by William Skink
I got a fantastic opportunity today to reflect on how local government and its policy crusades deviate from experienced reality. The reality concerns guns, and who has them. Let me explain.
The gun background check measure from City Council is back. For those not aware of this mostly symbolic effort, the hope is that requiring background checks at gun shows will somehow lessen the chance of a statistically infrequent mass-shooting perpetrated by a zealot/crazy person to occur. The requirement will only extend to gun transactions within city limits, so come out to where I live in the county, and gun anarchy shall be yours.
Today my mom, wife and baby returned from Kansas City. They were especially tired from being woken up around 3am when gunshots rang out. My in-laws live downtown, near Westport, where six people were shot.
Then, after they arrived safely in Montana, the threat of gun violence got closer to home in a scary way that is in no way yet resolved.
Where I live there is a dirt road between our house and our neighbors only used by people on our street, which dead ends at the river. Four properties face this road, and we all have kids. There has been some speeding issues with young drivers, but my neighbor has been on it with signs and landscape deterrents to keep people from cutting the corner and balling it down roadway.
Well none of that worked when earlier today I heard him yelling. I came out of the garage where I was playing with Legos with my kids, and saw the car stopped and my neighbor approaching. I followed.
I’m not going to get into the details of what happened other than saying the driver communicated what I consider to be a credible threat of violence with a gun that caused me to call 911.
After the incident I find out from my neighbor that he had a previous interaction a few days earlier with these two young men after they recklessly bombed down the dirt road. He thinks meth might be a factor. The one who threatened me said he just got out of prison.
I got the license plate, which I related to the 911 dispatcher, and a Sheriff’s deputy was supposed to get back to me, but so far I haven’t heard anything.
Usually I keep all my guns in the safe. Not tonight. Tonight I’m going to feel slightly less exposed from a direct threat of violence because I decided I needed to be a responsible gun owner familiar with a lethal deterrent to anyone who intends to harm me or my family.
Please don’t mistake this as some chest-thumping bravado. I am not happy at all that I have to write this or even think this way, but this is the world we live in. Maybe statistically it’s better than it used to be, but right now I’m just not feeling it.
Taking this person at his word, if just out of prison, and if truly in possession of a gun, what good would more background checks do for me regarding this threat?
I read op-eds all the time about meth problem this, and jail overcrowding that, but what ever gets done to reverse the trends?
Some damaged young punk with a prison mentality feeling disrespected threatened me today as my kids watched.
If there is a problem I won’t be waiting for police to respond to defend myself.