Quest Contributor: Kristin Wald
I didn’t have the ego available to me to say no, so I sat in the truck. Swept along by a desire to seem cool enough to be brought home to meet the friends, I sat in the truck. Nervous to upset the facade of seeming nice enough to meet the parents, I sat in the truck. Mortified, ashamed, disgusted at myself and the people around me, I sat in the truck.
I didn’t throw any eggs that night. I didn’t hand any eggs to the eighteen year olds surrounding me. I didn’t laugh when one young woman, dressed for a dinner out and holding hands with a young man in a suit jacket, was hit on the side of her head, yolk running down her face. I didn’t cheer when one of my boyfriend’s buddies hit the local cafe’s front door in the middle of the waffle logo. And yet, I was there. I sat in the truck.
I sat in the passenger side of the cab of a pickup truck carrying five guys throwing eggs at unsuspecting targets for over two hours. I was embarrassed about my companions, ashamed at my doormat behavior, angry with my boyfriend, guilty of being an accessory to vandalism and assault. But I didn’t get shot.
I thought about that long-ago and faded night while my stomach turned over, slowly, with no threat of rebellion, as I read about the murder of Adrian Broadway in Arkansas. She was in a car with six friends, ages 14 to 18, and apparently took part in egging a home. The resident of the home came out and shot at the car as they were leaving, killing 15-year-old Adrian with a gunshot to the head, and wounding another teenager.
I thought about that night as my neck tensed, reading about how Adrian and her friends were egging the house of someone who had played a prank on them months earlier. Pranks. Toilet papering a tree. Dumping trash on a car. Ding-dong-ditch. Egging a door. Stupid stuff. Teenage stuff.
Except that Adrian Broadway received a death sentence for being involved in stupid teenage stuff. And I doubt that any of us has never been involved in stupid teenage stuff.
When firearms are the first choice in conflict instead of a last resort, bad things happen. Not stupid teenage stuff – bad things, dead and maimed and traumatized humans. Killing people should not be the fall back — is that so unreasonable? Our lives, our children’s lives, are worth more than wounded pride or resentment about teenage behavior.
Kristen is Communications Lead for the NJ chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Sandler & Wald Social Media