A recent letter to the editor suggested what many in Georgia believe to be true about guns: If only we had more of them, there would be fewer gun tragedies.
I don’t believe we have a shortage of guns or that more guns would stop the horrors of gun deaths in America. It’s easy to understand my point of view:
Two toddlers are playing together. One of them is 5 years old. The other is only 4. The 5-year-old is playing with a pistol. He points it at the chest of the 4-year-old and shoots. There’s that moment when time stands still in a crisis. But gun powder and metal slugs transcend that human illusion of time stopping. The bullet rips through the little toddler.
Time pauses for every witness. The toddler turns as if he is going to run to his mother. Only, in turning, he stumbles. In running, he falls. Lying on the ground, his feet kick the ground as if his legs were still running. And, then he lies silent. Through the pain, the stumbling and the fall, his mind knew one thing: Momma will make it all better. She will hold me. Tell me that it’s all OK. I’m going to be all right.
But nothing will ever be all right. The bullet killed a son and tore open a mother’s heart. In her grief, she will use the phrase, if only. If only I had been there. If only I could have held him. If only I could have said I love you and it’s going to be all right.
There is no gun shortage in America. If only there were just one gun too few, there would be at least one tragedy less. If only.