I have guns in my home… And yeah, kids too.

People pretty much know that I am pro-gun and exercise my 2nd Amendment right. I’ve met and gotten to know a lot of people on the internet, via CFP and as of late, people have asked me questions about my stand for guns. Sometimes I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over, but for different people. I thought I’d put it here for those who might want to know.

Here are the main questions I get and my answers.
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You have guns in your home? What about your kids?
Well, I was raised on guns. There were guns all over my home. My dad is a collector. He kept them all in a closet. One day, when I was bout 2, our house was broken into and my dad’s guns were stolen. He had about 7, they took them all except for one that they apparently thought was worthless because of the condition of the gun. It was actually from WW2 and worth the most, so that was lucky. Anyway, after that break in, my dad was never the same about keeping our house locked up and safe. It was almost OCDish because I remember how annoyed by it I was as a kid – lock the door, check the door to see if it locked, go to leave, go back and check door once more…

From then on, eggs were no longer placed in one basket. What Daddy wanted was a safe, but a young couple with three kids – trying to make it – doesn’t have the money to spend on a safe – not the kind Daddy wanted anyway. So, he hid the guns all over the house. There was a handgun in the cabinet behind the green beans. There was a rifle standing up in the pantry behind the mops and brooms. My brother, sister and I all had a gun in between our mattress and box springs. There was a rifle in my closet. I can’t remember for certain, but I think there was a rifle in my brother and sister’s closets too. I should clarify that while Daddy did keep a loaded gun in the house, the ones he kept in our rooms weren’t loaded.

We never touched them. Never. Why? Because my father demystified them! If we wanted to see the gun or hold the gun, Daddy would let us. If he was cleaning a gun, he’d let us sit down with him and handle the parts. He taught us how to hold them, how to handle them, how to check to see if they’re loaded and that checking them was the first thing you do when you’re handed a gun – even if you saw the person check to see if it was loaded before they handed it to you – you still check for yourself. Then he’d say “Now, don’t touch or handle a gun unless I’m with you. If you see one somewhere and you want to touch it or handle it, tell me and we’ll get it out together…”

Because I was permitted to handle them, because I was shown what they were about – I didn’t mess with them. I can remember my friends going in my closet to get a game or something and they’d say “Uhm, there’s a gun in your closet…” I’d say “I know, don’t touch it – just get the game.” Daddy also took us out and taught us how to shoot. First time I pulled a trigger, dead bullseye. That feeling was awesome. Daddy dug the bullet out of the dirt mound from behind the target and we found the shell. I still have that bullet, and I don’t think I’ve ever hit a bulls eye dead center since. 🙂

“How can you say we don’t need stricter gun laws?”
Let’s say there are 80 million gun owners in the US. If 10% of them are felons (I highly doubt it’s that high, but for the sake of easy math we’ll say 10%) that means about 8 million felons have guns. These proposed gun laws punish the majority because of the few. How is punishing 72 million because of 8 million right? Our country usually goes by ‘majority rules’, but not in the case of gun ownership. Right now the process you have to go through in order to own a an AK-47 is this:

Find your desired gun.
Pay the dealer in full for your purchase.
Fill out the ATF Form 4 in duplicate with the required CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) signatures,
Get Fingerprinted
Have photos taken of you
Show proof of US Citizenship
Submit ATF Form 4 with a $200 fee (for the Tax Stamp) to the BATFE for approval.
Wait 90 to 180 days for approval to take place
When ATF Form 4 is approved, it is transferred to the dealer.
The dealer calls you to go in and complete Form 4473 and then you can take it home.

If you were to ever want to transport your AK-47 across state lines, you must complete ATF Form 5320.20 requesting permission from the BATFE and reason for crossing state lines with your NFA weapon (this must be filed with every state you’re traveling through along with your dates of travel.)

After this process, and filling out paperwork that gives the government everything from your rising sign to the color of your jockey shorts, it would seem quite hard for anyone to obtain one of these weapons without the FBI and everyone else knowing about it. I don’t understand how more laws or regulations or requirements going to change anything. How does more paperwork for the honest person, making it harder to obtain guns, going change anything?

From 1927-1989 there were 16 school shootings. In 1990 the Gun Free School Zones act was passed. Since 1990, there have been 106 shootings. Those shootings, not only took place in Gun Free Zones, but with illegally obtained weapons. Not ONE single school shooting took place with legally obtained weapons. The above process, already in place, prevents nothing. (The person in Conn used guns his mother obtained legally. Not him, he obtained them illegally when he stole them from her.)

