When I was in High School, I was a Sgt. First Class in ROTC. I took ROTC because I had huge breasts and did not want to be seen in the locker room with other girls.
In my child brain, I thought being in this class was fine. We dress up in Military gear once a week, bought Brasso and would shine all the dangle shit on my uniform for inspection and learned not only everything Military (including ranking, historical generals, war maneuvers etc.), I also learned how to assemble and dismantle a riffle with accurate precision.
Our school also had an inside gun range in the basement of the school where ROTC class was held. There, we would take guns with live ammo and practice shooting riffles. We were all in our teens.
I was precise on my riffle. If by precise you mean I could pick off the clothes pins that held the target. I lied my ass off and proclaimed I was doing that on purpose to pass. I wasn't. I was really, honestly trying to hit the bull's-eye.
I learned something. I was good at making my mistakes look amazing with the weapon I was good at using: My mouth and my brain.
So one day...Once upon a time I was standing in line on the gun range of my High School. We were disassembling our riffles. I was third down the line of the person who I will now call "Cray Cray Boy" he was standing next to a man who I will now call "Shoeless Joe"
We are disassembling our riffles. I hear Cray Cray Boy say in an almost dead, calculating timber say I wonder what would happen if I shot you in the...
I did not hear the word "Foot" All I know was when he got to the word "If I shot you"....everything slowed down.
It was suddenly slow motion on that range. Us looking at him. Him pointing his weapon at the foot of "Shoeless Joe"
The click. The pop. The explosion of shoe, foot and blood.
The projectile of Shoeless Joe's foot flew all over the place. I was three people away. I got hit with a splatter of blood. Obviously the people the closet were not so lucky.
This is where in that slow motion moment, I realized something very important: Who should be in the military and who should not be.
The kids (and that teacher) who tackled the assailant should be in the military. The people who started screaming and fleeing (along with knocking people over) should never be in the vicinity of a gun as they would not know what to do.
For me? I stood there. Still. I stood there and watched people flee. I stood there and watched people hover in corners and duck and scream and cry.
I saw Shoeless Joe (who was at that point shoeless as his shoe literally exploded off his foot) let out a guttural yell that I will never forget. I literally have no idea whether he should own a gun or not...but you know...all depending on how his mental state ended up after that? It's either he is an advocate of no guns or....he has an armory in his basement of guns.
I stood there and watched two kids immediately go to his aid who would probably be served best as medics in the military. Not holding a gun. Fixing the people who are destroyed by guns.
And there I stood. In all of that horror I stood there mesmorized. *This is actually happening* It was like watching a piece of theatre. I was documenting it all in my head. That is when I knew I was one of those people who should not be in the military either or using a gun. Unless you arm me and put a notebook in my hand as a writer for Stars and Stripes.
After the incident they did what they should have probably done years before: Close down the range and took guns and live ammo out of teenagers hands.
We went to grief counseling (Shoeless Joe did not die and they reconstructed his foot from what I understand happened) to make sure we were okay.
They asked me how I was dealing with seeing someone getting shot in the foot. I very quietly said: I will probably have nightmares for a while, but I'm smart enough to know those will go away eventually. But, I will always remember this that is for sure. I don't wish to be in the military. I would like to change my classes to gym now.
...and that was that. I changed my classes to gym. I would run to gym on that day of the week of dressing for ROTC to learn how to swim in my ill fitting swim suit they gave me (as none of them fit my boobs well) to get to that one shower stall that was enclosed to shower by myself.
From then on that year I walked by the kids still in ROTC either completely shell shocked or the ones who were joking about the whole situation in an almost psychopathic manner.
Such is the perils of war. ROTC War.
I wanted nothing to do with it. I was now okay with having big tits and floating on my back learning how to swim. Every once in a while having wide awake nightmares of the shooter coming into the Pool area and shooting us all dead wondering what it would be like if he "shot everyone in the pool"
The best thing that could have happened at that school and ROTC was getting rid of that range.
