Thursday, February 15, 2018

Guns and Dads

The current Florida school shooting has led some conservative commentators (specifically Tucker Carlson on Fox) to promote "fathers leaving the family" as a reason for societal gun violence.

That type of ignorance is what made me, a current Trump supporter, a Democrat to begin with.

I grew up with a father who was violent, both emotionally and physically. And he had a gun. Said gun was usually used to shoot frogs out by our pond. But on one night in 1977, he used it to shoot at my mother, who had to flee the house for her life.

Were me and my brother safe? At the time of the gun incident, my 6-year-old brother had been in bed for a couple of hours. I (age 12), on the other hand, witnessed the beginning of the argument between my parents. My mother sent me to my room. Minutes later, I peered out, saw my mother fall to the carpet, simultaneously ripping my father's gold chain from his neck. That's when he went for the gun kept at the top of our hall closet. I quietly retreated back into my room, my ear pressed to the door.

I dunno how long it was later. At least an hour. Finally, I felt brave enough to emerge, to a deadly quiet house.

My drunk father was passed out, snoring, in the bedroom. I went to look for my mother. I opened the back door. No. I opened the door to the garage. There she was, gesturing to me to be quiet. I nodded and went back to my room.

Thankfully, that night was the final factor in her decision to divorce him after 15 years of marriage. A long time coming. I remember being scared of him since I was 5 years old.

The day my mother told me she was divorcing my father was a GREAT day in my life. So when I hear clueless, soft, privileged people like Tucker Carlson promoting the false idea that "having a father in the house" is the key to avoiding societal breakdown, I cringe, laugh...and revolt. For the 12 years that I lived with him, my father was the most frightening thing that ever happened to me.

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