This morning I received an email from a woman who wanted to share her thoughts. I will admit her words touched me and I think she may represent many female gun owners. At least I hope she does as she is a fine example. I asked to post her very eloquent words here. She gave me permission. Please read…
I am a mother. I am a single woman. I am a gun owner.
I have sat by quietly as the anti-gun propaganda machine has churned heavily over these past seven days. I have not stood on the rooftops and yelled about my 2nd Amendment rights and the facts about gun ownership vs. gun control. I have done so out of respect and compassion for the children that were murdered by a madman. As a mother, my heart bled and continues to bleed for the senseless loss of life at Sandy Hooks Elementary School.
I spent that Friday evening cuddling and kissing my children, overwhelmed with gratitude that for one more day they were safe and well, tucked under my wing in a protected space. This is not unusual for me, the fact that Friday nights are pretty sacred in our home is a known fact to those who know me well. Friday nights are a time for the three of us to spend together, reconnecting and unwinding after a hectic week of school, work, doctor and orthodonist appointments, ball games, ball practice, the busy life we live together. This Friday it was a little more though. The tragedy in Connecticut weighed heavily on my mind as I am sure it did most everyone in the country.
Like most parents I dropped my children off at school the following Monday with a heavy heart and a knot in the pit of my stomach. I watched my little man walk in to the school, his Gamecock bookbag covering his whole back because he’s so small, and I dealt with knowing I was leaving him in a place where he was entirely defenseless, not a police officer or a security guard in sight. All day I fought the urge to go sit in the parking lot and keep a watch over him and his schoolmates, to stand guard over the smallest and most vulnerable in our society. I admit I did give in to the urge and join him for lunch, where I regrettably was forced to leave my gun in the car.
Ah, you see, there in lies the crux of the issue. There was a time not very long ago that leaving the gun in the car would not have been a dilemma for me because I lived in blissful ignorance. I felt that my mere presence alone was enough to keep my children safe from harm. Making them hold my hand got them safely across the street. My kisses held magic that could cure boo boos in an instant. My bed held safe refuge from nightmares that danced into their minds in the middle of the night. For anything that was wrong, I, as Mom, held the answer, the cure, the fix. They trusted me implicitly to keep them safe and I naively believed that my Momminess was enough to do so. Who would dare mess with my cubs with Mama Bear right there?
A little more than a year ago I went on a date to a gun range. I had never shot a gun before and figured I liked this guy, he liked guns, what the hell, why not? I had never held the notion that guns, as inanimate objects, were good or bad, but I admit I was pretty nervous about actually shooting one. The first time I pulled the trigger I was hooked. To this day there are very few moments to me as peaceful as that split second after I fire when I know that shot is perfectly placed inside the 10 ring. Admittedly those shots are fewer and further between than I would like, but when they happen it’s an amazing feeling. After that date I still didn’t think I needed to own a gun, but begged him to take me back to the range so I could shoot his.
My attitude about that changed one evening as my children and I were carrying groceries in from the car. A man came in to our yard and somehow I allowed him to maneuver himself between my son and I. He kept walking towards me all the while assuring me he meant me no harm. His words did little to offset his actions and I felt, in that moment, more threatened than I ever have. Certainly more threatened than I had at a gun range, which is crazy because I am surrounded by men with guns there, right? Thankfully that man left without doing us any harm but I was left shaken and ashamed. Ashamed that I had always looked at my children and vowed that I would let no harm come to them on my watch, that I would do everything in my power to protect them and keep them safe, yet I was unwilling to actually do so. I was unwilling to enter into the trenches of owning and carrying a gun, the most effective means of protection allowed to me. That night my resolve was set, I would do whatever it took to keep my children safe from harm, by any means necessary. The President of the United States protects his family with an armed security detail, were my children any less valuable than his? Any less worthy of protection, even by deadly force if that is what it took? The answer to that was, and still is a resounding no.
The 2nd Amendment was, for me, just part of the Constitution that I had to learn in school. I knew what it said but didn’t give too much thought to what it actually meant. I took for granted that “shall not be infringed” seemed pretty self explanatory to me, yet I learned very quickly that this right, afforded to us by our founding fathers, was at every turn being infringed upon. And now, here we are, entering into a battle with anti gun groups who base their assault upon the Constitution on emotion and fear, rather than facts. They scream for gun control without stopping to realize that no form of gun control could have stopped this terrible act of violence. The fact is that the elementary school was a gun free zone as a result of gun control. The teachers and the administrators that were selflessly willing to stand in front of a man with a gun were defenseless to stop the attack, because of gun control. The monster that attacked the school did so with guns that were stolen, they were illegally obtained, and no amount of gun regulation on the legal owning and possession of firearms could have changed that. Gun control failed the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Millions of gun owners in America did not shoot people today. It is illegal to bring guns in to schools. It is illegal to steal guns. It is illegal to kill people except in the defense of yourself or others. These laws were already in place before last Friday; one person disregarded every single one of them and committed a heinous act of violence. I will not feel guilty for owning guns and I will not apologize for being willing and able to protect my family by any means necessary. Those that do not want to own guns do not have to but I go to sleep every night knowing my family is as safe as humanly possible. If you choose not to own a gun and someone breaks in to your home you will sit and wait for someone with a gun to arrive to save you and yours. I have the comfort of knowing that someone with a gun is already in my home, someone who will not hesitate to eliminate a threat to my family with deadly force, if that is what it takes.
I am not a monster. I am not a criminal. I am a mother. I am a responsible, tax paying, law abiding citizen of this great country. I am a gun owner. And I’m unwilling to sit idly by as my right to protect my family is chipped away.