“Mr. Sherrill, I am originally from the Ringgold area but moved away several years ago. I miss it very much especially since I live so far away. I noticed that you have started a forum and I have a couple questions, which may not apply to your type of forum, but because you are an expert on guns, I thought you may be the person to ask.”
This mother gave a complete rundown on what had happened when her son was killed. She wanted to know specific answers about a particular gun, things she did not have any idea about. Her question was, “What is the difference in a Glock and a 357 and what does it mean that a bullet was in the chamber?” I did answer her e-mail right away and tried to answer her question so that she could understand.
There is a company that makes a gun called a Glock. The 357 reference is to the size of the bullet. Glock does make a pistol called the 357 SIG. The 357 designates the bullet only. To answer her question on the chamber, this means that the bullet was in fact in the barrel.
This reader’s response to me was, “Thank you Mr. Sherrill for your quick response. Guns have never been my favorite thing. I’m surprised my son was so excited to have one; we did not have hunters in the family, so he didn’t grow up around them. Yes, I know the questions are still out there along with the answers. Maybe someday I will know what happened. They say that my son died instantly, but who knows. I think they tell you that to be a comfort. He was shot just above his right eye and it hit his brain stem and some other very important things. So many survive, often times with awful disabilities. I wonder why my son had to die, but I am glad he didn’t have to live for the rest of his life disabled.”
As we emailed back and forth I asked her permission to tell some of her story and she certainly agreed so that others could be warned of the dangers of “playing” with guns. She wrote one last email asking me to tell our readers the following: “One other thing Mr. Sherrill, please help them to understand that it doesn’t matter how old they are, a mother’s heart is broken forever. Each birthday, each holiday, a smell, a word, his name brings new pains in my heart. The thought of my grandchildren growing up without their father, or no phone calls ever again, breaks my heart all over. I will never be the same as I was before he died. I even feel guilty for laughing or going on with my life, and I mourn the fact that I can’t move back to Georgia, so I can sit on his grave for hours and just think.”
I could not give any of this family’s names or a complete rundown on the whole story, for it is not our intention to make judgment on anyone that may be a part of this tragedy. I believe her story relates to us all, and tells just what a big responsibility we all have as gun owners, and once the trigger is pulled we cannot bring back the bullet that goes out the barrel.
I would like to thank this mother that so graciously shared her story of what started as a good time for two young men that went so terribly wrong. Guns are NOT toys, always handle them safely.
Roger Sherrill lives in Ringgold. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.