AK- 47. I was shown how to rest the butt on my shoulder and lean my cheek into it so that my eye could follow a supposed target.
Guns make me nervous. I have never really understood how they are supposed to make the world safer. They seem to give people a false sense of power. The old testament talks about "an eye for an eye", but Jesus didn't teach that. Neither did Martin Luther King Jr., or Ghandi, nor does the Dalai Lama.
Yes it's true: guns aren't violent, people are. But isn't it also true that guns make people more violent? Aren't we what we think? When guns get into the hands of irresponsible, scared people, we have tragedy. Just look at what happened in Ohio last week.
But I'm not here to debate the the right to carry arms. As writers, as human beings, we must be open to the points of view of others. How are we going to create believable characters if we can't see beyond ourselves? How are we to love humanity if our point of view suffers from rigidity?
I want acceptance too - and I don't want to be dismissed by some of my more conservative and religious friends as a hippy-dippy liberal, right? I express my views, yet also value love and tolerance beyond all else.
My friend who owns the gun has got to be one of the most gentle and nurturing souls I have ever met. Her softness in showing me how to hold it made me feel safe in doing so, made me take the risk of seeing her point of view.
Our job as writers is to ask questions of our characters and to decipher their motivations, which, if we are really on our game, makes us learn more about ourselves.
All I know is that I don't have all of the answers, and that I am at my best when I am seeking to understand rather than to be understood. (Special nod to St. Francis there!)