by R.G. Yoho
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
I am a gun. I have challenged the waves and crossed a vast, unforgiving sea. I have landed on these shores. I am held by the pilgrim, the pioneer, and the trail blazer. I have brought civilization to a barren wilderness.
I am a gun. I have fed the early settlers. I have protected their cabins. I have flamed in the cause of liberty. I have brought down tyrants. I have given birth to a brave and noble land of freedom.
I am a gun. I have ended slavery. I have tamed the West. I have established law and order. I have crossed a continent.
I am a gun. I am fallen into the dirt wherever brave warriors die. I rest beside their bodies. I am stained with their blood. I am covered by their battle helmets. Planted with my bayonet in the soil, I stand as a battlefield cross, a simple but poignant memorial for their sacrifice.
I am a gun. I returned across that vast, unforgiving sea. I have won two World Wars. I have flown over war-torn skies. I have jumped from planes, parachuting into danger.
I am a gun. I have stormed the beaches, the jungles, the volcanic sands, and the frozen land. I have won great victories and signed peace treaties. I have returned to our shores for ticker tape parades and sometimes with no welcome at all.
I am a gun. I started out as a rather primitive weapon, only firing one shot before I must be reloaded. But as the times changed and as man progressed, so did I.
I am a gun. I can be used for both good and evil. I can take a life. I can be used to save them.
I am a gun. I can inflict great hardship and suffering upon many in my path. I can also be used by good men to stop the actions of evil ones. I can end the bloodshed and restore peace.
I am a gun. I can put meat on a family’s table. I can protect your household from harm by intruders. I can provide a means of recreation.
I am a gun. If left untouched upon the table or nightstand, I can harm no one.
I am a gun. I cannot drive to an elementary school, a crowded shopping mall, or a Hollywood movie premiere.
I am a gun. My eye cannot see but where I am pointed. I have no motive. I have no soul. I have no compassion. I hold no malice.
I am a gun. I cast no vote. I hold no political allegiance. I embrace no party. I employ no political agenda. I practice no faith.
I am a gun. When only the military or the police may own me, then I will always be used to inflict great numbers of deaths upon their citizens.
I am a gun. Hitler used me to drive millions of Jews into cattle cars like livestock, transporting them to the gas chambers for their deaths. Stalin, Mao, and other notorious butchers of humanity used me to maintain their evil and twisted lust for power.
I am a gun. Those who seek to remove me from the hands of a free people are brothers to those who commit great acts of genocide.
I am a gun. I can be used to stop the forces of evil. I can be used for evil itself.
I am a gun. Those who use me to harm others can only be stopped by those who wisely employ me in their defeat.
I am a gun. Samuel Colt understood that I could even the odds against those of overwhelming strength or superior numbers. I have made it possible for the meek to overcome the mighty.
I am a gun. When you mention the names of Wyatt Earp, Bill Hickok, Alvin York, Audie Murphy, and Chris Kyle, it brings me to mind. Their mastery of me made them famous.
I am a gun. I have been praised and cursed. I have been both destroyed and treasured. I have been proudly passed down from father to son.
I am a gun. I am only as good or as bad as the ones who possess me.
I am a gun. I am the defender of liberty. I am the guarantor of free speech. I am a friend of the free. I am the missing element of the enslaved.
I am a gun. My purposes and my destiny are in your hands alone.
I am a gun.
R.G. Yoho is a writer and author of six books.