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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Would You Shoot Your Hungry Neighbor?

One of my dearest friends, let’s call her Katie, is a devout Mormon who recently asked her husband, Brad, to buy her a gun to protect the food storage.

Before I continue, I should explain that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have been taught for generations by Church leaders to store a year’s supply of food. This is considered preparation for any range of problems from being out of work to surviving the zombie apocalypse.

In Utah, we can see times are changing because now we don’t just teach our little boys how to use guns safely, we teach our girls. Utahns are passionate about the second amendment. (Well, most of them anyway.)

I imagine Katie looking something like this ready to defend her food storage.

I imagine Katie looking something like this ready to defend her food storage.


Even so, I was a bit surprised when Katie confessed she’d asked for a gun. Let me explain why. She is likely the kindest living human being. She is a nurse and when I’m around her, I kinda want to get sick or at least to skin my knee so she’ll take care of me. She is a wonderful cook, too. She is the sort of person who goes out of her way to make delicious vegan food when she invites us over–even though she is not a vegan. I always feel guilty for making so much work for her but also look forward to next time.

Brad, is a soft-spoken business leader who drives a big, beautiful pickup truck. Well, that’s not quite right. He owns a big, beautiful pickup truck. He generally takes the bus two miles to his office. Whenever he and Katie go anywhere together, they take her minivan and she drives. Deeply religious, he works in Salt Lake City for a company based in San Francisco that is infused with liberal corporate values.

When Katie asked for a gun–I didn’t ask whether she wanted something more along the lines of an AR-15 or maybe a Walther PPK–Brad suggested that perhaps they put their food storage into smaller containers to make it easier to share.

It won’t surprise you any more than it did me that all of her food storage is now in small containers. And, no, she doesn’t also have a gun. She really is the sort of person everyone wants for a neighbor. She is just the sort of person I want to be.

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