Rodney Hide: I would be wishing for a gun

The 'Sea-to-Sea' rainbow flag displayed in Orlando after the shootings. Photo / AP
The 'Sea-to-Sea' rainbow flag displayed in Orlando after the shootings. Photo / AP

I would not want to be shot crouching in a toilet cubicle begging for my life. I would rather fight back even if my situation was hopeless.

The only time I ever wanted a gun was when caught in downtown LA during the Rodney King riots.

I hated the feeling of helplessness. The city was quickly boarded up, there was no transport, the police were off the streets and there was gunfire all around.

I didn't see guns firing but they sure sounded close. I saw looting and copped plenty of racial abuse.

I made it back to where I was staying with a rock in each hand, determined to hurl them should I come under attack.

I was surprised afterwards, reflecting how calm I was and how determined I was to get both rocks away.

I was also surprised by how much I wished to have something more lethal.

The Orlando shooter was at his deadly work for some hours. His gun jammed at least once. He didn't have eyes in the back of his head.

The atrocity has, quite rightly, raised the question of gun control yet again.

But maybe we have it wrong.

I can't help but imagine the terror but more especially the helplessness in Orlando. It's the good people and the innocent who are left defenceless.

Maybe that's the problem. I know it's not cool, but stuck in that cubicle I would be wishing for a gun, a chair, a knife, anything. I am no tough guy but I don't like giving in to bullies. Blame my upbringing. I was brought up to have self respect and to stick up for myself.

The shooter had the only guns in the place. Lives would have been saved if there had been other weapons. And yet the constant call is for more gun control.

That shooter would have got a gun no matter the law. I am not a cowboy nor a gun enthusiast but I sure would be wanting something hurtful to hand.

It's not the dying that would most annoy me. It's the not being able to fight back.

- Herald on Sunday

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Rodney Hide

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