Tom’s status as my favorite husband remains secure. He may not always notice when there are less than four squares of TP hanging on the roll, but he’s a dandy guy to have around when you’ve got some children in need of rearing. On Tuesday night last week, I ran into the father of one of Laura’s school friends in Trader Joe’s. He told me that he was taking his daughter on a YMCA Adventure Princess (a group formerly known as Indian Princesses, the father-daughter version of the group formerly known as Indian Guides) camping trip that weekend, and that he thought that Tom and Laura would really enjoy it. I told him that it was so kind of him to think of them, but that Tom really isn’t a camping sort of guy. He went on to explain that this trip would involve cabins and indoor plumbing, canoes, climbing walls, quality father-daughter time, and (for the sake of not outing a great group of guys who take their daughters to Y camp), let’s just say “tasty beverages” during poker after the kids are asleep. He encouraged me to have Tom call him, and while I didn’t think there was much of chance that my corporate-lawyer husband would hitch up the wagons for a spontaneous camping trip in the mountains, Tom did call that very night. And I only encouraged him a tiny, little bit. 😉 And then that very night Tom decided that he and Laura would join the tribe and go camping (cabining?). I know Tom’s a great dad, and I’d like to think I’m a great mom, but I’m tossing and turning on my 400-thread-count sheets just thinking about camping with the Brownies, an event that looms in my Girl Scout Co-Leader future. So hats off to Tom for making the sacrifice to give his child an enriching experience, fun with her friends, and quality father-daughter time! (I personally think it was the “tasty beverages” part that won Tom over, but still.)

For the sake of his child, Tom went for two nights without much sleep, slept in a bunk bed in a room with three six-year-olds and two other dads (one whose tribe name is “Snoring Bear”), and shared one bathroom with fifteen people. Tom and Laura came home filthy dirty (no opportunity for showers when fifteen people share a single bathroom), but the pile of laundry wasn’t so bad since it appeared that they mostly wore the same clothes for two days and nights. And even with all of that, Tom said that he and Laura had a great time. There was bead trading, there was hiking, there were campfires, and all of the stuff that you might expect at such a camp. Although the passion in a marriage will naturally ebb and flow throughout the years, I must say that when Tom came back I looked at him with a renewed gleam in my eye. And it wasn’t because of the pungent pheromones produced by his unshowered body. No, I felt all smitten and in love because this man, my husband, truly loves his daughter, and acted selflessly to demonstrate it. Laura came back and told me that she learned “six sayings” and that one of them was “Make your dad your forever friend.” How cool is that? One of my most fervent wishes for my children (along with health, happiness, and a graduate degree) is that they marry someone who treats them the way that Tom treats all of us.

Tom said that the weekend also provided him with one of his proudest moments as a father, which happened when the activity of target practice was discussed, and Laura turned to him and said, “Daddy, what’s a rifle?” Now it isn’t that we believe in gun control around here. We don’t. In our family we believe in gun elimination. I know that there are some who do not share our views, but isn’t it nice that we can all have different views and still peacefully coexist in our world? 😉 Yeah, yeah, we know all about the second amendment and the reasons for it. Tom and I happened to study the U.S. Constitution in law school. But folks, we don’t need to hunt for food anymore, and while I know all of the arguments (the right to protect your home from criminals, security against totalitarian regimes,* etc.), statistically, the main purpose guns serve in our society is to shoot defenseless animals for sport, commit violent crimes, murder people, and accidentally kill gun owners’ children. Laura didn’t know what a rifle is because we’ve never let her play with even a toy version of a gun. Imagine what the world would be like in twenty years if every child born from today on never knew what a gun was.

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

*Like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, you know, those totalitarian regimes that have had gun control for years.

11 comments on “The Right to Arm Bears”

  1. Hey, I am reading Spanish History and there is some interesting stuff about guns and oppressive governments.

    When the Spanish army overthrew the government in 1936 (under Franco), the “workers” demanded that the arsenals be opened so that they could resist the initial attack.

    The president of republican Spain at the time said no, he wanted the loyal army to fight, rather than the workers. Unfortunately, there was not enough loyal army available.

