A friend of mine posted a picture similar to this one (on his Facebook page) with the tag line "isn't she perty?"
It got me thinking about the intention of this post. I'm a writer and I'm thinking about character. Girls are pretty. Boys are pretty, sometimes. Who wants to anthropomorphize a picture of a concealable handgun? How does it modify your intention to say "perty" instead of "pretty?"
I'm not thinking about the politics of the thing. I'm thinking about why does someone want to own a tiny gun in the first place? For any reason at all? Because some people would have them if they were illegal, and some wouldn't have one if they were mandatory.
They represent something.
This little hand gun is not for hunting. It's designed to be carried so no one knows you have it. It's so you can show it to them when they don't expect it.
The other day I read about two drivers who got into a confrontation on the road in Nashua (New Hampshire) and one of them decided to escalate the matter by blocking traffic and using his hand gun to force the other driver to the ground as he dialed 9-1-1. The gun wielder was arrested, charged with a felony.
Unexpected hand gun, revealed.
It's pretty easy to get a concealed-carry permit around here (and in many other places). Perhaps the jackass who just cut you off has one, too. Are you ready for a gun battle over obnoxious driving?
Wouldn't that be "perty?"
One of the cliches of creative writing instruction is the line "If a gun appears on the mantel in the opening scene, then it needs to have been fired by the end of the play."
As my friend wrote, a gun, particularly a handgun, and particularly a CONCEALED handgun, represents something. To me, it represents a notion that the world is an unsafe place and that you aren't truly "safe" unless you're armed.
I will never own a gun. Never. I will never have one on me, or in my home, or my car. I don't NEED one in the house. As another friend said to someone who felt like they "needed" one in their house in case someone broke in, if you're not at home, they could just steal the gun, and chances are, if you're there, you either won't be able to get to it OR they might get to it first and use it against YOU.
Guns represent, to me, a violent worldview which states that the solution to a problem is to kill or injure.
I don't live that way.
In the immortal words of Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H...
"I will NOT carry a gun. I'll carry your books, carry a torch, carry a tune... I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward... Cary Grant, Cash And Carry, 'Carry Me Back To Ol' Virginny'... I'll even hari-kari if you show me how, but I will NOT carry a gun."
...because as a writer, I know that if I buy one at the beginning of the play, before the end, it's going to get fired, probably at someone, and probably with intent to harm.
And I don't want that energy in my life.