I’m married to a career soldier, a pilot in the air force. Near the end of pilot training he told me they’d been offered the option of signing up for a handgun to take home. I was shocked that they had even been given that option.
Immediately, I told him it was not an option for him to come home with a gun and asked how many of his friends had elected to sign up for a handgun. He cited many names in response. I said they weren’t fit to carry a handgun and could do more harm than good and he agreed. Regarding their level of skill and training with a handgun he replied, “we shot a handgun at the shooting range.” The irresponsibility of giving a gun to a person untrained in using it amazed me at the time. What self-importance to think that since they were military officers they would know how to “handle a terrorist event,” without training in the relevant skills.
Looking back at the years since, I am amazed by the ease with which so many handguns were introduced into civilian spaces, private spaces and homes. My only consolation in this story is that after a few months, most of my husband’s friends decided to return the handguns because keeping them at home in adherence to all the safety rules was too much of a hassle.