Thursday, 16 March 2017

Guest Post: The Not-so-Gray Area by Rachel Rivers

Some people carry a shiny, stuffed briefcase to work. Some carry a stainless steel thermos filled with piping hot coffee. Some even carry fresh pieces of colorful artwork, testaments to their trade and passion. I carry none of these. I want my hands free to draw, if necessary, the gun I carry on my hip.

There are those who simply talk about violence and those who actually live with violence. These two differing lifestyles rarely have a consistent viewpoint on the issue of violence. There have been a dizzying number of discussions in the media surrounding “gun violence.”
As a police officer, I can tell you I see violence every day. Every single day. Do you know how often a gun is involved? Rarely. In the last six months, I’ve responded to only one incident involving a gun. One.

I won’t sit here and say I’m not bothered by the violence inflicted on innocent people in this country. Young children being slaughtered in schools. Families being ripped apart in shopping malls. Unsuspecting teens being targeted by their peers. All of these are tragic, all of them are heart-breaking. None of them can be blamed on anything or anyone other than the killer.

Violence is an inherent part of life. Since the beginning of humanity, there have been assaults, murders, and wars. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating violence. Far from it. But let’s be realistic. As long as there are people in this world, violence will exist. People want to blame movies, video games, computer programs, books, anything to explain why we’re violent. I call bullshit.
We (as humans) are of nature, and nature is a bitch.

I agree that a young child is easily influenced. I agree that parents should monitor their children until they’re mature and responsible enough to handle that material (whenever that may be). But I don’t agree that we should place blame at the feet of authors or movie directors or video gamers. The issue of this current society’s mindset is multi-faceted and too complex to discuss in a simple post. However, I want you to think about something. Why do people use guns to commit crime? Is it to inflict maximum damage? Sometimes. Is it to make a statement, shock the world? Sometimes. But I would gander it’s usually because it’s impersonal. In a society filled with entitled humans, guns are the coward’s method of murder.

I enjoy shooting guns. I enjoy the practiced discipline, mechanics, and ultimate thrill of putting rounds on paper. I do it for self-defense, I do it for training, and I do it for fun. I have three nephews, ages 5, 4, and 3. My father bought each of them their first BB gun rifle for their first Christmas. On each holiday throughout the year, we review gun safety then target shoot in my parents’ backyard. They love it, and better, they’re learning how to properly use and store firearms in a responsible manner.

I’ve published three books, with three more slated for release within the next several months. These books are graphic. These books are violent. These books are fiction. I feel no shame or remorse in writing violent scenes that often involve guns. When I do, I ensure they depict the gun-wielder as responsible, using correct techniques and disciplined decision-making. Guns are an integral part of my life and I won’t apologize for using them in the books I love to write. You can find out more about Rachel and her books at:


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Look for Rachel Rivers at Romancing the Smokies

March 17-18, 2017  |  Hilton Knoxville Airport, Alcoa, TN

Romancing the Smokies, a production by Sweet Romance Author Donna Wright, is a romance readers dream with a Emerald Isle event, author meet and greet, an elegant luncheon, book signing, Masquerade Ball including fun casino games, plus tons of swag and giveaways. Here, readers get to meet their favorite authors and authors get to connect with readers. We have put together authors from every sub-genre of Romance and even some Mystery authors so you, the reader, can make a personal connection and really get to know the authors whose books you’ve loved.
See full details at our website HERE.
See ticket options at Eventbright HERE. (the book signing from 2 to 4 on Saturday is free to the public)

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting perspective from a police officer. I was surprised about that guns weren't involved as often as we might think. Maybe that stems from more violence being impulsive vs premeditated?


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