Tag Archives: guns

rights vs. responsibilities

I own a gun. I like it and I wouldn’t mind getting handgun to carry when I’m out hiking in the Alaskan wilds. But for this season of my life, I am in the middle of Seattle, so I keep it locked up in a friend’s gun safe, 2700 miles away from me. I don’t plan on doing any hunting down here and it seemed irresponsible to bring it, especially since I have children and no way to keep it secure. Even when I lived in Alaska I kept it in my friend’s safe.  It seemed like the responsible thing to do.

Already, it seems like shock of Sandy Hook is wearing off and while some people are starting to talk about gun bans, others are starting to talk about their rights. Rights are important. I believe in rights, but to talk about rights without talking about responsibility is just childishness.

There should be gun control debates in this country. Whenever tragedy strikes, we should stop and mourn and reflect on our values. We should talk about it. It is good for us—but the conversation shouldn’t be just guns or no guns, as important as that discussion is. It should also be about responsibilities.

Just thinking about this tragedy there are considerations of responsibilities to single parents, responsibilities to the mentally ill, responsibilities to those that are different, responsibilities to those that are isolated, responsibilities to those in our families, responsibilities to those outside of our family, responsibilities to our neighbors, to our neighbors’ children, responsibilities to our cities, states and countries.

I think that instead of framing our discussions about the things that are our rights and that we are entitled to; perhaps we need to learn to discuss how to be responsible stewards to the things and people that have been entrusted to us. Let’s talk about guns too, but lets do it in this context… responsibly.