An Open Letter to the Anti-Gun Folks

Over on the A Girl and Her Gun blog, I came across a terrific post with the same title as this one. Reading it, I was struck by the realization: I could have written this. Sure, some of the details of my life are different: I adopted my daughter from the US foster care system and not from abroad. My religious experiences were with the Jewish, not Christian, community. But I too have been awed by the kindness, support, encouragement and sense of belonging I’ve found in the gun community. And so, with AGirl’s permission, I am reposting her open letter here.

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The Double-Edged Sword of Fear

I’ve been reading through some old posts on the excellent A Girl and Her Gun blog (if you aren’t following her, you should be), and I came across this one which talks about Colin Goddard, who survived the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

There’s lots of great info in the post, so I’ll let you (and strongly encourage you to) read it, but I wanted to pick up a thread of thought that really jumped out at me: Fear is a double-edged sword.

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It’s Not Nice!

Isn’t it strange that we live in a culture where, on average, a forcible rape takes place every 6.2 minutes, but women are looked at askance for wanting to protect themselves? On average, a violent crime occurs in the United States every 25.3 seconds. Why should women want to arm themselves? Why shouldn’t they?

One argument I often hear when I bring up the subject of being armed with people is that “it’s not nice” to carry a gun. It’s not considered nice, not considered ladylike, to be armed. Guns are for boys, the conventional wisdom says, tools of aggression and violence. Women, the conventional wisdom counsels, have no need of such things. It’s just not nice.

I see the world through a different lens. I see the world from the vantage-point of a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, with far too much at stake to ever be content with this view of things. More important, though, I see the world through the lens of a survivor of violent crime. For better or worse, I will never again be able to let myself believe it could never happen to me. Of course it could happen to me. It happened once, no reason to believe it couldn’t happen again.

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