    Needless to say, the rebel army swept through a large number of Spanish cities in a matter of days, except for … Barcelona.

    Why was Barcelona different? Well, the order from the president not to distribute arms was defied in Barcelona, and the arsenal was opened and guns distrusted to the people the very first day.

    The result? The rebel army was not able to take Barcelona. In fact the rebel army was forced into one corner of the city where they were eventually beaten (and many of them shot).

    Maybe if all the cities had done this Franco would not have become dictator of Spain. (although Franco was not a bad dictator, as dictators ago, once he was done shooting everyone in the first few months after the war.)

    Once Franco became dictator you can be sure that the general public was not allowed to buy guns though.

    All this happened about 70 years ago.

  2. As far left as I stand on some viewpoints, being raised in a republican family has taught me to appreciate guns. The feeling of squeezing the trigger to knock over some soda cans is exhilarating. Of course you wont find me hunting in the woods for fear of dumb asses with guns.

    Accidents aside, I feel anything other than rifles and shotguns that require a manual round advance should be illegal to own and buy; There is no need for handguns amongst civilians nor semi automatic rifles (give the deer a chance).

    Sure accidents will still happen, but at that point it’s just population control, and it’ll probably happen in the Midwest which means one less republican voter.

  3. Brian, Brian, Brian, how did you ever find my blog? 😉 I could debate you comment for comment into the night. Or I could provide you with statistics of, let’s say, annual gun homicides in our country versus countries with tighter gun restrictions, but you’d find contradictory statistics and/or fault with my sources. Or we could discuss the likelihood of a Franco-esque takeover of America versus the likelihood that it is only a matter of time before another school/post office/wherever shooting occurs. But I’m not gonna, because most of what we’d say to each other has been said by others before us and we’ve already heard the arguments and formed our beliefs concerning this age-old debate (albeit with changing implications in our society). Here’s the thing: I admit that I sound hopelessly optimistic and even naïve in expressing my dream that the world would be a different place if there were no guns, but so be it. It’s my blog, and I’ll dream if I want to.


    P.S. I’ve shown you mine. Why no hyperlink to your blog? 😉

  4. My blog is too 180 proof for the general pubic :-).

    Anyway, the dems have moved on from the gun issue (as it was a big loser for them) so this is not a hot topic.

    I will give a plug for the web site, which is a great source of information on the Iraq war and US imperialism in general.

  5. Dear Blog This Mom! Readers:

    Of course, anything that has the name “anti-war” in it sounds appealing. But caveat emptor if anyone clicks on over there; you might just get more than you bargained for, so to speak.

    Hopefully it goes without saying that hyperlinks and/or plugs for websites left by commenters (particularly semi-anonymous ones) should not be considered as endorsements or recommendations (expressed or implied) by Blog This Mom! of the information or opinions contained on those sites.


  6. Re citizen soldiers defending our country against a coup d’etat or foreign invasion, I can only say that, guns or no guns, “There are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.”

  7. Hey, someone needs to tell the Iraqis that there is no way a society armed with just simple guns and a few explosive could resist the modern day fighting machine that is the US military.

    And while you are at it tell those pesky Hezbollah in Lebanon as well.

    FYI – I have never owned a real gun nor do I expect to, as I am WAY to absent minded. I admit to shooting a rabbit or two in my yard with a air-gun, however.

    BTW, they don’t have a rabbit problem in Spain. They just eat them…

  8. Tom and I also had a rabbit problem at our old house. When he’d had enough of poop and ruined grass, he reached for his big, mighty, powerful, man-sized wallet and paid someone to build a proper fence. 😉

  9. @ brian: your blog is “too 180 proof for the general public”??? thanks for deciding what the rest of us can/can’t handle. sounds a little dictatorish to me. honestly i think you instantly undermine any credibility you may have had when you can’t come out of the shadows to share your opinions. And shooting rabbits with “a air gun”…hmmm. Interesting sport.

    ahmem…now, back to my intitial reason for coming to comment.
    @ Cheri: lovely post. brought tears to my eyes as i imagined sam someday camping with ruby, as he is also an amazing father/husband/human. and i share your position on guns. peace to you!

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