Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Rethinking Carrying a Big Purse and the Gun Issue

Well....it's been a while since I posted. Not unusual...those that follow this blog know how inconsistent I am. I've been battling my health problems. It's a chore to juggle symptoms with things needed to be accomplished. Since September, I've had vertigo symptoms that jump on me at a moments notice to deal with. Puts a real cramp in things I want to do. I have been going to doctors trying to find what is causing these vertigo spells.  The bruises from bouncing off furniture is getting a bit old, but we are getting close to discovering what is going on.

Spring is here and SO Glad for that. We took this shot from the interstate on our way to Roanoke to my son's doctor's appointment. That's about all I get accomplished it seems are doctors visits.

I never thought one of my doctor's visits would get into the gun issue...strange times we are living in!!! Last week I went to a balance and hearing clinic and underwent a couple of hours of tests to get my vertigo diagnosed and that visit has me rethinking my carrying a big purse! For the oddest of reasons.

Big Bertha my suitcase pocket book.
Before having my children, I always carried cute, small little purses. Only things I needed were a wallet, maybe a brush and a hankie. When you get children, women graduate to large purses that can carry the kitchen sink. It's like an evolving need because traveling or going anywhere with small children requires a lot of things. So I began carrying a large handbag when my children were small and have not stopped. It's more convenient to have a large purse that carries many things. These days I carry water bottles, books, papers, camera, medications...all sorts of things in my large handbag

Now before we get into this...let me make something perfectly CLEAR! I'm Appalachian. I was raised with guns in the house, around the house, taught to shoot, taught gun etiquette...all of that. It's part of our culture. I'm certainly not a gun banner. I own guns, I like to shoot guns. I think they are a tool that is useful. I'm the daughter of a military veteran that served during 3 wars and two branches of the service. I'm a second amendment advocate. I don't care if you want to own a bazooka, as long as I know you know how to operate the darn thing and have a back forty that bothers no one to blow stuff up!!!

But there is something going on in this country that is just NUTS about guns. It finally hit me when I went to the balance and hearing clinic. I am going to have to rethink carrying a big purse because of the fear instilled in people and I blame the NRA and the gun lobby for it.

I carry my big purse into the doctor's office not thinking it was a problem. The first test I go into was an exam in which the nice doctor takes a scope to take a picture of inside my ears. I have set my suit case of a purse on the floor during this. It was sort of in the way so the doctor picks it up and moves it. He had an odd look on his face because the purse is very heavy, This look he has and his actions afterwards I really didn't think about, until much later.

My purse is a bit more heavy this day because with spring weather I really need to go by the car wash and clean my truck. I had designs on after this doctor's visit to go by the car wash and wash off the last snowfall's salt. I had put two rolls of quarters in my hand bag that morning. It also had a book for me to read in the waiting room. So it was VERY heavy that day!!

We go to the next room that is a sound proof cubicle for him to put head phones on my head to test my hearing. I carry my purse in and just DROP it on the floor next to me and he flinches. It is so quiet in that room it's sort of loud when it drops.  And I actually apologize, and tell him I didn't mean to drop it that hard.  I'm thinking this guy has really good hearing and flinches at loud sounds. LOL!

When that test is finished he actually picks up my suitcase of a purse and gingerly carries it for me down the hall to the next testing room. He places it gently on the chair for me. I still don't get the connection between my heavy purse and his concern with it. This room is completely painted black and he puts this snorkle kind of mask on my head that has a camera to take pictures of my eye as these tests are performed. He actually puts me into vertigo attacks and it's an excrutiating series of tests that afterwards I didn't make it to the car wash.

The clues to his concern about my big purse come through in the questions he asks. He asked me which one of my ears do I think has better hearing? And I say the left ear. He said I was right.  He asked me if I shot say rifles and did I shoot them left handed?  Odd question but the answer is yes, I have shot rifles on rare occasions but not left handed, I'm ambidextrious and I prefer handguns. These days I probably would not even target shoot with a rifle as I don't like my shoulder being hit as it's painful these days with this muscle crap I've got going on. Which just enforces I guess he thinks I might have a hand gun in my purse.

