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Know Jack #419 Triggered

Trigger, verb: to release or activate by means of a trigger, to cause the explosion of. Noun: the part of a firearm that releases the hammer and so fires the gun.


Gun owners tell the tale of loading a weapon, setting it on their porch, and, over the course of a day, it never kills anyone. The point is that triggers don’t pull themselves. But suppose someone makes their way to that porch, picks up the gun, points it at themselves, and squeezes the trigger.

What happens next? The gun goes off causing harm to the person who pulled the trigger. But who is responsible for the injury? That is a matter of modern debate. Those opposed to others owning guns say it’s the owner of the gun. The reasoning is that the owner is his brother’s keeper and must above all things protect the activator of the trigger—even from his own foolish action.

Gun owners will tell you that if you see a gun and leave it alone, it will not harm you. They will also say that you should assume that a gun will do what guns do and their owners are not responsible for the willful idiotic actions of others.

Take either side you choose. A popular Facebook meme tells us that everyone is responsible for their own triggers. This moves the debate from the physical to the spiritual and emotional because people have triggers too. Like the gun, leaving them alone causes no harm. Willfully pulling the trigger will cause an explosion. So, who’s really responsible?

I have triggers—yes, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Some are as harmless as the cork shooting from a popgun. Unfortunately, others are like pushing the launch button on an atomic weapon of mass destruction. Betraying my friendship is of the latter variety. I am not proud of either reaction. Nor am I blind to them, and I don’t think many other people are either.

I do try to keep them locked away. However, if you go out of your way to trigger an explosion, you will likely get one. In this case, I refuse to accept full responsibility. It’s a shared responsibility. I try hard to be my brother’s keeper, but we live in a world filled with people who believe they may do as they will with impunity. Pulling a trigger sets off processes that cannot be stopped until the consequences occur.

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