According to the late woman’s father, not only was Veronica
Rutledge, 29, trained extensively in firearm use and safety, but she carried
the legally concealed weapon in a specially designed purse, a purse designed
specifically to carry the gun. “…This wasn’t just some purse she had thrown her gun into,” he said in an interview.
The Washington Post reported that the purse had even been a special Christmas
present from her husband, since the entire family was passionate about guns. The couple,
who frequented shooting ranges and hunted together, bonded over their use of
firearms. You can practically imagine the cozy Christmas scene: a husband
excited to combine the practical with the pretty, a wife thrilled with her
While guns may surround me, I am not at all comfortable with them.
on the day after Christmas, when Rutledge decided to take her new purse out for
a spin, the present turned deadly. Although even gun experts are baffled as to how on earth a 2-year-old was able to find the specially concealed weapon, unlock any safety
mechanisms that presumably a gun enthusiast such as herself would be well aware
of, aim it directly at her head, and have enough strength to actually pull the
trigger, that’s exactly what happened.
story is so horrible, and it hits too close to home. We live in a small
town much like Rutledge’s, where people are passionate about their right to
bear arms. The sight of a holstered gun is as familiar to me as the heavy
winter coats that currently cloak them. There’s very much a “don’t mess with
me” mentality that goes into gun carrying, and even more frightening than that,
it’s also a status symbol, a badge of honor or even just plain “cool”—a
disturbing flashback to high school, except these are grown adults wearing
fully legal machines on their persons designed to kill something as quickly as
with guns, things go wrong. My husband himself is passionate about guns, my
brother-in-law is a gun engineer, we’ve had birthday parties for our children
where adults casually strolled around with guns affixed to their pants, and while
guns may surround me, I am not at all comfortable with them.
understand the argument both ways and I know much of the don’t-take-away-my-gun
mentality is a small town point of pride, like waving an American flag around
or maybe eating Southern grits or something.
at what point does our pride need get sacrificed—