Cut to: Five years later when, Once upon a time Hans and I owned a gun.
In gun world, they wouldn't even consider it a gun, really. It was a two shot Derringer. His dad gave it to us to "Protect our Comic Book Store"
..Because, if you were carrying Love and Rockets back then you never know when that fan base is going to pull out a gun and try to kill you for it.
If you could only put inflection in writng you would know this is the most hilarious statement about Love and Rockets Fans, ever. Becuase they are not those type of people. They would though...Mexican Wrestle you to death.
It was ridiculous the interaction Hans and I had with that gun. It almost became a game with us: He would load it with the two lone bullets we had and put it in the store hidden behind the counter. I, in turn, would take the bullets out of the gun and remove it from behind the counter and take it upstairs.
When he would ask me why I did it? I would usually joke and say something to the effect of "Really, Hans. What are we going to do: Shoot a kid for stealing Secret Wars in his notebook? We got a beat cop who is always in here. We don't need a gun."
The reality of it all: That little two shot gun flashed me right back to wondering if someone was going to be shot in the foot. It flashed me back to me on the ground trying to shoot a target only hitting the paperclips. I shoot this gun and what happens. The actual robber runs away and I end up shooting the Underground comic rack.
And if Hans actually shot someone? Well...I get to stand there. Still. Motionless watching the projectile blood fly and spray. Thinking this is some twisted movie.
I guess the whole point of these stories is simple: I should not own a gun. Although it is my right I guess to do as such, I would not know how to use it and no amount of training is going to help with my obvious lack of aim and my experience getting over seeing someone shot.
There is a reason people become teachers, actors, therapists, lawyers, doctors and everything that is not associated with guns. To say everyone should be armed with a gun is actually rude to the people who wish to have nothing to do with guns.
And even though people who are gun owners who are in those fields? Good on you. I don't force you to have a collection of shot glasses as much as you should not force me to own a shot gun or have my kids teachers be armed with one.
That is not what my teachers are there for. They are there to teach. You don't make a school a war zone.
...and if history states that if you do...someone is going to get shot in the foot with guns on the premise faster than someone coming in with them. Don't force your hobby or your job onto other people. Also make sure you are not balls mentally insane. Because you probably should not have one either.
If not one single person could own a gun? Oh trust me guys...we will find ways to be able to wound and kill each other.
"I wonder what would happen if I stabbed this guy in the foot" "I wonder what would happen if I stepped on his foot with these super sharp razor blade heels." I wonder what would happen If I snapped his neck...then stole his shoes."
The best thing that could have happened when I was in ROTC was to have that range closed down in that school.
ROTC Still went on. New ways of learning with computerized simulation occured. ROTC at that school got wiser and smarter. All...without guns until they actually went into the military.
Now The National Riffle Association wants to arm schools and pontificate wondering if teachers should have guns and get rid of Gun Free Zone Schools. They blamed everything but the guns: Movies, Writers, Video Games, The people who play them. You know: The Creative Types.
I especially loved the part where they blamed video games. The games that have been simulated for the military before they get the guns....for ROTC Programs.
Yes. We know why. They want to sell guns and teach everyone how to use them for a fee. They want the government to fund it hoping to be the "Go To Experts" to arming public schools.
They care as much about the dead of Sandy Hook Elementary School as much as Cray Cray Boy cared about shooting Shoeless Joe in the foot. Sandy Hook Elementary School for them is the way to try to convince people that their "Guns and their services" are needed now, more than ever.
I'm completely convinced at this point, that Wayne LaPierre who spoke today after the Sandy Hook horror for the NRA,would be the guy who would wonder what it would be like if he shot everyone at that conference in the foot.
I stood here today. Motionless. Watching the horror of him. Wanting to change my channel to a sports station with swimming.
The NRA just shot us all in the foot with that heartless, crazy statement.
Will someone please tackle these people to the ground and disarm them?
Causes Shaun Landry Supports
The Alzheimer's Foundation, NAACP, Breast Cancer Foundation, Gilda's Club.