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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gun Rights: Where's The Middle Ground?

I grew up in a house without guns.  Our toys didn't have guns.  We didn't pretend to have guns.  My parents didn't own any guns.  We never really talked about guns.  It was normal to us to have a gun-free home.  Something to understand about my family is that my parents were leftover from a a generation of peace, love, and all things understanding.  They ran a daycare and worked with small children all day everyday, so our environment growing up was very much child-friendly-all-the-time.  We didn't hunt.  No one was a Police Officer.  No one was in the Military.  We lived in a small college town with low crime and a very close-knit community.  There was just no need for guns.

I was a student at Virginia Tech when the Massacre happened.  That day is cemented in my mind.  The faces.  The stories.  The lives.  I wont ever forget that day.  But in the aftermath of that day I came to recognize the needs for gun safety, education, and restrictions.  I went from having no experience with guns to very suddenly being utterly terrified of them.  They had been used by someone to kill people I love and destroy the families of people I love in a very brutal and violent way.


The six years I have spent with my husband and his family has changed that terror into an appreciation and respect for guns.  I knew my husband was a country boy.  He was born and raised in the middle of a very rural county.  He hunted.  His grandfather, father, and brother are all military or former military servicemen.  They also have all spent time as first responders.  He owned guns. They all owned guns.  They used them to hunt and to protect.  All of these things I understood, but I didn't have a real grasp on what that meant until years down the road.  There is something about their knowledge, their understanding of the magnitude of power in a gun, my husband's patience explaining to me why guns are important to him, and their confidence in the necessity of guns that make me not scared anymore.

I never thought I'd feel comfortable having a gun near me.  My husband doesn't carry and I always considered people who carried a gun with them all the time to be "over the top".  And I've met very few people who could change my mind on that fact.  But, with the shootings in Charleston, Orlando, San Bernardino, and the countless other crazy and seemingly random shootings in recent years I have come to realize that I feel safer near certain people who I know are carrying.  My father-in-law carries a gun everywhere, all the time.  I find I feel safer with him.  It no longer makes me uncomfortable.  I know that he is the kind of man who would jump in to protect his family or stop someone who needs to be stopped because they pose an imminent danger.  His military and first responder training help make him the kind of person that I'm ok with carrying a gun.

My sons going on a "mock" hunting trip with my husband.
Learning how to be quiet, watch for signs of animals, and be conscious nature observers.
**They've got sticks, not guns** 

Guns are part of our lives.   I don't shoot them, hold them, or use them, but they are part of our home.  We have deer on our wall.  Deer that fed our family, deer that have significant meaning to my husband, his father, and our sons.  Deer that represent a lifestyle that we are a part of.

But I am plagued by the idea that SOME PEOPLE just SHOULDN'T HAVE GUNS.  Yes, it's our second amendment right to own, carry, and use guns.  That's one of the foundations for our nation.  One of the freedoms that's afforded to us in the Constitution.  It's part of our Bill of Rights.  But at what point should that right be taken away?  Surely, some people should not have access to guns.  The homicidal, the suicidal... just to mention a few.



But how can we draw that line without restricting our Constitutional Gun Rights for all of those who can and do act responsibly with their guns?   What regulations and restrictions can be placed on gun owners and potential gun owners that will ONLY affect those that shouldn't have guns in the first place?  Even more critical: How can we define who CAN and who CAN'T have guns?  We have taken rights away before (individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation) so there is precedent, but where exactly is the LINE on Gun Rights? What's the middle ground?  If you have thoughts or opinions on this topic, or have specific questions about this topic that you'd like me to research and create a post about, please share your RESPECTFUL comments or suggestions below.  

Gun Legislation and Rights will be the topics of many of my posts in the coming weeks as we approach the 10 year anniversary of the Virginia Tech Massacre.  Please share your email in the top right to stay updated on future posts (they will be delivered directly to your inbox the morning after they post).

9 comments:

  1. I am a proud gun owner and hunt during seasons to put food on our table. I also have my conceal carry I won't go anywhere without my gun now days. I look forward to your coming posts. :)

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    1. Thanks! I hope that I can cover the topics on Gun Rights in a way that both Conservatives and Liberals can appreciate. We need to find some mutually acceptable grounds on this issue.

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  2. I am over the top according to you. Great you are getting more comfortable with having guns around thanks to your husband. I thought your post was well written except for your one statement.

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    1. I didn't mean "over the top" as a bad thing, in fact many of our important historical figures have been conserved "over the top" in there respective areas. I think what's really important is finding a way to find some mutual ground between those who are pro-gun rights and those that are pro-gun restrictions.

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  3. This is an important topic. I too grew up in a gun free home and have a brother who is ex military and a police officer. I read a great article the other day about the perspectives between city people who don't need to hunt but worry about the neighbor they share a wall with being irresponsible with a gun vs the concerns of people in the country who really do need to hunt or defend themselves from wild animals. It was interesting. Good work.

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    1. yes, city vs rural is a big topic in Gun Rights! Your location has a great deal to do with your views on guns. Race, ethnicity, education level, location, political affiliation, even gender and/or sex have a statistically significant impact on one's views on Guns. Thanks for your comment!

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  4. These are all good points to think about. I'm sorry you had to experience something so horrific. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. I'm so sorry you had to experience something so unimaginable as the Virginia Tech massacre, but I appreciate you sharing your background and experiences since those weigh heavily on how we each feel about guns. You broached the topic well - thank you for this!

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  6. I grew up in a family that hunted, taught the younger generation how to respect guns. Like yourself, I do not use guns. I'm just not comfortable using one despite many attempts by my grandfather and husband. My husband uses an AR-15 for pig deprivation; it's the one gun I am completely uncomfortable with. I don't see the point in owning it and I don't want to see that gun inside the house—he can clean it out in the garage and put it in the safe out there.

    Just yesterday in my hometown there were two shootings, one on or near a high school campus, the second across the street from the school, with four victims. My mother was 1,000 feet away from the second incident with 40 kids doing play rehearsal. Unfortunately gang members don't go about purchasing their weapons legally and they seem to have access to weapons that many responsible gun owners turned over when they became illegal.

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