Don’t Take Away My Right To Bear Arms

January 18, 2013

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I’m a mom. I have four boys. I grew up in a small town in West Central Iowa. I knew people who had guns. I know people who have guns. I know people who hunt and target shoot. I’ve even been to a range a time or two.

My husband served in the Reserves and served a tour in Iraq. It was strange for me to see him holding a gun and our oldest son (two at the time) was very intrigued by it, although he never saw his dad fire it.

But I never thought about owning a firearm myself. That is, until recently.

People have been giving me a hard time about me going out and getting my Permit to Carry a Weapon, issued by my County Sheriff office. But more people are proud of me for taking the initiative to exercise my Second Amendment rights. Those who question me for “running out and buying guns” have asked me “why now?” My answer? Why not?

If it wasn’t now, when? Would you have an issue with it if I had taken the course and got the permit two years ago, two months ago, two weeks ago? Sure the recent political climate has had something to do with it. And yes, I have no intention on carrying it around my children. But it’s good to know I have it to protect myself and my family.

Just recently, a work at home mom (like myself) had to protect herself and her children from an intruder who used a crowbar to break into her house, break through two locked doors in the home, chasing after her and her kids. She defended herself and her children. You can see the report here.

My main reason to exercise my second amendment rights is to protect myself and my kids. It’s not that I’m afraid of “King George”, but I am irritated that our Government doesn’t seem to understand where the true power lies. I do not need to be held accountable to President Obama, My Senators or Congressmen. They are held accountable to me. To us. To “We the People.” And it seems many of our Representatives have forgotten that, or just choose to ignore it.

Part of me wonders what part of “shall not be infringed” is so hard to understand.

If you don’t want to own a firearm, fine. Don’t. But it is my right.

The part that is so frustrating to me about this whole debate is that this is “for the children.” And yes, what happened at Sandy Hook shook America. It scared me. My son is the same age as many of the children killed. As Aristotle said, “The law is reason, free from passion.” I fear we’re allowing those in charge to use passion to change laws.

If it was really all about the children, we’re failing them. We’re failing them to respect life, in all of its forms. Until we teach our children that life is precious, we’ve failed. My children’s life is precious to me. All of my children, including the child I was told I should abort because, at the time, my husband and I weren’t married. This child is the same age as those at Sandy Hook. So how is his life valuable now, but not 7 years ago? It just doesn’t make sense.

Until we teach our children to fully respect human life, the whole gun debate is trivial.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lazy Man and Money
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 12:19:24

    Having lived in Boston and San Francisco suburbs my whole life, I can safely say, I’ve never heard “Good job exercising your second amendment rights.” Also, when women vote, I don’t hear, “Good job exercising your 19th amendment rights.” I just can’t imagine people being of proud of you for either. When Mark McGwire exercised his 5th amendment rights, people were pretty unhappy with him for it.

    I don’t know where I’m going with that other than to say it is an extremely odd reaction.

    I’m unsure where these take away my rights to bear arms thoughts are coming from. I must admit that I’m not glued to the news all the time, but I haven’t came across a single person that says that they should take away guns. I watched Obama’s speech a few days ago before he signed in some very commonsense laws to limit the types of guns that people can have and the circumstances in which they can own them (passing the background checks etc.), but I didn’t hear anything that makes me think that guns are going be illegal ever.

    I don’t believe there’s a consensus about guns amongst “We the People”, so we can’t say that representatives are not listening or ignoring a message.

    I don’t believe there is any passion, except for the safety of people. There simply is no other motive for the changing of laws. So if passion for the people’s safety causes laws to change, I’m more than accepting of that.

    I have bit of a problem with the inclusion of anecdotal cases. For every case where someone defended themselves with a gun, there’s a case where a gun kills people by accident. Here’s a trained solder accidentally killing his friend. Anecdotal accounts could be traded back and forth and it really doesn’t help either side in the debate.

    I also have a problem with “If you don’t want to own a firearm, fine. Don’t. But it is my right.” This isn’t the same as “If you don’t like the music, simply turn it off.” The mother of Adam Lanza used her right to own a firearm. If it were my dead child in that school, my choice to not own a firearm doesn’t console me at all. It doesn’t bring back my child’s life. It certainly didn’t help him live a long and happy life. So please think twice when you make such statements and see if your decision could potentially impact others.

    If you think we can raise a generation where 100% of people agree to fully respect human life, I’ve met the first person who is more than idealist than myself.


  2. Martin Kelly
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 16:32:40

    Lazy Man, I think you are missing Crunchy’s point just a little. The president did not sign any laws, he enacted executive orders. Beyond that, more laws or executive orders would not stop any of the incidents that are being quoted so heavily in the media and by the anti-gun people like Mayor Bloomberg of NYC. The Sandy Hook incident involved the breaking of many laws, I do not know how many, but some radio guy said 42. First, it is illegal to have a gun in a home where a mentally challenged person resides (yes he was diagnosed with mental instability), so his mother started off breaking that law. He used the gun to kill her, discharged a firearm inside city limits, took her car, took a gun onto school property, discharged a firearm on school property and killed people there. Let’s say we implemented all of the proposals; increased background check, limits on the number of bullets in a clip, limiting the sales of certain types of fire arms. Would any of these have had any impact on the current event? No. The emotions are that something bad happened so something must be done. How about enforcing the laws on the books? How about local control of laws rather than some blanket federal rule for a nation with very different regions? All that these additional rules do is provide the further opportunity for normally law abiding citizens to become criminals. If I had a weapon in the trunk of my car and drive by a school, I have committed a felony. In NY now, if I have an 8 round clip and forget to take out one round, I am a criminal. I do not condone any violence using any weapon except in self defense. I would prefer that the laws that we have be amended or at least enforced before we start adding more. And I do heartily protest the use of executive order, laws come from the congress, the president has the privilege to sign them into law but not create them.


  3. Lazy Man and Money
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 03:35:50

    I didn’t see a point made in the article about laws vs. executive orders. In fact neither were mentioned or implied in any way I could see. If the point of the article was supposed to be the difference there, I really need to get my reading comprehension checked, because I thought it was it more about why Crunchy decided to get a gun.

    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to suggest that an increased background check would have turned out that the law was broken of having a gun in a home where a mentally challenged person resides?

    Wouldn’t it be reasonable to suggest that limit on automatic weapons would have slowed the damage and allow the people to subdue the attacker? Maybe not in Sandy Hook where the population being attacked is 6 year olds, but say a movie theater in Denver. Give that guy a 6-shooter and tell me he does the same exact amount of damage. Let’s make an extreme case to make it even more clear. Give him a weapon that pumps out a single bullet that takes 5 minutes to reload and see if a dozen people get killed. Give him a weapon that pumps out a 1000 bullets a minute before needing to reload and you’ll have 100+ people dead. It’s common sense that this stuff does matter.

    It isn’t all about looking back at just Sandy Hook and what could have prevented that, but looking forward and seeing what could prevent things down the road. I don’t see any benefit to waiting for the next Aurora or the next Sandy Hook. These events are going to be extremely emotional by nature. Something doesn’t need be done because they are emotional events. Something needs to be done, because there are people who could be living today if we acted two months ago. Hopefully by acting today, we’ll save people’s lives in the future.

    Most of the 42 laws that were broken (if that number is accurate) happened extremely quickly. There’s little benefit to enumerating each one as if it was a separate chance for law enforcement to prevent the shootings.

    I’m all for the better enforcement of laws. Our law enforcement is too underfunded to catch all the law violations that you cite, so we need to spend more for that. It should be easy for Congress to agree on spending more money. Oh wait, that’s a whole other can of worms.

    We don’t know is how many Sandy Hooks were prevented by the law enforcement efforts currently in place. No law enforcement is ever going to be 100%. It would be good to know that when law enforcement does have that inevitable lapse, the person coming through has something closer to a 1 shooter that takes 5 minutes to reload vs. a 1000 round a minute assault weapon.


  4. Squeaky
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 17:43:57

    Hey Crunchy, great job getting your CCW. One question though. You said that you wouldn’t carry around your children. I want to plant a seed with you.

    If you have a CCW, what is the point? Like me, I’m sure your reason is to protect you and your family. I really encourage you to get comfortable with your handgun. I don’t know what it will take for you, maybe some classes and extensive range time. Whatever it is, you need to make that determination and do it. Someday, you will also need to help your kids get more comfortable with guns. I grew up with guns. I hunted, I moved into a career involving guns and now I carry still today. My wife is taking her CWW class this month and our kids know that I carry. Once they were past the initial questions about it, they feel safer.

    Sandy Hook, the theater (in Aurora) is less than an hour from my home and the numerous lock down drills that they go through at make them nervous and filled with questions. Let them ask you everything they want to know. Be as honest as you can with them based on their age and what they can handle. I think you’ll find it’s a very positive experience and all of you will grow to feel much safer when you do carry. This world is dangerous and it is filled with bad people. The sooner we all come to grips with that, the sooner we can all start to deal with this in a sensible way.

    You’ve made a great decision to arm yourself. Now do enough to make yourself comfortable with the weapon and don’t discriminate when you carry. You’ll be making Iowa and your kids that much safer.

    A brief comment about the proposed gun legislation. It’s pointless. Background checks wouldn’t reveal that the Mom in Connecticut had a son with mental illness. James Holmes (Aurora theater shooter) was determined to be odd, but the doctors hadn’t labeled him a danger to himself or others yet. The whack job that shot up the mall in Oregon or Washington stole the gun that he used as well so no background check would have prevented that either. The theme I see with two out of the three of these is that we need to get better at securing weapons. If anyone is looking for legislation that may impact these situations, I think that is the best option. Instead of subsidizing the purchase of shitty electric cars, subsidize quality gun safes. Help people afford something that will truly take these weapons and prevent others from getting them.

    Liberals mean well with these proposals, but the challenge we have is that most of them just don’t know guns. Most of them have probably never handled one so all they see is evil. Guns are a core idea that our country built its ideals on. Everyone should experience them so that we don’t have xx% of the population simply believing that all guns are evil. They’re a great sport and a necessary part of every family’s defense. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just being naïve. I’ve said before that when seconds count the police are minutes away. That is not just a cliché, it’s reality.

    I hope and pray that we will wake up to the importance of what we’re doing now and that cooler heads will prevail. We’re all feeling pain from the death of the kids at Sandy Hook. That pain requires resolution, but it doesn’t mean we need to take knee jerk reactions and limit the law abiding citizens rights.


  5. Lazy Man and Money
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 08:03:32

    “Someday, you will also need to help your kids get more comfortable with guns.”

    Let’s not be so quick to make this a basic “need.” Many people live very nice lives without being comfortable with a gun. I’m going to recommend an alternative suggestion of getting kids more comfortable with books, computers, baseballs, and basketballs. In fact, I’m putting guns right near Saturday Night Live’s Bag of Glass of bad ideas to introduce with your children.

    I don’t see a reason to subsidize gun safes. If quality gun safes are the solution, perhaps we make that a prerequisite for owning a gun.

    “They’re a great sport and a necessary part of every family’s defense.”

    I guess that those families with a member who has been diagnosed as a danger or those with convicted felons have to be allowed to get guns too. We can’t deny people of their necessities, right?


  6. Squeaky
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 22:24:00

    Firearms ARE a basic need. Anyone that thinks otherwise is naive. You have apparently been fortunate and have lived under the blanket of safety thanks to others. I hope you continue to have this fortune. If someday you experience a tragedy or some other violation of your safety, it will be a growing experience. If you’re like most people that go through a situation like that, you’ll look to a firearm for safety.

    I don’t support government subsidies at all. I see no reason to subsidize electric cars, oil exploration, or electric producing wind mills. I wasn’t putting on the table the idea of subsidizing gun safes because I want a hand out. I’m trying to solve the problem of guns getting in the hands of killers that don’t own them. This current administration is currently giving money out hand-over-fist and if they are going to continue this path, a gun safe is a better investment than a Chevy Volt.

    Currently, 47% of the families in the US own at least one firearm. We have a long way to go to achieve 100% ownership, but I stand by the idea that it’s a necessary part of every family’s self-defense. Not everyone is going to be comfortable enough to do that, but I would like to see that day.

    Yes, we do have laws that prevent felons and people that are a danger to themselves or others from having firearms. I support those laws and I wish they were strictly enforced.


  7. Lazy Man and Money
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 21:38:37

    How can firearms be a basic need when people lived for thousands of years without them? That’s not being naive, that’s just a basic understanding of history.

    Not only that but there are only 6 guns for every 100 civilians in Great Britain (source: Presumable some people own more than one gun, so less than 94% of the population is without a gun… and they some survive. Not only that, their gun-related homicides are a fraction of ours.

    It’s worth noting that most people don’t have guns in their home and only about 30% of adults own a gun. Are we to presume that 70% of American adults are “fortunate?” Let’s call it more than that, because I’m sure that some people have guns who haven’t had a violation of safety.

    I should state that I’m not against gun ownership. I made this quite clear in previous on this blog. I’m saying that people are using a lot of logical fallacies in order to promote their viewpoint (such as guns being basic need).

    I certainly don’t want to subsidize gun safes more than you do. If you feel that gun safes are a solution would you be open to requiring that people document their ownership of a gun safe before buying a gun? I don’t feel that is a solution, who is going to enforce that they are used?

    There’s been a lot of blame about the lack of law enforcement, but when I mentioned above that a solution to that is to increase the spending for law enforcement, everyone gets real quiet.

    Subsidizing alternative energy helps make it economically viable for companies to put their research and development into producing options that limit our dependency on oil, which makes us a more independent country (not beholden to foreign oil). You are welcome to disagree with the idea, but I’m simply explaining a very obvious reason why we do it.

    The closer it gets to 100% gun ownership, the easier it is for the killers to get their hands on a gun. If you want to stop people from going to Hooter’s restaurants you don’t put one on every corner. The people that find the establishments objectionable try to limit their locations.

    I don’t see how you can hold the opinion that gun ownership is necessary, but at the same time deny people the ability to obtain that very necessity. If we can agree that food is a necessity (I trust we can as it is scientifically proven), I can’t imagine you being okay with the government making it illegal for some people to buy it.


  8. Zarberg
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 10:04:54

    So .. firearms are a basic need, but universal health care is not?


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