This past weekend I was at a Kyle Cease event in LA called Evolving Out Loud. A lot of it was about loving all parts of who we are and how that love expands outward to have a positive effect on our lives and the entire world.
While in the line-up I met a man whose name is JB. He owns a gun school. We had a conversation.
The irony of talking guns at a love fest did not escape me.
It was fantastic having a conversation with someone I whole heartedly disagreed with. There were two women listening in and they were fascinated by our ability to hear each other without insults and interruption and then agree to disagree and my perspective on guns got a little clearer with the benefit of his perspective. He is uber responsible. He trains. He has a school. He advocates for gun education and holds those who get guns way to easy and without training as irresponsible. So we were able to agree on some points.
Let me be perfectly upfront and say I am not a fan of guns. I don’t understand the mentality of wanting them or sleeping with them under the bed. I think most people will lose when they pull a gun on someone who has nothing to lose and all jacked up on adrenaline and whatever else when they break into a house. I don’t think, “It is our constitutional right” a good enough excuse to have them on our streets. I don’t think the argument “the bad guys have guns so we need to have them too” holds water and I think the expression “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is obnoxious.
I have taken a gun course. Passed with flying colours. Shot a few guns and never applied to get my licence. I did this because I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. Ultimately, I would not have trusted people in my class with guns and possibly some of the instructors.
Perhaps it is because I live in Canada, but there are people here who believe in access to guns. Some of my very good friends do. So it’s not just the Canadian in me.
I think the fundamental difference between them and me is that they care about their individual rights and I care about humanity. I have found myself in some super sketchy situations and with my whole heart I believe nothing bad has ever happened to me because I take the time to see the person in front of me as a person: As someone who matters. Many of those situations could have turned out differently had I thought more about myself than the greater picture of humanity.
Could someone who wants me dead kill me? Sure. Will I have a gun under my bed to stop him or her? Nope.
JB, on the other hand will have a gun under his pillow (so to speak) until the day he dies. He has a plan and he is well trained to execute that plan.
I can’t help but wonder how much living have I done while he has been training and planning for a home invasion?
By his account he has dangerous encounters all the time. I’ve been to some of the same places without any unpleasant encounters. Perhaps it’s because he is old and makes an easy target. But I am a woman and people would say that makes me an easy target. Perhaps it’s because he has made it part of his reality and I haven’t.
This is just an example of how we can learn to talk with people who we strongly disagree with when both parties are willing. I conceded some points, as did JB. We had a grown up conversation and it will be one that sticks with me always. I haven’t changed my mind but I do see people who advocate for guns a little more openly… a little!
When are you having these types of conversations? Are you really making the effort to hear the other person even when every part of your body and soul disagrees? At the end of the day they are both just perspectives. They are not real. They are just thoughts. It’s our action that makes them real. How do you want to act?