In 1997 I moved from western Massachusetts to Maine. Several people asked me, “Are you going to get a gun?” I laughed. I thought this was an odd question.
When I left Maine to work in Alaska, many people told me, “You better get a gun.” I guess Alaska is a scary place relative to Maine.
After that summer in Alaska, I spent the winter in Utah. I went back to Alaska the next summer and then worked in Wyoming the following winter. I moved to Montana. Each step along the way, people said the same thing, “ You better start packin’.”
I left Montana and moved to eastern Washington State. My boyfriend at the time gave me his shotgun. It remained in the back corner of a closet until we broke up and he asked me to return it.
Now, I am leaving Washington. I have bought a camper for the bed of my pick-up and plan to spend a few months, maybe years, cruising around to the many places I haven’t had time to visit during other busy travels. And, once again, people have begun asking me if I have a gun or if I am going to get one.
I have never owned a gun. I have used them for clay pigeon shooting on occasion, I have carried one as a mandatory safety precaution in polar bear country, I shot at woodchucks when I was a teenager.
How many school shootings, mass shootings, random shootings have there been this year? How many people have been killed in the U.S. this year by a gun, self-inflicted, accidental, or intended?
I’m not anti-gun. I don’t think gun control will resolve all of the insanity of our society.
I may lead a charmed life.
I choose to step into the world unarmed. I believe that adding a gun to my travel gear will not make me safer.
Rather, I believe that choosing not to carry a gun will make the world safer.