Can you believe it? I, myself, a 40-something-year-old American mother-of-6, joined the National Rifle Association. Not only did I join, but I paid in advance for an extra year of membership. Why? Because I feel that our rights as citizens of this country are under attack. And the Second Amendment to the Constitution is one of those VERY important rights that needs to be defended. I sent in my money.
Those of you who know me from way back are aware that I have studied Karate, Jujitsu and Judo, along with brief work with ancient types of Japanese weapons. While studying at those dojos, I was invited to trips to the shooting range, and took courses there, most memorably a combat pistol shooting course. It was educational and informative.
I believe strongly in gun safety. I also believe in Americans' right to defend themselves against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And, as a woman who has received death threats in the past from an Ex (a firearms expert), I have personally felt the comfort of having a firearm available for use in my home.
On another occasion, I remember sitting up all night long on the night of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, with a borrowed pistol in my lap. I waited alone in my apartment with my sleeping preschoolers in the other room, not knowing if rioting would come to my door. As it was, the riots did come close to my home. There was looting in the Burbank Costco, a store I frequented regularly. Above is a photo borrowed from a friend. This message was on the outside of someone's house in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
For many years I believed the rhetoric of the gun-control proponents who said that banning assault weapons would make us safer. The reality is, that criminals will get the guns they want, including fully automatic weapons. Disarming law-abiding citizens only encourages the lawless. Many guns called "assault" weapons are simply semi-automatic rifles, which squeeze off one shot at a time.
The NRA has this to say about banning assault weapons: "In America, the burden of proof is not upon those who wish to exercise rights, it is upon those who wish to restrict rights, and there is no evidence that an “assault weapon” ban reduces crime. An irrational bias against guns, mixed with an assumed sense of intellectual, social or cultural superiority to gun owners, may seem to gun control supporters like sufficient grounds to ban firearms, but such notions are insufficient in a democracy."