This mama's idea of gun control

Our nation experienced a terribly tragic weekend, with two mass shootings killing nearly 30 people.  I've been praying for the injured and the family members of those who were killed.  Unfortunately, I understand well the horror of losing a loved one in sudden, tragic, and criminal circumstances, so my heart aches for those who are left behind to pick up the pieces of their lives after these senseless, heartbreaking acts of violence.

I think one of the shootings, in particular — the one at the Walmart in El Paso — hit home with a vast majority of the country, because it could've been any of us.  Some of us would find ourselves in a bar, but Walmart is frequented by almost everyone at one time or another.

One of the first things out of my mouth when I heard about the Walmart shooting was, "Walmart sells guns (not handguns or so-called "assault rifles," but shotguns and the like).  Why didn't someone get a gun and stop the shooter?"  I realize that it happened very quickly, and probably no one had time to go unlock the guns, load ammunition, and find the shooter to take him out.  However, it was interesting that the shooter chose a store that sells guns in which to wreak his havoc.

Several years ago, under the Obama administration, I marched myself down to my local probate court and applied for a weapons carry permit.  That process involved filling out a paper application, going to the county jail for fingerprinting, and consenting to a thorough FBI background check.  I was very uneasy about the direction the country was headed, and I wanted to be prepared in case of an emergency.

I have carried a handgun in my purse ever since.  I carry it everywhere I go, except for places where it is illegal to take it.  In those situations when I have to leave it in the car, I feel vulnerable and unprotected.

My husband, kids, and I practice shooting at targets fairly regularly with various shotguns, handguns, and rifles — either in the woods behind our house or at my in-laws' property, which is on the side of a mountain.  I'm a pretty decent shot — not an Annie Oakley or anything like that, but I could take out a perp, if need be.

When I'm out and about running errands or shopping, I'm careful to stay aware of my circumstances and who is around.  I keep an eye on my purse and make sure I can access my gun quickly, if need be.  I usually have one or more of my four kids with me, so my mama bear instincts are always on the alert for danger.

So here's my idea of commonsense gun control: take ample opportunities for target practice so you're comfortable with using your weapon; keep a weapon close by and easily accessible; stay aware of your circumstances so you can react quickly and efficiently if a hostile situation arises; and most importantly, keep your hands steady and shoot straight.

If just one shopper in Walmart had been armed, he could have taken out the shooter quickly, minimizing the injuries and loss of life.  I think it's time to stop being afraid of the Left's cries for "gun control" and take our right to bear arms seriously.  The world is full of evil.  Violence is not going to stop, and the Second Amendment is not going away (I hope).  But we can stop acting like sitting ducks and victims when someone who is bent on destruction starts shooting.

It's becoming a vicious cycle: a mass shooting occurs (one that's politically convenient for the Left); the Left cries for gun control; people become more afraid of guns; guns are banned in more and more places; fewer law-abiding citizens carry guns; fewer people can defend themselves the next time the shooting starts.

What we witness week to week in places like Chicago and Baltimore should make it clear that the Left's solutions to gun violence are foolish, useless, and downright dangerous.  Over this past weekend, dozens of people were shot in Chicago alone, with multiple fatalities.  As many have often noted, Chicago, and many places that are just as violent, has been run by Democrats for decades.

I realize that the gun laws in many states are stricter than they are here in Georgia, but as much as is allowed, arm yourselves.  We shouldn't rely on the police alone to protect us.  They can't be everywhere at once, and there aren't enough police officers around to provide protection for every situation.  We have the God-given right, enumerated in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, to carry firearms and protect ourselves and our loved ones.  We need to stop being afraid of the Left and exercise our right to bear arms.

Michelle Thomas is a Christ-follower, wife to and chief editor for Trevor Thomas, and a homeschooling mom to four amazing children.  She is the author of the brand new devotional book for moms called Lord, I Need You, a book about her grief journey called Through Deep Waters, and a chronicle of their financial journey called Debt-Free Living in a Debt-Filled World.  Her website is KingdomCrossing.com, and she can be reached by email at michelle@kingdomcrossing.com.

