Thursday, April 22, 2010

Guns makes monsters of us

All this talk about guns (on Samoa Observer, cheers) takes me back to some unpleasant moments in a not so distant past.
We grew up with a gun on the wall, hanging by the bible shelf. Next to the bullets.
My uncle Satu'u used to go flying fox (pe'a vao) shooting with his friends. While my mother was pleading with the international community about saving these endemic endangered species.
hmmm, Oh the irony of it all.
Our neighbours use to send their kids over to borrow our gun to shoot the pig for the Sunday toonai. Apparently, its less traumatic than choking the animals with a steel bar.
Barbaric bastards they all were, are.
After the two cyclones, displaced hungry flying foxes flew into the village and my uncle found it convenient to shoot from the front yard rather than going high into the hills.
In retrospect, we should never have had that gun in our home. Along with the bullets.
This is why:
-Moe guku faamaga made fun of our temperamental Sinave (11 years old at the time) one afternoon.
Sinave, having watched his father shoot pe'a, grabbed the gun, bullets and chased after Moe into the pig sty with a loaded gun, angry like a whitney on 'p'. He didn't get to shoot, Moe sprinted for his life. but Sinave got the beating of his life.
And the gun went back onto the shelf, next to Jesus and the bullets.

-Samu (as a young boy) was sent to borrow a gun from the neighbour in my granma's village (Paia), on his way home with his friends, he teasingly held the gun aimed at a friend. It went off. His friend is alive but has a gap in his neck to remind him everyday.

And most tragic memory as a child is seeing a man aim a gun at a brand new stereo and his partner pleads with him to stop.
He pauses. But aims at her,..and slurs "It's you or the stereo, make a choice".
And the two struggle for a while. he, punching, she, struggling to remove the weapon.
The gun went off, blasted the stereo. Woman  beaten up.
We wee children watched this unfold. in our balmy little village.
While Jesus watched from the bookshelf, next to the bullets.

We should never have guns in our homes, because if I get hold of a loaded one and that drunk abusive man walks past, I will zero in on his ugly forehead and pull the trigger.

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