The gun policy we have now isn’t working. Why? Because gun policy doesn’t work. I’d say the events since 1990 prove that. If gun policy doesn’t work, why are we going to waste time and energy passing more? More gun laws is akin to passing a law saying we should ban murder. I mean… really. It’s ludicrous.

“Why are you behaving as though you’re the victim”
I’m not the victim of any of these horrible crimes. I am the victim of more gun laws. So are you. All of us are. Look at what happened in Germany shortly after gun control laws were passed… (See history of gun control in other countries: http://bit.ly/gguncontrol)

“It’s okay for us to have guns, but assault weapons should be illegal. They’re too easy for people to get”
Not ONE single weapon used in ANY mass shooting was an assault weapon. That is a fabrication, usually spread by those who know very little about guns, and people just believe it because they don’t know any better. AKs, ARs, etc are NOT assault weapons. Not all of them are fully automatic. Most, actually, aren’t. Assault weapons are. These guns fire ONE bullet per pull of the trigger. Just the same as hunting rifles, shotguns and pistols (That aren’t a part of the proposed gun law.)

“Other countries with stricter gun laws have far less gun related deaths and murders than the USA”
That may be true, but a lot of those countries do not live in a democracy. They get very little freedoms. The others, like the UK, Canada, Australia, etc. Do have far less gun related crimes, this is true, but they have a much higher rate of crime overall.

There are 2.8% assault victims in the UK compared to 1.2% in the states. That’s 183% MORE than the US. There are 183,419 drug related offenses per 100,000 people in the UK, in the US there are 560.1 per 100,000 people. 326 times the US! There are also 125% more rape victims in the UK than US (of those reported).Canada has 92% more assault victims than the US and is ranked 5th in the world. (And we have roughly 300,000,000 people here and there’s roughly 35,000,000 there.)

Assault victims:
US 1.2% of the pop
AU 2.4% of the pop

Rape Victims (of those reported):
US 0.4%
AU 1%

Let’s look at Switzerland. Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world. When they reach the age of 16, they’re trained in how to use weapons and carry guns with them everywhere they go. Switzerland has 1% assault victims, the US has 1.2% The have an average of 68 intentional homicides with firearms each year. We have about 16% more crime overall than Switzerland.Removing the right of the people to have guns will solve one problem and create many more.

Source: www.nationmaster.com

“What is the solution then?”
In my opinion, we need better mental healthcare in this country. 56% of prisoners, that are released, have some form of mental illness. They need treatment. I say we do what Kennesaw, Georgia did. Twenty some years ago they passed a law requiring every head of household to own a gun. Over the course of the next 4 years, crime went down and has since stayed down. There have been 4 murders there in 20 years. Three were committed in gun free zones and the fourth was a stabbing. Atlanta is the 6th most dangerous city in the United States yet this town, with mandatory gun ownership, that is in Atlanta is one of the safest. Areas that have instituted bans, taken away guns or made them harder to get have consistently failed so badly that the bans are overturned and the one who did the very opposite, 20 years later, are still going strong.

This interactive map speaks volumes: http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html

Honestly, nothing is going to change until the heart and minds of the people change. Until that happens, I sleep a little better at night knowing I can protect myself.

“Do you really believe we should be afraid of our government?”

Do I genuinely believe my government is going to turn on me? No. Why? Because I exercise my 2nd Amendment right. Do I genuinely fear my government would turn on me after the proposed gun bans pass into law? Yes, and I should too. Why? If I had nothing to fear from my government, they wouldn’t go against the 2nd Amendment in the first place. A government that takes away my 2nd Amendment right is a government I fear. It’s a government we should all fear.


My Best Friend

Tom and I were married 15 years ago today. We became friends around June of 1997 and began dating in Sept that same year. What’s amazing is that just a year earlier, he was living in Michigan and I was living in Virginia. l moved to Middle Georgia in Sept 1996 and he moved to Middle Georgia in November 1996.

