Posted: Apr 17, 2013 5:00 PM
 
I'm a mom, a gun owner and a Democrat, which makes me an absolute misfit in the gun control debate. I'm a gun owner who disagrees with the NRA. I'm a Democrat who disagrees with Obama. I'm a mom who thinks it's time we behave like grown-ups and do something that will actually protect our children.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1791, giving us the right to possess and carry firearms and use them for lawful purposes, such as self-defense, sport and hunting. Seems reasonable enough... so how did we get here?

The president vs. the NRA

President Obama's plan for gun control is to improve background checks, place a ban on military-style assault weapons, help schools develop emergency plans and fund research on the causes and prevention of gun violence.

The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, is standing firm on the Second Amendment. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre even went so far as to tell gun-control advocates to "be damned" when he griped that "universal background checks" really means "universal registration for lawful American gun owners" and added that "criminals won't participate."

Egos, semantics and partisanship

President Obama has developed a concrete gun-control plan, but he has arrogantly dug in his heels to affirm his position.

In today's America, it isn't the topic that's important — it's on which side of the topic you stand that's important. The country continues to spin its wheels on budget and health care matters, and gun violence is just another topic.

President Obama has developed a concrete gun-control plan, but he has arrogantly dug in his heels to affirm his position. Reflexively, every gun-control opponent has responded with an equal-but-opposite unwillingness to budge, claiming a violation of Constitutional rights.

What doesn't make sense is this: All parties — from our president to gun owners and everyone in between — want the violence to stop. The problem is that we are stuck on the "gun-control" terminology and feuding political factions.

I ask both sides of the argument: When innocent children are killed, does it really matter what kind of gun was used? Does it really even matter that is was gun violence as opposed to any other kind of violence that murdered these precious souls?

Gun owner, Democrat, mom

I have a license to drive. To me, it's perfectly reasonable to think that I should have to conform to similar requirements to own a firearm.

I grew up with guns. My family hunted. Gun-safety courses were taught in school. Even now, in this rural Central Pennsylvania community, it's not frightening or shocking to see an individual walking or driving around with a rifle in tow.

I'm a conservative Democrat, but my party affiliation means far less to me than the specific issues at hand. I like my gun and I want to keep it. I have a license to drive, and our vehicles (vehicles that can kill, mind you) are registered with the state. To me, it's perfectly reasonable to think that I should have to conform to similar requirements to own a firearm.

I'm a mom. My children know we own guns — and they know how to use them. In addition to traditional firearms, we have BB guns, paintball guns and even water pistols. Some of the girls' dolls came with guns, as did all of those little green Army guys. We have storybooks, history books and coloring books of cowboys and soldiers with guns.

What we don't have are the military-style and semi-automatic guns which were designed to harm, maim and kill the enemy. The same types of weapons that were used to senselessly murder schoolchildren in Newtown and moviegoers in Aurora.

Let compromise save our children

And I will do everything in my power to keep the gun out of the hands of people who might do harm with it.

In my humble (albeit strong) opinion, my right to own a gun should not change. If obtaining that gun requires me to be forthcoming with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, then I'm willing to comply. And I will do everything in my power to keep the gun out of the hands of people who might do harm with it.

What I most sincerely hope, however, is that my right to own a gun does not include assault weapons. I don't want them to be an option. What lawful purpose have I — or anyone other than our military or law enforcement — for such a violent contraption? I will rest easier knowing 1) that no ill or ill-willed person can usurp it from me, and 2) that my children won't ever be on the wrong end of such a machine.

As a gun-owning Democrat and mother, I'm proud to teach our children the story of the American Revolution and the brilliant, inspired beginnings of this great country. And I hope that my children, in turn, will be able to share with my grandchildren the impressive efforts of our lawmakers and powers-that-be who came together at this critical time in history, rising above egos, word games and partisanship, to preserve our inalienable rights, which included providing a safer world for our children.

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Topics: gun control