The Day One Man Decided To Give Up His Gun In the 1970s, Pastor David Ned learned an important lesson about himself after what could have been a tragic situation.
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The Day One Man Decided To Give Up His Gun

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The Day One Man Decided To Give Up His Gun

The Day One Man Decided To Give Up His Gun

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's Friday morning when we hear from StoryCorps, where people tell the stories that have shaped their lives. This week, we're going to check back in with David Ned. He was on this program last fall, talking about his experience as a customer in a bank during a robbery. In that same StoryCorps interview, Ned talked about living in a rough neighborhood in Baton Rouge, La., in the '70s. He carried a gun for protection.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

PASTOR DAVID NED: I had a little dog, a little white German shepherd, and I was living in an apartment. And the manager's kids was kicking my dog. I talked to the manager about it. And about 10 o'clock that night, her husband came knocking on the door. And he says, you got any problem, you need to talk to me about it. I said, are you the manager? No, my wife is the manager. I said, well, I don't have nothing to say to you. I already talked to your wife. He said, well, I'll tell you what - in two weeks, I want you moved and your dog gone. I got hot then. He walked downstairs. I closed my door, and I went to my bedroom and I got my gun. What a gun does, it talks to you. Things that you'd normally say I'm not going to do or I'll just let it pass, gun talks to you and say, you don't have to take that. So my wife was putting chain locks on the doors. And she's by the door - I don't want you to go. So I end up saying, OK, all right, forget it. But I call the manager of the company and I told them about the incident. And in less than a week, they were dismissed. Then I came home one day and I found my little dog was poisoned. And in my mind, he poisoned my dog. I said, I'm going to get him, but I didn't see him no more. And then I was driving down the street and this car passed me by. And I saw this face and I had a flashback of who he was. So I did one of the highway patrol special - I ran him all on the curb, jumped out of my car, snatched his door open and that was the wrong man. He said, what is wrong with you? I said, I'm sorry. You look like somebody I don't like. And believe it or not, I took the guy, I said, come on, let's go to the club. I went and bought him a drink, you know? I was dead wrong.

DARIUS CLARK MONROE: Yeah.

NED: And I know that if I would've had the gun, I'd shot that man. At that point, I knew that my anger was so bad, if I don't control this thing, I'm going to hurt somebody or somebody's going to hurt me. So I said, I'm done. I can't pack no gun no more. And it took that kind of thing to get me right.

INSKEEP: Pastor David Ned speaking with Darius Clark Monroe. Their interview, like all StoryCorps interviews, will be archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The StoryCorps podcast is available on iTunes and at npr.org.

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