After losing both two family members to gun violence in St. Louis, and later being victimized by domestic violence, MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor purchased a gun for her own protection. On Monday, three days after the Newtown massacre, Taylor wrote: "After my father and brother were murdered, owning a gun made me feel secure. Now it's time to give it up."
As President Obama vows new action on gun control, Taylor appeared on Democracy Now! in a 20-minute interview to discuss the violent tragedies in her own life and her evaluation of how the mainstream media reports on gun-related killings across the United States.
"I grew up with guns. It was a part of our life. We grew up in East St. Louis. And so, having a gun was really a part of the family security, along with having burglar bars and those kinds of things," Taylor says. "When my father was murdered in 1973, my mother immediately bought a gun and kept it in the house for, you know, all of our lives. My brother was murdered in a similar fashion about 20 years later. And it really took the family by storm. At that time, I bought my own gun. I did not want my sons to live the fate or end in the fate that my father and brother had, and so I did what I thought I needed to do to protect them."
But now Taylor has given up her gun. "I turned my gun in, and I've watched and listened as others turned theirs in, and I'm glad that it's beginning to happen. You know, some of these cities have had record buyback programs over the last 72 to 96 hours, and I'm really proud of that. I'm glad that we're going to have a conversation about gun control in this country. I'm glad we're going to have a conversation, I think, finally, about mental health and access to it. I think I'm really glad that we're going to have, I believe, a conversation holistically about, you know, just our violent culture in general. It's in our popular culture. It's in our popular media."
Taylor continues, "I believe in the Second Amendment, but as the President said, there is an awfully large gap between having the right to bear arms as is stated in the Second Amendment and then being able to own an assault rifle. I think that there are--being former military, I think that there are certain kinds of weaponry that civilians simply should not have access to. There are certain kinds of ammunition that civilians should not have access to."
Taylor calls on the corporate media to do a better job reporting all gun-related killings, regardless of race, economic class and gender. Click here to read the complete transcript.
Does owning a gun make you feel safer? Join the discussion on the Democracy Now! Facebook Page and share with a friend!