I am getting some comments from people who have read my blog and think I made the wrong decision when I decided to arm myself. "It won't help against terrorists." "Guns are dangerous to have in the house with children." They give me their statistics and facts.
I understand how they feel. I used to agree with them.
I know that having guns won't protect me against a terrorist flying a plane into a building or against a bomb, etc. It won't protect me against something I can't see like a sniper. I may never even have to use it (and I hope I don't!) .
But what if I do?
There is one thing that no man can understand, and that's how it feels to be a mother. I am much smaller than most men. I could never win in any kind of physical confrontation, and there's not too much I can do to protect myself. I've been there when some man thought he could take advantage of that. It's a pretty scary thing to go through your life feeling vulnerable. But I thought I just had to accept it. Add to that the responsibility to protect your children. If I can't even protect myself, how can I protect them? I would give my own life any day to protect theirs. Those teachers at Cooper Middle School and at Virginia Tech would, too. Sometimes there's absolutely nothing you can do, like when my daughter died. I was helpless. But maybe, just maybe, I can protect someone some day. And even if I never do, I don't feel like a walking target. That in itself is a big thing.
No man can ever understand how it feels when a woman realizes, for the first time ever, that she is not defenseless. More women should know what it's like.
Here's an example. One of my daughters is married to a firefighter. His shift takes him away from home for days at a time. She lives in a different state, far away from me. My daughter spends many nights alone with her baby girl. One night two houses on her street were broken into. The burglar entered the homes through the garage which all have automatic door openers. He somehow could get the doors open without tampering with them. My daughter called me and told me that when her husband heard about it, he went out and bought a gun for my daughter and took her shooting. She now feels safer in the house during the many nights he is gone. I feel safer knowing that she could protect herself and my granddaughter. She, like her mother, does not just leave the gun lying around where children can get to it. She is actually taking the opposite view to "It's dangerous to have guns in the house when you have children." She has concluded that it might be dangerous NOT to have guns in the house when you have children.
We can't stop everything. But some women have stopped intruders in their own homes. Some have stopped killers who were trying to shoot other people. I remember the woman who stopped a shooter at her church in Colorado. The press called her a "Security Officer." She was just a volunteer, and she saved lives. I wish there would have been someone like her at Virginia Tech.
I've always focused on "Guns Kill People." Guns also save people. Maybe I will save one someday. Maybe not. But there's a huge sense of empowerment that comes with knowing that I have a choice.