On a bright Saturday morning nearly eight years ago now, I received a phone call from my brother, Dan, begging me to come to his house, it was an emergency. I quickly dressed, grabbed the car keys and flew out the door. Normally it would have taken me about 20 minutes to get to Homestead, but I swear I was at his back door in ten. Since the door was locked, I peered into the window, but could only see the kitchen table and my brother's empty chair. I ran to the neighbors and asked to use their phone. I called 911 and in very short order the police and paramedics arrived.When they busted the door down, my brother was lying on the dining room floor with the phone still in his hand. He was already blue and nothing could be done to save him. I believe I was the last person to talk to him before he died.
Since I was his only sibling, his wife in a nursing home, and his son in jail, and me being the executor of his will, it was my job to dismantle his home. After we buried him, my hubby, Barry, and I began packing up everything that could be salvaged. As we cleared out each room, we trashed outdated and unusable items and only saved a few cherished pieces.
While my husband was in the kitchen, I lifted the mattress in the master bedroom and found a 38 revolver. I knew Dan purchased a gun many years ago when his son first started using and selling drugs. He always said it was better to be safe than sorry. Just the sight of the weapon made me nauseous, and yelled for Barry to come to my assistance. We were glad to have found it though, since my nephew was due to be released soon and might have gotten his hands on it. We took the revolver home that day and have kept it under lock and key.
Fast-forward to last week. A friend on Facebook was looking for a few people who might be interested in taking a firearms course. If she could get a group together, the cost for each would be discounted by 25%. Over the years, I had actually inquired about getting the gun registered in my name. Nobody seemed to know exactly how to go about it, so I figured it wasn't meant to be. But when I asked if she had any knowledge regarding registration, my friend suggested I call the place where the course was being offered. I was told that since I was the executor of my brother's will, legally I was the owner and registrant of the gun. There was nothing more I needed to do according to the law.
My first one-on-one lesson with a certified instructor is scheduled for this week. What happened to all the squeamishness I suffered when I found the gun those many years ago? Well, let's just say that after watching the news every single night I've come to the same conclusion my brother did, it's better to be safe than sorry! Immoral people, addicts, and the mentally-ill are up in arms now, carrying guns to wreak havoc on anybody they deem a threat.
My nephew, who has been in state prison for seven years, will be released this November. He used to be a sweet kid with a drug disease, but after all the time he's spent with hardened criminals, who knows what he's become. Since I'm his only living adult relative, although I've made it very clear that he isn't welcome in my home until he receives help, most likely he'll look me up. Sadly this fact alone is enough for me to become adept at using a firearm for my own protection.
From now on, I will be up in arms, but for no other reason that to ensure my safety as well as the safety of the people I love. My home is my sanctuary, and I will not allow anybody to violate it. I plan to learn every aspect of this revolver, how to handle, load, maintain, and, yes, even fire it if the need arises.
There are those who strongly disagree with my decision, but I think that in today's world, being up in arms is not only a good idea, but a necessity. Possessing a weapon, knowing how to use it, and always being aware of your surroundings is wise in this day and age. To stick your head in the sand and be in denial is foolishness. The choice is yours!
Blessings and Peace