A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports
sporting goods store in Tinley Park, Illinois
.Scott Olson/Getty Images
After months of soul-searching, I’ve decided to buy a handgun.
It’s not a decision to which I’ve come lightly. At least one co-worker came near to tears as she tried to dissuade me. But after a horrendous year of violence across the country, I’m left with the undeniable feeling that I ought to do something different. I’m no longer willing to wait for the government to protect me all of the time. As a former Vermonter and Boy Scout, I just can’t escape the feeling that I need to take more responsibility for my own safety.
Here’s the thing: more than almost anyone, I know the devastation handguns can cause. As a journalist who has covered many mass shootings, I’ve watched families ripped apart by death. I’ve seen entire communities shattered because some jerk who couldn’t control himself decided to take out his anger on the world with a weapon.
I also know I’m not the only one struggling with this decision. Gun shops across our country are reporting a surge in sales. And it’s a sad fact that gun sales go up after a shooting or a terrorist attack.
I have no illusions that I’m going to be the proverbial good guy with a gun. And even worse, I know the statistics that show I’m at risk, as a middle-age white man living in Colorado, of using the gun to kill myself.Read the rest of this Trevor Hughes op-ed HERE at USA Today.
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