Getting Political About GUNS

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So last week I read a blog post about Moms Demand Action.

Moms Demand Action works to prevent gun violence by educating the public and advocating for stricter gun laws.

At the end of Sarah’s post there was a list of action steps, one of which was to tweet a gun fact to a member of Congress. I thought this would be an easy way for me to be “get involved,” so I did it. I tweeted the following to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker:

I put my phone down, gave myself a little pat on the back for being so political and activist-like, and then forgot about it. Until I picked up my phone 20 minutes later and saw that:

  1. Cory Booker had responded to my tweet.
  2. Cory Booker had retweeted my tweet to his 1.5 million followers.
  3. I had about a hundred responses from pro-gun people. Asking me for my source. Telling me I was wrong. Telling me I was an irresponsible mom. Telling me that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

Thanks, Cory! I mean, I appreciated the retweet and all, but did I really want all these pro-gun people up my butt? No, I did not. I just felt so ill-prepared.

And that’s my problem with politics. I feel like I don’t know as much as I should. Sometimes I think I don’t even know where I stand!

For example, I have always considered myself a Democrat. I am pro-choice and I support gay marriage. The only issue I have always been against the typical Democratic stance is regarding the death penalty. There are some monsters (like those who hurt children) that just do not deserve to live.

But for guns, I’ve always felt I was anti-guns…or am I?

The more I started to think about it, the more confused I got. I mean, I definitely know that I don’t want more school shootings and I don’t want guns in the hands of those with mental illnesses or a history of violence. I always thought I wouldn’t let my kids have playdates at a house where there is a gun.

But then I realized that every time we go stay at my family’s cabin in the Poconos, we are staying in a residence where my stepfather has numerous guns in the house (for hunting). I mean, yeah they’re locked away but still.

One of the tweets I got in response to mine was this:

Hmmm, good point. Honestly, I rely on my husband and my dog to protect me. If I’m ever alone, I sleep with a butcher knife right next to me.

If my circumstances were different, like if I was a single mother living in a bad neighborhood, I would probably feel differently about having a gun in my home.

I definitely feel that guns have a place in our society- for law enforcement officers and maybe even in some homes where it’s the only way for a person to protect his/her family.

My point is that as our own circumstances change, it’s important to reevaluate how we feel about certain issues. I don’t think it makes me a bad person now that I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not as anti-guns as I previously thought. And I’m definitely not done researching this topic…

But I’m more open to both sides of this conversation, and I think that is the best way to approach any political issue you get involved in…especially if you’re going to tweet about it!

This concludes my rare political-ish post. Thank you for indulging me in my ramblings.

 Update: After learning more about gun violence in our society, I am no longer waffling on how I feel regarding guns in homes…

Hey, you! Stick around. My spidey senses tell me you might be interested in one of the following posts…

guns gun violence vaccines measles pulmonary embolisms

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  • Melissa-in-NJ
    April 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    I’m not going to state if I’m “for” or “against,” but what I AM going to say is that your open-mindedness is refreshing, honest, and inspiring.

    • Lindsay
      April 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks Melissa!

  • Lisa
    April 4, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    My dad also has quite a number of guns for hunting. I’m sorry that you feel the need to be protected by guns and knives, because the stats don’t change–statistically, you are much more likely to be killed by your husband (or a male you know) than by a stranger. Of all women killed, about 95% of the time, it’s someone who they know.

    As far as some of the crazies that tweeted at you (and I’ve had it done to me, try tweeting to Ted Cruz and see what happens, lol), they don’t get it–no one is coming to take your guns. There is a place for guns in society. We are just asking for common sense gun laws and things like background checks. It’s just that the Amendment 2 extremists think that it’s a slippery slope–that if we allow background checks and disallow high capacity weapons….next thing you know, all guns are banned. That’s not our goal. There are some high capacity weapons that have no place in our society, except for mass killings.

    It’s amazing to me that we sit here, 18 months after *20* kindergarteners were gunned down…and nothing has changed.

    • Lindsay
      April 4, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      Thanks for clarifying, Lisa! It does seem like for certain groups and certain issues it’s very black/white and all-or-nothing, when there can easily be a compromise.

