xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Chamblee: No limits on who can become a gun violence prevention hero | COMMENTARY

You may not realize this, but to those of us working for gun violence prevention, you might be a gun violence prevention hero.

You may not even realize you’re an advocate for gun violence prevention.

Advertisement

Did you submit to a background check when you bought your firearm? If not cheerfully, then at least cooperatively? Are you glad, or maybe even a little bit grateful, that most other gun owners you practice with on the range did that, too?

Does your gun have a trigger lock? That’s gun violence prevention. Do you have a gun safe? That’s gun violence prevention. Do you take lessons to learn about best practices and to become a responsible and reliable shot? That’s all gun violence prevention heroics, too.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Do you store your ammunition separate from your gun? Do you empty the chamber whenever you’re finished using it? Do you wear your orange vest when you’re hunting? Hero!

Maybe you decided against a gun because you don’t have time or money for all of those precautions and practices. Maybe after talking with your family you decided it would be safer for your kids if instead of getting a gun, you got a dog until the kids get older? Hero!

If someone in your family returns from military service in the Middle East, or from rehabilitation after struggling with opioids, have you taken special measures to protect them from self-harm with your firearm, or with their own? Have you ever left your gun locked up at home, rather on the car seat or in view of thieves? Have you ever gotten so infuriated at someone, so angry at the dangerous driver or the bicycle thief that you were happy that you thought in advance about leaving your gun where it is? You, too, are a gun violence prevention hero.

Maybe you have the gun for your safety, or for hunting, or both. Whether or not you know about the videos from PETA and other animal activists that expose how commercial farms might treat chickens and dairy cattle, you might not want to agree on much with those activists. But it’s easy to decide that “free range” tastes better after watching those videos. Hunting is one sure way to know the creature was not treated poorly in cages, even if it means to admit that you have at least that in common with PETA.

Advertisement

A coworker of mine got a little defensive when he said that he and all of his friends were responsible gun owners and I shouldn’t have anything against them. I don’t. I know my meat doesn’t come in plastic from a store. Then he admitted that, even with his orange vest, he has been shot three times on hunting trips. I thought maybe he should have something against those guys, if they would shoot at a target without being absolutely certain it was game.

But my friend is fine, and he’s back hunting. And I’m grateful about how many people are thinking about how our food supply can be better, whether they have meatless Mondays or find their own free range location, especially when they can donate much of it to food banks in these times of troubles. They, too are heroes.

There are no limits on who can be a gun violence prevention hero. We all can prevent gun violence. We all have that in common.

Andrea Chamblee is the widow of Capital Gazette reporter John McNamara, who was murdered on June 28, 2018, when five staff members were killed in a shooting. She is a co-author with him and David Elfin of “The Capital of Basketball.” She writes from the pastoral splendor that is near the Howard and Carroll county line, with no fire hydrant within range. She can be reached on Twitter @AndreaChamblee.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement