|These are the results of my first visit to the range. Shooting a gun for sport is something I never thought I would enjoy.|
Living in Connecticut puts my family in the bull’s eye of the gun control debate. While we do not live in Newtown, one of our town’s residents was killed in the Sandy Hook Shootings. You cannot escape the debate right now, especially here.
I have been hearing the words of Rahm Emanuel in my mind over and over again. "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." Through the tragedy of Sandy Hook, the government has seized the opportunity, through crisis, to take away more of our constitutional rights.
We should not deviate from our founding father’s documents. The Constitution is not living and breathing. It is not meant to shift and morph with changes in public opinion and social standards. It is our guidepost, our beacon of light that keeps Americans free. My children have already seen a huge shift in the American way of life. The America I see now, looks very very different to me than the America of just a few years ago.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. It is very clear. We have the right to keep and bear arms. We also have many, many laws already passed that affect our right to keep and bear arms. I have read them. They are mind numbing. They also are very clear in outlining what we can and cannot do with our weapons. The current wave of regulation will do nothing to stop the tragedy that happened in Sandy Hook. Connecticut already had very strict gun regulations, I know this because I read them line by line. People who break these laws are not being prosecuted, therefore, there is no deterrent to prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals. Sentences act as deterrent to crime. WIthout strict prosecution and sentencing, there is nothing to deter a person with an evil heart from doing harm.
I am part of a family that exercises our 2nd Amendment right. I have a brother and a brother in law enforcement and my brother is also a Marine. My biggest fear is not that they will encounter a law abiding citizen who happens to be a legal gun owner. It is that they will encounter a citizen (or non-citizen) with criminal intent who may be on mind altering medication (like the majority of mass murders were or were withdrawing from) and be placed in a position to defend themselves with their weapon.
My girls have been present during conversations about gun control. Many of our friends and acquaintances took place in recent protests in Hartford advocating for even stricter gun laws. They have also sat at kitchen tables where discussions were taking place about the decision whether or not to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights.
Grace, my 12 year old, said to me that she sees that most of the stories on the news are not about regular people shooting each other. The stories that are told are about drug related, gang related shootings where innocent people are often caught in the crossfire. The mass shootings that have taken place often involve young men who have recently been on or were actively taking anti-depressant medications. Why don’t we seek justice from big pharma who is literally poisoning the bodies of a whole generation of our youth? Why are we not having this conversation?
This blogger has explored this very issue and has posted video clips from the both Fox News and Michael Moore: http://www.cheeseslave.com/school-shootings-linked-to-pharmaceutical-drugs/
Rather than feeling part of the solution that addresses the real causes of gun violence, I feel part of a scheme to make the most of a crisis. Families lost children. That is incomprehensible to me. It is also incomprehensible to me for the government to use their pain and loss for a political purpose.
Recently I began to exercise my 2nd Amendment right. Whether or not I choose to become a legal gun owning citizen remains to be seen. My education began by attending an NRA course on pistol safety. Once I have my permit, my education will continue as I learn more and practice not only my shooting skills but also gun maintenance and operation skills. Thankfully my brother has agreed to by my instructor. I never would have imagined myself doing this 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. As I watch the news of my area and realize that our judicial system is not keeping us safe from armed criminals, we must use the rights we have to keep our families and properties safe.
|That's me on the left. I look forward to visiting again with my brother as my instructor.|
When I learned that looting took place in my town during Hurricane Sandy it became even more apparent to me that we must be able to protect what is ours in times of emergency. I am part of the new wave of legal gun owners, females, mothers, wives, who are educating themselves in the safe use of a weapon. It is both empowering, much in the same way that making it half way to my black belt in karate was, but it is also sobering. It is an enormous responsibility and must be treated as such.
My girls, who are reading, need to understand how to formulate their own opinions and justify them to others who are in opposition. Like the abortion debate, this is a conversation that is rarely entered into with civility and respect. My hope is that as they grow and mature and formulate their own opinions, they come back to the core of their beliefs, the ones that have been formed through our faith and our conservative values and use them as a benchmark against which all others are measured.