To Be Enlightened

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“I don’t understand,” Hal said. “It’s just a handgun and I got it to protect our home and family.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll enlighten you,” Rosemary said. “Statistics show that a gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used for self-defense.”

“Oh come on,” Hal responded. “That’s fake news.”

“No, it’s not. It’s true,” Rosemary said. “Having a gun in the home is eleven times more likely to be used for attempted or successful suicides than for self-defense. It’s seven times more likely to be used in criminal assaults and homicides, and four times more likely in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.”

“But we’d use the gun exclusively for self-defense,” Hal objected.

Rosemary sighed. “Did you know that, on average, nearly 5,000 children in the United States receive medical treatment in an emergency room each year for a gun-related injury? And about 21% of those injuries are unintentional. Almost 1,300 children die annually from a gun-related injury in this country.”

“Really?” asked Hal, genuinely surprised by the statistics.

“Yes, and in just the first nine months of this year, almost 3,000 teens and kids have been shot,” Rosemary said. “Now do you understand why I don’t want you to bring a gun into our home?”

“But….”

“But nothing. Either that gun goes, or the kids and I go.”

It was Hal’s turn to sigh. “Yes, fine, you’ve enlightened me.”


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “enlighten.”