Today, when I opened my e-mail, I got a notification that someone named David had sent me a gift from Groupon. David bought me a gift? How exciting! I too have bought us a few things on Groupon when an irresistible deal came along that offered entertainment for a song; a day of bowling, putt put golf, a weekend at a bed and breakfast, a full day’s boat rental. Recently, I even got us 30 bales of pine straw mulch for the yard. I opened the e-mail to see what he had bought, expecting a dinner out at a nice restaurant perhaps, or a day of paddle boarding. The message said:
Voucher for One-Year Gun Range Membership and One Day of Range Time with Safety Gear, Two Targets, One Box of Ammo, and Gun Rental from Take Aim Gun Range.
You know your boyfriend trusts you and is planning to treat you well if he is willing to put a gun in your hands with ammo and a year of training to assure you’ll be a good aim!
I found this gift more than a little funny. David is the most compassionate and graceful man I’ve ever met. He is environmentally conscientious, deeply considerate, a humanitarian, a stalwart liberal, and a true yogi. He lives by the teachings of the yoga sutras with Ahimsa (do no harm) at the core of his every choice and action. I simply can’t imagine this man with a gun in his hand any more than I can imagine him torturing small animals. He’s the kind of man who will get up without pausing in the conversation to swiftly grab a wayward bug on the porch and put the creature outside the door rather than step on it. Let me mention that he has also read (and line edited) my book, which includes a full chapter on my feelings and attitudes about guns, (and for the record, I’m rather vehemently opposed to them).
Yet knowing all this, David’s idea of a fun date for us is heading off to the shooting range to plow a few rounds into a target? Hummm……
I said, “Thanks for the gun membership, Honey. Um….. what possessed you to purchase such a thing? Do we have plans I don’t yet know about to take out an annoying neighbor? You thinking we might want to prepare for a Bonnie and Clyde impersonation so we can knock off a bank and retire sooner rather than later? Then there’s the fact that I’ve been pretty mad at my ex lately… do you really think it’s wise to put a gun in my hand, all things considered? ”
“I thought you’d enjoy shooting a gun as a new experience. I wasn’t looking at it as a political or humanistic statement, but more as an interesting chance to learn something new –you and I both love learning new things – so when I saw the groupon and the great deal offered, I thought, “Why not?” Guns are really nothing more than another technology thing. Like all technology, they’re only dangerous if put in the wrong hands.”
He also reminded me that one of the primary customers he designs computer program marketing for happens to be the biggest firearm distributor around, and it wouldn’t hurt for him to understand the company’s product experientially rather than academically. He said that almost everyone around his office has gone to the shooting range and they all say it is a remarkable experience.
He added, “There’s also the fact that knowing how to shoot a gun, experiencing the power and sound and noting your emotional response, will no doubt give you something compelling to write about. Last but not least, learning to handle a firearm is an important skill. The fact is, if we are ever going out on an overnight trip on a boat or if we ever choose to live somewhere remote, we will want to have a gun just in case. Knowing how to use one properly is important for your safety. But mostly, I was just thinking it would be fun and different.”
Well, fun and different is certainly important…. and the fact that I’m with someone who worries about and constantly considers my health and safety always touches me deeply.
So this summer, in addition to taking a drawing class and learning to play guitar, I’m gonna be a yogi packin’. Leave it to David to take something that could be aggressive, invasive, or politically questionable, and turn it into yet another opportunity to reinforcing my feelings that, with him, I’ll always be loved, cherished and protected.
Thanks to David’s sense of adventure, summer will be a blast…. if I don’t shoot myself in the foot.