Now that the police have come, I can talk about this: Yesterday, as I was leaving the house with kids, dog, mother, I passed, for the second time, what looked like a damp glove on our street. This time, as I stepped past it, I thought: it’s shaped like a gun. I stepped back: not a glove. It was a loaded Ruger handgun in a damp black sleeve.
Lying on the street–why? It’s possible, as the police thought, that someone got nervous after a crime and threw it out the window. My first thought was that it fell out of someone’s pocket, though it had been sitting there a while–well-rained on–and no one came to look for it. If it was simply lost, we’re told, and the owner claims it, it will be returned, no fine, no other penalty.
We know most of our neighbors. There is one we greet but don’t socialize with, who has a lot of pro-gun stickers, who walks his dog in the early morning and late at night. Was it him? I doubt we will ever know.
So we’re all shaking our heads: how lucky I was the first to pick it up, and not some curious child running ahead of a parent. And I guess crime might happen anywhere and criminals might throw away evidence. But it seemed a symbolic reminder to me of how omnipresent guns are in this country, barely hidden but practically everywhere, even on peaceful streets where people see and know each other, where the guns themselves are main thing we fear.