#GunControlNow: The Bullet Maker

We live in an increasingly impersonal world.

Take the vegetables you buy at the grocery store, for example: They’re nurtured and picked by individuals, often in foreign countries, we’ll never meet. We take the fruits of their labours for granted — we may even complain about the high prices being charged by the distributors of those products. But we give little or no thought to the men and women toiling in the farm fields . . .

No, this is not a guilt trip. It’s just a fact of life —  though, I have to admit, sometimes in the winter when I buy tomatoes imported from Mexico, I wonder about the folks who grew and picked them.

I wonder, too, sometimes about the people who work in slaughterhouses, taking the lives of animals day in day out. I suppose they must numb themselves to the killings by compartmentalizing their feelings.

But what about the individuals who make bullets? I wonder if the following scene will take place at their kitchen tables on Monday morning, in the wake of the deaths of 50 people in a mass shooting by a lone gunman at an Orlando nightclub this weekend:

Scene in the kitchen of an American family: father, young daughter and teenage daughter seated, eating cereal, while mother butters toast at a counter.

Young girl: Daddy, teacher asked us to talk about what our fathers do at work today. What do you do?

Father: I make ammunition, sweetie.

Young girl: What’s that?

Teenage sister: Bombs, grenades, bullets . . .

Father: I don’t make bombs or grenades . . . just bullets.

Young girl: You mean, bullets like they use in guns?

Father: Yes, that’s what bullets are for, to be used in guns.

Young girl: But guns are used to kill people, aren’t they?

Father: (A little uncomfortable) Sometimes, but they’re mostly used for target practice and hunting.

Young girl: But what about the bullets used to kill all those people in the nightclub in Orlando on Saturday . . . did you make those?

Father: (Clearly uncomfortable) Um, I don’t think so, sweetie.

Teenage girl: But they could have been, Dad.

Father doesn’t respond; mother brings a plate of toast to the table, saying nothing.

Young girl: Daddy, why do you make bullets?

Father: (points to the toast) To put bread on the table for you to eat. It’s a job, sweetie.

Young girl: You mean those people died . . . (tears start to roll down her cheeks) . . . my toast . . . I don’t want any more toast . . . (she stands up and runs from the room, sobbing)

Mother leaves room to go comfort young girl

Teenage girl: (Tears start to roll down her cheeks, too) I don’t want any more toast, either … Sorry, I’ve lost my appetite. (she leaves the room)

Father: (alone at the table, pushes his plate of toast away from him) I don’t want anymore . . . No more . . .

Mother returns to the kitchen

Mother: I’m going to keep the girls home today. They’re very upset . . .

Father: (nodding, pulls cellphone from his shirt pocket and presses dial button) I’m not going in today, either . . . (into the phone) Hello, this is Ed. I won’t be in today. I’m not feeling well.

Loud voice at the other end: Jesus, Ed, you’re the fifth person to call in sick this morning. We won’t be able to run the production line . . .

Father: I’m sorry . . . I’m sorry . . . (He hangs up the phone, looks up at his wife) I can’t go back there . . . I couldn’t face our daughters if I did . . . no more (he starts to cry)

Mother: (she bends over and hugs him) Don’t worry, honey. You’ll find another job . . . We still have my income. I think there’s an opening in the fruit and vegetables department at work . . . I’ll ask my boss today . . .

Two daughters come back into the room

Father: (still sobbing, tells them) I’m quitting my job . . . I can’t do it anymore . . . No more bullets . . . I love you so much . . . (he stands up)

The scene fades with the family in a group hug . . .

****

In memory of the Pulse Orlando victims

— Jillian

3 thoughts on “#GunControlNow: The Bullet Maker

  1. Hate to burst your fantasy bubble, but the companies that make bullets (and guns) and the people who work for them give absolutely no thought to how their product is used. It’s a legal product and they make the product.

    The bullets on the shelf at WalMart are only a tiny fraction of their production. Most of the bullets made in the US are purchased by law enforcement and military buyers.

    Did you know that in the US it is illegal for a pediatrician to ask if there are guns in the house?

    Did you know that in the US it is illegal for the NIH to research gun death data or to examine gun deaths as the result of medical issues?

    Just another day in the US.

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    1. It’s a sad day. A colleague was telling me that it is illegal for people in Japan to own a single bullet. So, how about cracking down on the distribution of ammunition in the United States?

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      1. I believe they call it the NRA. But hallelujah you’ve re-thought your stance on gun ownership. We seem to forget the basic laws of thermo-dymanics. Water tends to seek the line of least resistance and when it come to access to firearms and ammunition humans are no different. What scares me more is the APA, CPA silence on ‘mental-health’ wrt(with respect to) main stream media, both from the point of view of the doer + the doee. Because I’m really get fed-up with being a doee, especially when a bullet or pressure wave is coming my way. Put it another way is that NA society as a whole is experiencing, imo, nascent signs of PTSD. And we are not even in the immediate theatre of war. Surely you would ‘think’ .. %@

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