His wife, of 7 years, had ended their marriage about 2 years earlier and he needed a change of scenery. Well, it was more that the cost of maintaining a home on 1 income in Detroit was hard. It was also that he has a lot of love to give and wanted someone to give it to. So, when his father, who lives in Forsyth, GA, had heart surgery, Tom came down and stayed with him for part of his recovery. While he was here he met and started dating the daughter of one of his dad’s friends. That prompted him to quit his job in Detroit, fold up shop and move in with his dad. The cost of living was cheaper and he had someone to love.

I was in Virginia and miserable. I was working full time, going to school full time, dating a man with the most interesting life of anyone I’d ever met and living with my dad. As if the stress of full time school and full time work wasn’t enough, the relationship I had with my father had become tumultuous and I’d found out the only thing about the guy I was dating that was true was his name. These things put such mental stress on me I felt like the girl without a home, or without safe haven. Plus, learning what I had about my boyfriend stressed the relationship with my father even more.

I became obsessed with learning the truth about my ex -so much so- that the time I wasn’t at school or work was spent in the local library and various courthouses in the area looking for information on him. (Generally, what I found only made things worse) Functioning on 3-4 hours sleep, brain stress from studying, the mental stress of it all… It eventually became clear that the mental stress my father placed on me and the obsession of knowing the truth about the ex would consume me until I no longer existed. So, I moved in with my mother in Warner Robins, Georgia.

My relationship with my mother has always been… difficult, and I knew living with her wasn’t ideal, but my life was standing still. I was turning in circles. It was either move to Momma’s or a mental institution. I’d become a prisoner to my own mind. My father was the warden. My obsession with knowing the truth about my ex was a guard. The choices I had were either ending up in the infirmary or escape.

I knew that moving to my mom’s wasn’t ideal, but the county jail or probation was better than the maximum security federal prison. I knew it would be hard, but I knew it was a step I had to take to keep from being completely consumed by my own personal hell, and I was right. I was right about it being difficult at times and I was right about it being my escape. It was my first step on the road to complete happiness. Earthly happiness…

For whatever reason, the relationship with the girl Tom initially moved to be with didn’t work out. Tom was single, as was I. He started working for a temp agency who placed him at the company where I worked. We met and the rest, as they say, was history.

Two things took place while we were dating that laid the groundwork for the kind of relationship we would have. A lot of things took place, of course, but these two made the relationship what it became. What it is.

Because Tom had a marriage that didn’t work out, I had lots of questions about it. Not really because it was him or his particular relationship, but because I often see people in bad situations or less than ideal circumstances and (if they’re willing to talk about it) ask what went wrong, what they’d do differently. I do the same when I see a person in great circumstances.

I learned a long time ago that I could benefit from those who had gone before me. I wasn’t one who went to my peers for advice. 99% of those my age knew no more than I about life or relationships. I’d observe those around me and learn from their mistakes as well as their triumphs. So I’d ask Tom questions and he willingly answered them. There seemed to be a common underlying cause for most of their problems – no communication. He and I would be talking and I’d clam up. I remember him saying, on more than 1 occasion, “I can’t fix it if you don’t tell me…” It got to the point where I shared every thought I had. I still do. Sometimes I wonder if he regrets that.

That statement is the foundation of our entire relationship. The simple fact that we tell each other everything is at least 90% of why this marriage is what it is. It’s the reason our marriage isn’t “work”. It’s the reason our relationship is as easy as breathing. There was something else he said that changed my life and laid the groundwork for the kind of marriage we’d have.

See, some of the adults in my childhood were travel agents and good at it too. They’d have your bags packed for your next trip and loaded in the car before you even knew what was happening. These “trips” were commonly called ‘guilt trips’ and most of the time, they worked. Kids learn what they live and, in turn, live what they learn. So, having learned from master manipulators, I was skilled in the art of guilt trips.

One day, relatively early in the relationship, I’d been packing Tom’s bags for a guilt trip and he said to me “If you want something from me, if there’s something you want me to do, just ask me. You don’t have to guilt me. Just tell me. Ask me.” That was the day I turned in my travel agent card and – to my recollection – I’ve not used guilt since. Not only in regard to Tom, but at all. And if I was to get technical and analytical, it would fall under “communication” too.

It was those things that formed what we have now, but there was something else. Something I did while we dated that I used to determine if a marriage with him would work. Although, I didn’t really know at the time, to what extent. When Tom and I started dating, we were at the age where we weren’t just killin’ time with someone. We were spouse shopping. At least I was.

