

so maybe I don’t have that complicated of a relationship with guns.