English: Union Station in Ogden, Utah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last week, I volunteered at the Ogden Union Station. It was decided that the task which I could best serve the community was to wash the glass. I was grateful I was told to take my time, as it was understood that the contents of the building and cases were of interesting historical value. If you know Ogden’s Union Station, you know about the museums contained within the building. Of these displays, the one that stood out to me the most was The John M. Browning Firearms Museum.
If you’ve ever walked into this museum, you’d feel as though you were among large, glass dominoes, all alit to reveal the precious, encased firearms within.
As I was obviously putting my most excellent glass washing skills to use, I couldn’t help but realize that such a collection was worth more than a life. I stared down the barrel of an old pistol, wondering who may have owned the weapon, who may have been injured by such an instrument, and who wasn’t so lucky to survive seeing the very same sight.
I began to question how a single man was able to generate so much revenue just by patenting and crafting better killing machines. The name of the game is to outdo the competition; but, where could this possibly lead?
As I took a small breather, the man in the museum told me a love story about Val Browning and his wife, Ann Chaffin Browning. Apparently, Ann liked to shoot clay pigeons and wanted to have a more ladylike shotgun, so her husband lovingly crafted one for her. Although the sentiment was very sweet, I often wonder why humanity values something such as a gun.
I admire the creative ingenuity to make human life more simple; however, guns are an art form that gives one power to end a life in an instant without even requiring the need to think about it first– just pull the trigger.
In conclusion, I wonder how society can place so much more value on an object such as a gun, yet undervalue artists who work diligently to get those who participate in their works to face humanity, to value life, to think, and to actually care.
Even though I washed every inch of glass in that room, I’m not sure how clear patrons of The John M. Browning Firearms Museum will be able to view the contents inside.