  • Christine
    April 4, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Well said. I think most people agree with you. I am not anti-gun, but I believe that gun violence in our country is an epidemic and needs to be addressed. Moms Demand Action is also middle of the road. They are not anti second amendment. They just want a safer world for our kids. A world where there are not nearly 8 children killed every day.

    Thanks for keeping the conversation going and being thoughtful about this.

    • Lindsay
      April 4, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      I appreciate your kind words, Christine!

  • Jen
    April 4, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    To the man who tweeted to you about a killer breaking into your house…you live in a safe neighborhood, you are not a public figure, and as far as I know do not associate with dangerous criminals or gang members. There is a very, very slim chance that a random stranger is going to break into your home with the intention of killing you. Criminals breaking into strangers home with the intent of murder is an extremely rare crime. Most people breaking into your home are there to steal something, and will purposely break in when they believe the house is empty. I don’t know if the one in a million chance that kind of crime will happen to you is justification for having a gun in your home. If this does happen to you, you will most likely be caught by surprise as someone intent on murdering you will probably come at night when you are sleeping or another time when you are your most vulnerable and unprepared. What are you going to say to him…please hold on and let me get my gun out of my safe (where I hope it would be kept) and load it so I have a fighting chance against you! Oh, and watch my kids while I get I go do that.

    • Lindsay
      April 4, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Yes— Jen that’s one of the things that I can’t figure out. If I were to have a gun in my house, I would want it to be under the highest of precautions and safety measures…but that means it would be extremely difficult to access when/if I needed it. Impossible!

  • HGT
    April 4, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    FACT: Cops have no duty to protect citizens.

    • Lindsay
      April 4, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      HGT, while that may be the case, I assume that many cops feel that it IS their duty to protect citizens. At least the ones I’ve met.

      • HGT
        April 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        I’m sure that they do but when seconds count, they are always minutes away whether they want to be or not.

  • SaRah
    April 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    After a school shooting in Scotland in 1996 where 18 were killed, they banned private ownership of hand guns in the UK and there has not been another since. We had 26 people, mostly aged 6, killed last year and have yet to do anything about it! Americans need to get their heads out of theirs asses and see that we have a serious gun problem!

  • Elizabeth
    April 4, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    With all due respect, no one needs a gun in the home for protection… including single moms in “bad neighborhoods.” No one is out to get you. Why do people live in such fear of one another?

    If there is a logical anti gun-control argument out there that I kind of respect it comes from the property rights/ small government types I guess.

    • Lee
      April 4, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      What about single moms with estranged husbands?

  • Lee
    April 4, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    I really appreciate your self reflection, it’s refreshing.

    I believe self defense is a birth right and one that preceded law. It is a right that existed before governments and therefore cannot be taken away by a government. Guns are used quite often for self defense, there are 250,000 – 370,000 defensive gun uses every year.

    • Lindsay
      April 4, 2014 at 9:34 PM

      Thanks for your input, Lee! I will check out your links!

    • Jen
      April 4, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      That number is not fact, it is an estimate. The article even states that it could be just people boasting and not being completely honest. Who did authors interview? I highly doubt 370,000 suburban housewives or middle America business men used a gun in self defense.

      What will it take to get this country to realize that we need stricter gun laws? We have the right to free speech, but not without restrictions. The same should be true with the right to own a gun.

      When we were in school we had fire drills. Teachers and students in school now have active shooter drills. How do we not see a problem with that????

      • Lee
        April 4, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        From the article

        “Hemenway (who is anti gun) finds more reliable an annual federal government research project, called the National Crime Victimization Survey, which yields estimates in the neighborhood of 100,000 defensive gun uses per year.”

        So basically a anti gun guy admitted there is at least 100K defensive gun gun uses every year.

  • Trish Adkins
    April 7, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    I have to say, I am very anti-private gun ownership (although hunting rifles do not bug me in the slightest.). If someone broke into my home with a gun to kill me, well, my first thought would not be “I wish I had a gun.” It would be “I wish that person did not have a gun.”

    I think the scare tactics are just another form of terrorism. And that is what scares me: this strong need to although military grade weapons into the hands of private citizens.

    All of that said, I totally love your post. And you!

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