To Youth (and All Others) who are Protesting – Do Not Stop

Another tragic mass shooting.  So much grief.

All that keeps running through my head are the faces of the children and caring adults who died in Parkland. I do not understand how anyone can see this and not waver from their hard-line position of hands-off, free-for-all, damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead, jumping-off-the-cliff lemming approach to every kind of firearm for everyone.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a gun owner. I’ve lived in several rural settings. Police are too far away to arrive in time to help if something threatening occurs, not to mention things like poisonous snakes, raccoons attacking my dog, and skunks under the porch. But I do not own AR-15’s and AK-47’s.

Social change comes slowly. Most every effort makes a difference. It doesn’t happen fast enough to suit us. But anything really good is seldom got in a hurry. I’m not advocating  patience. We’ve been patient for a long time. I’m saying, do not quit simply because it’s hard, or that it takes a long time, or that you face fierce opposition. Do not stop. Keep going.


This does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Moderation in all things. Even guns.

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.” — John Wesley


Interested in how social media promotes negative discourse and inflames already horrific circumstances? Read this:

Interested in how many Americans own guns, how many they own? Several other fascinating facts about guns in America are in this article:


Old Customs Die Hard

Very short story:

At the wedding reception, Mother admired her new daughter-in-law who wore hijab and long sleeves in the hot Texas sun. Never a guarantee. Still, this relationship seemed solid.

Religious differences aside, she’s family now. No one will bother her! Mother rested her hand on the concealed weapon under her blouse.

© 2017   T J Barnum

originally published by

Don’t have time to read anything long? Try out the very, very short stories at 50-Word Stories, (link above). It takes only moments, and it’s a lot of fun.



Why I Need Guns

The other day I read another essay on gun control. Too many mad men with grudges. The author had good arguments for limiting gun access for certain populations, for outlawing guns like the AR-15, a popular weapon that has been used in countless school killings and other mass murders in this country. Then he asked a question that I’d never seriously addressed—why do we, personally, need so many guns?

I decided to give this considerable thought.

I tried. I really tried to get to the root of my love for the smell of gun oil and metal, the sleek, cool feel of my 12-gauge shotgun, the satisfying kick of my .357 magnum … the power rush when I slowly squeeze . . .

Okay, so there is a fetish component. I admit it.

I decided to go deep, really examine my insides. Why do I find guns so attractive?

Here it is—the top 18 reasons why I need guns. (I tried for 10. Didn’t work.)

18. Because our large collection of knives would be lonely without guns.

17. It’s the only way I’ve managed to help my neighbor keep his hostile German shepherds in check.

16. I’ve got to leave my grandchildren something when I die.

15. Squirrels in the bird feeders.

14. Stop signs just don’t look right without bullet holes.

13. More satisfying than fireworks.

12. I’ve got to collect something, and I don’t like Hummels.

11. It’s a friendly family competition.

10. Neighbors with guns make me nervous.

9. Neighbors without guns may need defending.

8. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without an ATN X-Sight II HD Day/Night Vision Rifle-scope under the tree.

7. Spiders.

6. Guns are necessary components of the Spaghetti Western costume I wear on Halloween.

5. When the electricity goes out, tracer bullets light the way to the bathroom.

4. I don’t have enough room for cannons.

3. More effective at Whack-a-Mole than that silly little hammer.

2. My Daddy always told me that when it came to men, a woman needs an equalizer.

1. Men like my Daddy.

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