I DID A THING!
I remember the panic in the air as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID 19 a pandemic. There had been whispers, ignored by most of us and/or, proclamations skewed with selfish indignation… that was their problem over there, wherever there was.
The alarms sounded around the world and the message was clear. SHUT IT DOWN. We couldn’t go anywhere and that included work. Sounding the alarm, would also sound many of our worst nightmares as they aligned with our unconscious denial of mortality. We could die. We could cause each other to die and NO ONE COULD SAVE US.
This heightened fear of dying also competed with the fear of not being able to provide for our families. The Big Apple was officially rotten and the city that never sleeps was on bed rest. The world as we knew it would NEVER return. I really believe that. It is hard to go back to the past when the present is what has changed.
Frantic leaders scurried to meet with pharmaceutical companies to buy back our freedom with a possible cure. The country was split in half on yet another issue. Pro- Vaccine wars allied against the Anti Maskers. I actually hope they leave this out of the history books like they do so many other things, America would soon forget. While all of this was happening, mayhem shook the core of New York’s strongest. Time being the devils playground, would prove to infiltrate the minds of all of us. Everything that you had ever run from would permeate through your soul and sit front and center of your being. Time would pull up dormant trauma. Time also gave you the ability to not escape the realities many escape from while running the rat race of life for our slice of cheese.
One of those realties was racial inequity as it relates to Black and Brown Americans and the systemic racial bias that leads to the death of black and brown bodies at the hands of policing systems.
Bible stories teach us from the very beginning that murder happens, but even from the beginning, said murder had consequences including the alienation from ones family and life as they knew it. When black people kill black people, our community loses two souls. One to death and the other to the prison system. When police kill black and brown bodies, even when dealing with minor infractions, it seems that our very pigmentation creates reasonable doubt and cause for killing without any ramification.
The pandemic created a portal, eyes wide open, seeds sown, now rooted in forced empathy because you couldn’t just hide in escapism and act like you didn’t see it. YOU SAW IT.
Shortly after the lockdown and boredom set in, many needed a vice to attach meaning too. That happened when George Floyd was killed in broad daylight, by strangulation, for all to see.
The collective energy consciousness that needed to belong and empathize with other peoples pain, decided they would fight and perhaps be willing to die for equity. Led by Generation Z, the generation, who simply “ain't” with the sh*ts and is no longer willing to wait on change. They organized and fought for justice. Perhaps the looming threat of death associated with COVID gave courage to the fight to live.
OK, LET ME GET TO THE THING I DID.
As people all around the world marched for justice, equality and equity, I saw the uprising of old racist tropes that dictated the position of black and brown people as inferior. White neighborhoods defended their homes with guns. They understood our pain, but still blamed us for defending ourselves even as they were willing to defend themselves. Black and brown people defending themselves is not the American Way. We should comply to EVERYTHING while THEY get to justify breaking ALL the rules if they don’t support their perceived fragility. Guess what? That isn’t support; that is simply wanting to go back to the passive aggressive superiority.
This made me think. OK, I AM ALWAYS THINKING, and my thoughts are usually all over the place. Why as a citizen of America, did I not have a gun license? All this marching and fighting for the right to simply BE, should have afforded me all the rights of American Citizenship. The second amendment of the US Constitution - The Right to Bear Arms - Passed by Congress in 1789 then ratified as part of the Bill of Rights in 1791 states:
A well regulated Militia,
being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed.
You read that? THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. AINT I PEOPLE? I know they tried to say we “AIN'T” but we “IS”.
Out of the blue, I decided I was going to get a gun. It was my right, RIGHT? More than anything I wanted to understand the process. I had no idea of how to get a gun license, but I do know how to research. Google led me to the website, Licensing.nypdonline.org.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN.
I went to NY.GOV and that led me to the State of NY Pistol/Revolver License Application where I needed to give blood. OK, I didn’t need to give blood, but I did have to fill out a number of forms that allowed for a background check, character references and the WHY you wanted a gun. I really don’t believe you should be asked why you want something that is your constitutional right. Any-who! After completing that part, I paid the initial $340 hand gun fee.
How long did I wait to hear from them? I kept checking the website and my emails believing that I had, perhaps, done something wrong.
After approximately SEVEN long months during a pandemic and racial un-rest, I was contacted by the police department for an interview. I was told I needed to go down to One Police Plaza for finger printing. They have no evening and weekend hours and trust that everything was extra complicated due to covid restrictions.
Fingerprinting $88.25. After finger printing I waited another 8 months for them to ask for more paperwork. Luckily I am pretty organized so I completed the paperwork quickly and emailed It back to the officer. Anything that may come up in your background check, will require an affidavit explaining and possibly show proof that it was resolved.
MORE WAITING and I am not even sure how long this time. I almost wanted to quit until I remembered that I had spent over $400.
I finally received a confirmation email stating that I had met all requirements and would be receiving my gun permit. YIPPIE. Ya girl did it. I did it in a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Well, this was true when I did it. As I was mapping out this article, the Supreme Court ruled that a 1913 New York law that restricted who could carry a gun in public, unconstitutional. No idea what that means for the future considering all of the Mass shootings attached to racism and mental instability. We might be in trouble.
Back to the present, before this new future arrives. I only have a handgun license to have the gun locked in my home. In NYC you only get to have a concealed carry license if you are transporting money, can prove with a police report that you are in eminent danger or considered a celebrity. Ain't that some sh*t, what happened to my right to bear arms? Maybe I should have been quiet about that last part. Somebody heard me.
I got my license on Valentine’s Day. What a gift to me. I already told ya'll, I wanted to know the process because I am extremely nosey. I also wanted to share the process. That’s it. Know and share, NOT BUY. I let the regret set in. I was informed that I had 30 days to purchase a GUN or my gun license would be revoked. NOW I AM SCARED. SHOTS FIRED.
The moral of the story is, I need to stop being so nosey and thinking I can dress it up with all this other shit.
IT AIN'T OVER!
I was going to end the story here until I realized how hard it was to get a gun in NYC. I google searched multiple places in NYC and to my dismay, many were gun clubs and others had strange hours. Finally I found Millennium Gun Shop In New Hyde Park, NY. I had to make an appointment with limited available hours. Did I tell y’all that I have ZERO gun knowledge. User and safety instructions are two elements that should be mandatory in obtaining a gun license. I had none of that. I was able to purchase a Smith and Wesson Mini Glock. I don’t even know what that means, but I like the way it sounds.
I KNOW YALL DIDN”T THINK IT WAS OVER.
After Purchasing my handgun, I then had to let the Police Department know that I purchased a handgun by emailing them my receipt and then wait to be given a date for inspection. Don’t forget there are no evening or weekend hours. While waiting, I had to buy a lock box and on my inspection date I took my locked gun to One police Plaza, in my Tory Burch handbag, on the J train. Honestly the entire experience was both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. I did all of this shit for y’all and I didn’t even want to buy a gun. My gun knowledge is so limited that I actually thought when he mentioned magazines that I was going to be getting something to read. Yeah, see why training should be part of the gun license procedure? Leaving it up to me to decide when and if I need training is asinine.
There I hope I helped and now that the laws have changed NONE of this may apply.