Seeking Peace, Hearing Gunshots


May 15, 2020.  Shots are ringing out across the bay…continually, for about 30 minutes. Next, a staccato of six shots. Most likely a hunter doing target practice. In the Navy, I achieved the status of “sharpshooter” on the target range and wore the ribbon on my uniform to prove it.  But I am so grateful I never had to prove that designation in battle. 

I dislike the sound of gunfire. I dislike guns generally, although I respect legitimate hunters who honor their prey and kill only to eat. It still startles me to hear gunshots, more than two years into my Camp Many Moons experiment. I’ve come to accept it as part of the rural soundscape but I will never like it. It disturbs the peace that I came here to find and brings to mind my ongoing confusion (sometimes despair) about the role of guns in our society. I’ve researched the history back to the days of the legitimate militia—when the nation was very young, before we had a military force—and I understand our peculiar societal debate a bit better because of it.  But nothing I read about “back then,” and nothing I hear today, explains why automatic weapons are defended by some, or why it provokes such passion.

I have a powerful need to understand things, especially complicated things. I’m not sure why. Perhaps because it makes it more manageable somehow, psychologically-speaking? I’ll have to be content with not understanding this one for awhile. Understanding comes in its own time. Or, doesn’t. Either way, Camp Many Moons lets me escape from that need for awhile!

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