I would recall certain incidents and situations from those relationships I’d observed and present them as hypotheticals and ask Tom how he’d handle them. I knew, in my mind, what answer I wanted to hear or, in some cases, what answer I didn’t want to hear. In many of the examples I’d witnessed, I knew what didn’t work more than what did. If Tom gave an answer that wasn’t what I wanted to hear, I asked other related questions in order for him to expound. There were times that afterward, I changed my thought on the subject. Some, I changed his, but there weren’t ever any we disagreed on. Had there been, I wouldn’t have stayed.

Everyone has expectations for relationships. Even if they don’t realize it, they do, and they should never be compromised. If you otherwise enter a marriage, you’re settling. No one should ever want to be married so badly that they settle. When you settle, you’re choosing unhappiness. Don’t let some arbitrary age, set by the world, dictate when YOU should marry. It took years of mental abuse and two years I was led on by my ex -that I can never get back- to make me realize that I have worth. I realized that no one else may ever recognize that fact, and while it was a hard pill to swallow, remaining single for my entire life was better than becoming someone else’s mental (or physical) punching bag in order for them to feel they had worth.

For anyone interested, some examples of the hypothetical are listed below. The questions only. No answers are given because it’s not about you finding someone that agrees with me. Only you know what the answer should be and you should never marry until you find the person that has ALL the answers.

You were fearfully and wonderfully made and should find the person who knows that to spend your life with. For me, I wanted to be the center of someone’s universe. I wanted to find someone who put me 1st in all earthly things. I wanted to be the first thought they had in the morning and the last thought they had at night. I wanted someone who would support me in all things. Who’d defend me when I needed defending and be my champion. Someone to lean on. Someone to confide in. Someone who’d let me vent and someone who’d help me when I fall. Someone on my side – even when he thinks I’m wrong – and would tell me so. Someone who’d tell me When I’m wrong, but to do so in love and without insult. I found all those things and more when Tom found me.

Thank you, Tom, for 15 wonderful years. You’re my best friend, my confidant, my comic relief, my support and supporter. You’re my champion, my lover and my biggest fan. I don’t know what you saw in me, but whatever it was, I’m grateful to God for it, second only to my Salvation. When you came along I was drowning. Christ saved me on the cross a couple thousand years ago. Up until I accepted it, you were the life raft that kept me from drowning and the lighthouse that lit the way. I love you.

Question Examples:

We have a 16 year old daughter who wants to go on birth control. Do you let her?
We have a 16 year old Son who wants Condoms. Do you buy them?
Your mother and I have an argument. She’s right and I’m wrong, Who do you side with? Your parents want you to come over and help with something. I want you to spend time with me. What do you do?
Our son comes and tells us he’s gay. How do you handle it?
How do you handle it if it’s our daughter?
Our child gets pregnant, or gets someone pregnant. How do you handle it?
How would you react if our child dates/marries outside our race?
If I were to die during childbirth, would you resent the child?
You disagree with how I’ve reprimanded our child. Do you tell me? If so, when?
Our teen and I have a disagreement and they hit me. How do you respond?
Your sister and I don’t get along. Do you still have her over?
Who do you put first? Me or your job? Me or the kids? The job or the Kids?

The Greatest Battle Ever Fought

Here awhile back I was in a funk. Happens from time to time with me. Anyway, I was in a funk and dealing with some inner demons from my past. I’m not a poet. Nowhere close. For whatever reason, something told me to pick up a pen and write. So I did. This was the result.

I’m sad
I don’t really know why
Everything is depressing
I can only cry

My past is tragic
My future seems bleak
I can’t take much more of this
I’m not strong, I’m weak

God lives in my heart
Satan clutters my mind
He fills it with bad memories
Anything he can find

I must not listen
To those voices that afflict
It only leads to sadness
It only makes me sick

God is always with me
I hold Him in my soul
God is oh so powerful
Satan is in His control

I must change how I listen
Listen with my heart
When Satan tries to fill my mind
I must not let him start

I must believe my beliefs
Learn to doubt my doubts
I must ignore the one
God chose to cast out

It’s a daily battle
I know not how long it will last
I must remind Satan of his future
When he reminds me of my past

The battle in my mind
It’s always an uphill fight
I can defeat Satan’s voices
My future can be bright

My mind will always be a battlefield
A struggle with every thought
Silencing Satan in my mind?
Well, that the Greatest Battle Ever Fought