I remember when I was a kid, my father was (is) an evangelical ‘undocumented nutcase’ that happened to be an ultra-conservative, right wing, lifetime NRA member. His thought process: God=good, Guns=better, Banging the kiddos=delightful, make-up=VERY BAD. Anyway, he used to tell us stories about the ‘Commies’ infiltrating America and trying to take our guns away so they could rape/force breed the best ‘stock’ (yes, my bio really used and thought in terms of ‘stock’ being an appropriate way to sum up humans), deplete our food sources and that by the time I would have been 20 (1998) that we wouldn’t actually eat food anymore, we’d take a beef/fish/vegetable/fruit/etc pill.
We had loaded guns literally in every corner of our home from as early as I could remember. He told my brother and me many horror stories from his unbelievably wackadoo view. We hunted and fished for our meat, not for the ‘sport’ but because the USDA was going to poison us and use a hybrid meat that would essentially result in some type of mutant human. And that’s just a snapshot of the craziness.
When I reflect back on that, it’s actually pretty easy to see why some of these teens respond with such vitriol. The first time I spent the night at a friend’s house that didn’t have guns in every corner, I was terrified. It had been so impressed in my mind that guns=safety and without them around, you might as well have stolen my security blanky. When Michael brought up their environment, it brought back some memories that made it easier for me to be less upset with these teens than I am with their parents/guardians.