Friday, January 4, 2013

Loaded (Special Delivery)

On a quiet morning almost a year ago (April 2012), I heard the doorbell ring. Though I rushed from my office, I was too late to get the door open in time to receive the delivery from the UPS driver. He had left it on the front door step before dashing back to his truck and continuing on his route.

That’s OK; many of the packages that are delivered by FedEx, UPS, etc., are left on the step.

No big deal, right?

When I opened the door, there were two packages:

The smaller package was for me (office supplies). The other box should have been delivered to the next-door neighbor.

As I examined the misdirected package, I was shocked and frightened to see that it was a box of ammunition. Ammo!! In my house!!! I felt sick and frightened.

This is not just a few bullets. This box was two feet long and weighed at least 40 pounds. I had to struggle to get it into the house; I didn’t want to leave it unsecured on the front step, though the UPS driver apparently had no qualms about doing so.

My first instinct was to get it out of the house.

I immediately phoned my neighbor and left an urgent message asking him to come as soon as possible to get his ammo out of my house. When I realized that he might not get the message for hours, though, and that it might be a day or more before that stuff was out of my house, I called UPS and asked to speak to a manager, not only to get that thing out of my house, but to ask if it is really OK for the driver to leave ammunition on a front step, unsecured? Isn’t a signature needed for receipt of dangerous products, such as ammunition?? Shouldn’t the driver verify the address before leaving such a package? And who would leave ammunition unsecured in a public place?? The manager promised to send a UPS employee right away, answered my questions, and also promised that the driver would be disciplined.

Within about 15 minutes, a UPS supervisor had arrived and took that thing out of my house. (That’s good service!) I left a second message on my neighbor’s phone, letting them know that UPS would deliver the package. My neighbor never returned my phone calls. I’m sure he got a good laugh out of it. [I assume – I hope – that the neighbor uses those bullets only for target practice.]

All my life, I’ve taken pains to avoid violence, including violent movies, images, etc. I hate guns; they frighten me. I am sickened by our pervasive gun culture. It made me sick and frightened to have this horrible box with hundreds of bullets in my house. It makes me sad to know that one can legally purchase hundreds of rounds of ammo and have it delivered casually to a front door step. I wish this bothered everyone.

In light of recent mass shootings, not to mention the steady stream of daily reports of shootings of all sorts in towns and cities across the nation and around the world, shouldn't this casual distribution of large amounts of ammunition be a public concern? Have we become so inured to it all that we just don't care?

I'm frightened by the world we have made.

The only solution is to get rid of all the guns, as I wrote about here:

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