I won’t be a gun totin’ granny

Recently someone suggested for self-protection all Canadian women should own guns, a notion as sane as a daycare handing every 3-year-old a pair of sharp scissors before inviting them to join in a game of tag.

Recently someone suggested for self-protection all Canadian women should  own guns, a notion as sane as a daycare handing every 3-year-old a pair of sharp scissors before inviting them to join in a game of tag.

The suggestion stems from the shocking statistic of how many women even in this country are murdered, maimed, beaten, or abused every day often by someone they know.

Current gun laws decree ensuring firearms are unloaded at all times when stored, secured by a  trigger lock (or with the bolt removed); stored in a  locked cabinet so the firearm cannot be fired. Ammunition is to be stored separately or locked up. So several minutes of prep time would elapse before you could fire your gun if needed. These rules make sense for protecting children from guns and impeding gun thieves, but suppose you needed your gun in a hurry to fend off a marauding sociopath?

As a senior the last thing I need foisted upon my life is another tool with which to injure myself. I already have an array of scars cataloguing my unfortunate encounters with kitchen knives, sickles and axes. Nor do I crave more noise. For 35 years I’ve lived within earshot of the rifle range. Some afternoons you’d swear a Middle East uprising is flaring up.

Where would I keep a gun to be handy if an intruder broke in?  Plunk it on the coffee table before I watch TV? In my nightstand? I have trouble enough sleeping some nights; how would hiding a loaded revolver near my pillow foster slumber? Perhaps stash it in the drawer with the measuring cups and rolling pin? Or set it on the kitchen counter while I prepare meals.

When I drive to town, should I wedge it between the bucket seats? Even light forenoon traffic stresses me, how would a loaded .38 hidden beside me calm my nerves? Fancy my furtive looks while walking to the bank to pay my gas bill with the gun causing my Misty River tote bag to sag. One loud ‘Hello’ spoken to someone walking nearby and I’d jump several inches  expecting to be arrested. 

A gun would be one more thing to keep track of. These days I too frequently must search for things I had in my hand or line of vision five minutes earlier. Locating the TV remote accounts for half of my daily steps. It’s always where I’m not – on the desk when I sit down to lunch, on the kitchen table when I park at my desk.

Would I possess the dexterity to load a gun? Not if I were at all agitated. Programming pedometers outwits me. Installing a printer so  warnings no longer flash means a call to tech support to have them remotely do the installation for me. Fitting two AAA batteries one above the other in a remote taxes both my dexterity and patience.

I envisage fumbling the shells, dropping one or two on the floor to pose a hidden hazard. Or overlooking  one if it fell silently into coleslaw among walnuts. Broken teeth and an urgent visit to the dentist could ensue. Hiring a full time bodyguard might be cheaper and less painful.

But before facing any of these scenarios there’s the hurdle of satisfactorily filling out a gun possession permit. The permit asks the question, “Intended use?” What would be an appropriate answer for someone in my situation? “To be determined?”

My movements can no longer be characterized as sprightly especially if I’ve been ensconced for an hour or more in an easy chair reading a gripping memoir. By the time I bookmark my place, unlimber stiff knee joints, hoist myself out of the chair and limp into the kitchen with all the velocity I can muster, often the phone is beginning its fifth ring.

With that as a benchmark, to be able to snatch up a gun under duress I’d have to tote it in a shoulder harness and holster like Dirty Harry.


That’s not my style. I’m no Sarah Palin.