Sunday, February 3, 2013
I come from a gunless family. I realize that is downright un-American, but that’s the way it is Oh, m younger brother, about whom the Christmas Story of Jean Shepherd could have been written, did wear my father down finally and got a BB gun one Christmas and did almost shoot his eye out, but that was the extent of weaponry in my family. (He also had to make a solemn promise that he would never shoot a bird, a promise he promptly broke but felt really bad about.) My husband told me that he and his father went squirrel hunting once, with an old rifle, but ended up sitting under a tree and watching small animals frolic about the forest. I guess we were lucky, since we never had a home invasion or mugging. During WWII we never encountered any Nazis sneaking through the shrubbery and were too far away from the West Coast to need any armed defense against marauding Nippon invaders. We never have felt the need to be armed, in spite of our God given rights as written in the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, which God has blessed via Irving Berlin. This is not to say that we have never felt the need to defend out home. A fierce dog works well. But the one incident when we were dogless, as well as gunless, my husband managed to rise to the occasion. We heard a noise downstairs, a noise as of someone possibly dropping or throwing something. My husband bravely decided to investigate, grabbing a heavy object from his study. I waited while he slowly made his way downstairs and into the kitchen, where the noise had come from. Fortunately, there was no masked and armed burglar. He discovered that a bottle o grape juice has popped its cork, creating the suspicious clatter. He returned to the bedroom, still clutching his weapon of choice: Gunnar Myrdal’s “An American Dilemma,” a classic and the heaviest book in his library. As a professor of sociology, it all seemed a logical tool of the home defense by an academic. Pity the fool that could have been conked with that leaden tome.