He asks me if I use ear protection when I shoot guns. I respond that I rarely shoot guns. I tell him the hearing loss in my right ear is from where I was a telemarketer for several years at a pharmaceutical company. The headset was over the right ear. I had to make 128 outgoing calls daily which about 5% to 10% would be to a fax machine that the noise would actually hurt your ear. I noticed the hearing loss in my right ear then.

After the tests, he hands me my hand bag and asks me if I know that I have to have a conceal carry permit to carry a weapon in a hand bag. I tell him, "Doc, I'm not carrying. My purse is heavy because I have rolls of quarters in it to wash my truck!"  It then dawns on me that this very nice doctor has been scared of me and my purse this entire time. Afraid I was carrying a hand gun. He didn't know me or my history as to whether I was a capable, responsible gun owner or just a crazy lady carrying a hand gun in my purse that drops it down just any old way.  He doesn't know that if I were to carry a gun, I would have a CCP license, would carry it in a holster, not in my purse. Unless it's the purse I have that has the compartment securing it for just that purpose. He doesn't know the bullet would not be chambered and I can load one in 2 seconds. I practice!!

His fear was real ...and you know what...I SHARE THE SAME FEARS!!!!  I don't blame him in this climate of gun worship, and irresponsible gun ownership we have today in this country. The statistics don't lie. Yes, millions of people own millions of guns. If they were out for harm the pro gun people say they would do more harm. But the closing of our eyes to the problems of gun irresponsibility and violence is the worst thing going on in this country.

Any mention of stemming anything dealing with guns and the NRA spouts, "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun." Well how the heck do you know which one is really a good guy or even know if that person carrying that gun knows how to operate and care for a gun properly?  YOU DON'T. They shroud the argument in anything regulated or required of gun owners to be responsible as unnecessary and is trying to take away your gun rights. Every time they fear monger like this, the gun companies take it to the bank. In doing so they have turned us into the damn wild west again! Where doctors are afraid of patients with big heavy handbags!

But even our ancestors had more sense than gun owners today. The ignorance of gun etiquette is insane today. You left the rifle on the horse when in town. They would not have thought of carrying a large rifle into J.C. Pennys or a restaurant for a show! Saloons many times had people turn in their arms at the door, because they were there for a good time, not a shoot out.

We even did that at biker meets...checked them in like a coat check station. You got them back when you left.

But this is how I look at it.....I grew up with the Vietnam War as a back drop. Living near a military base I watched young men, many still beardless warriors, with thousand yard stares, roaming around after returning to the states, trying to make sense of what they just went through. Over 58,000 lost their lives in that war. 58,000 that were intentionally being shot at. It was a great loss of life that still bothers and haunts me. I was once married to a Vietnam Veteran, That war haunted him to the effect it always was a part of our marriage and in some ways was part of our divorce.

In 10 years, the United States has had over 300,000 gun deaths on U.S. soil, not even at war and we don't even bat an eye?  Death by toddler is a thing now? It's natural selection BS is what you get when you ask a pro gun advocate. NRA even battles the CDC taking stats about these gun deaths to try to see if there is something that we can do to stem those deaths. The answer lies with gun owners.

Regulation steps in when gun owners themselves are the reason for showcasing their dumbassery about guns and will not even adhere to safe gun practices unless forced to. Too many are in that category. So if you want to blame a fear of guns and  the anti gun movement push for regulation, it's really the present gun owners being ignorant at fault.

There are organizations trying to tackle it in another way. I posted this video on a facebook post and got a ton of ignorant responses. Such as it's not useful unless it's fully loaded, and within easy reach. If you don't know how to load your gun quickly and don't practice doing so...i.e. be proficient with your tools, do us all a favor and don't own a gun. If you don't understand securing your gun from unauthorized use, you are definitely part of the problem.

You should check out EvolveUSA  They have some great targets to print out for practice shooting as well as some great posters.

As for me, I guess I will be leaving big Bertha in the truck and just take in my wallet and cards from now on when I visit a doctor's office. Because I really need to have my doctor focused on my care and not be afraid he's going to get shot.