Photo credit: Skitterphoto

Our nation experienced a terribly tragic weekend, with two mass shootings killing nearly 30 people.  I've been praying for the injured and the family members of those who were killed.  Unfortunately, I understand well the horror of losing a loved one in sudden, tragic, and criminal circumstances, so my heart aches for those who are left behind to pick up the pieces of their lives after these senseless, heartbreaking acts of violence.

I think one of the shootings, in particular — the one at the Walmart in El Paso — hit home with a vast majority of the country, because it could've been any of us.  Some of us would find ourselves in a bar, but Walmart is frequented by almost everyone at one time or another.

One of the first things out of my mouth when I heard about the Walmart shooting was, "Walmart sells guns (not handguns or so-called "assault rifles," but shotguns and the like).  Why didn't someone get a gun and stop the shooter?"  I realize that it happened very quickly, and probably no one had time to go unlock the guns, load ammunition, and find the shooter to take him out.  However, it was interesting that the shooter chose a store that sells guns in which to wreak his havoc.

Several years ago, under the Obama administration, I marched myself down to my local probate court and applied for a weapons carry permit.  That process involved filling out a paper application, going to the county jail for fingerprinting, and consenting to a thorough FBI background check.  I was very uneasy about the direction the country was headed, and I wanted to be prepared in case of an emergency.

I have carried a handgun in my purse ever since.  I carry it everywhere I go, except for places where it is illegal to take it.  In those situations when I have to leave it in the car, I feel vulnerable and unprotected.

My husband, kids, and I practice shooting at targets fairly regularly with various shotguns, handguns, and rifles — either in the woods behind our house or at my in-laws' property, which is on the side of a mountain.  I'm a pretty decent shot — not an Annie Oakley or anything like that, but I could take out a perp, if need be.

When I'm out and about running errands or shopping, I'm careful to stay aware of my circumstances and who is around.  I keep an eye on my purse and make sure I can access my gun quickly, if need be.  I usually have one or more of my four kids with me, so my mama bear instincts are always on the alert for danger.

So here's my idea of commonsense gun control: take ample opportunities for target practice so you're comfortable with using your weapon; keep a weapon close by and easily accessible; stay aware of your circumstances so you can react quickly and efficiently if a hostile situation arises; and most importantly, keep your hands steady and shoot straight.

If just one shopper in Walmart had been armed, he could have taken out the shooter quickly, minimizing the injuries and loss of life.  I think it's time to stop being afraid of the Left's cries for "gun control" and take our right to bear arms seriously.  The world is full of evil.  Violence is not going to stop, and the Second Amendment is not going away (I hope).  But we can stop acting like sitting ducks and victims when someone who is bent on destruction starts shooting.

It's becoming a vicious cycle: a mass shooting occurs (one that's politically convenient for the Left); the Left cries for gun control; people become more afraid of guns; guns are banned in more and more places; fewer law-abiding citizens carry guns; fewer people can defend themselves the next time the shooting starts.

What we witness week to week in places like Chicago and Baltimore should make it clear that the Left's solutions to gun violence are foolish, useless, and downright dangerous.  Over this past weekend, dozens of people were shot in Chicago alone, with multiple fatalities.  As many have often noted, Chicago, and many places that are just as violent, has been run by Democrats for decades.

I realize that the gun laws in many states are stricter than they are here in Georgia, but as much as is allowed, arm yourselves.  We shouldn't rely on the police alone to protect us.  They can't be everywhere at once, and there aren't enough police officers around to provide protection for every situation.  We have the God-given right, enumerated in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, to carry firearms and protect ourselves and our loved ones.  We need to stop being afraid of the Left and exercise our right to bear arms.

Michelle Thomas is a Christ-follower, wife to and chief editor for Trevor Thomas, and a homeschooling mom to four amazing children.  She is the author of the brand new devotional book for moms called Lord, I Need You, a book about her grief journey called Through Deep Waters, and a chronicle of their financial journey called Debt-Free Living in a Debt-Filled World.  Her website is KingdomCrossing.com, and she can be reached by email at michelle@kingdomcrossing.com.

Photo credit: Skitterphoto