The sign is meant to assure visitors that they are entering a peaceful place. It is meant to warn people who might be carrying guns not to come into my house armed. It is meant to remind me of my commitment to pursue a violence-free world.
The sign is a response to the daily news of shootings in our community. It is a response to the people who are lobbying for concealed-carry laws which would allow people to carry guns on the streets and into other people's businesses. It is a response to the arguments that guns make us safer, because all the evidence indicates that guns make us less safe.
I put the sign up as a test. I wanted to see if anyone would take issue with it. No one has. I wanted to see if anyone would ask where they could get one like it. No one has, but a couple of people have said they like the sign. I wanted to see if I would get tired of the sign. I haven't.
I have been wondering if other people would agree to put up signs like it, and if the signs could become part of an effort to renew a dialogue about personal and public safety and the role that guns play in making our communities more dangerous. I am curious to know how many people in my community have guns in their homes. I am curious about whether people know which of their neighbors have guns, and how they feel about their neighbors having guns. I wonder whether parents want their kids playing in houses where guns might be lying around.
I am curious whether our local police would support efforts to discourage people from having guns at home and whether our local politicians would take a stand on this issue. I wonder who the people in my town who have guns think they need to protect themselves from.
I see plenty of signs in yards warning that the houses are protected by security alarms and services. Would people hesitate about putting up signs indicating that they are not armed and they are not ready to kill people who tried to steal their televisions? Do people think it is better to let people wonder if they are dangerous than know that they are not?
I have heard a lot of people who were very afraid say in their prayers that they are not afraid. By affirming their faith that they are protected, they rise above their fears. I wonder whether people would become less afraid in their homes if they would put up signs saying they are not afraid.
I'd appreciate you sharing your thoughts on these matters.