Five years ago after the Sandy Hook school shooting, I sat down and recorded this candid response. As a young mother I felt like pretty much everyone else in America – shocked, angry, devastated. I could hardly process such horror. What also felt disheartening was that while I knew I was sharing the same feelings as as my fellow Americans, my support for the second amendment had many people labeling me a hate monger and even a murderer by proxy.
It hurt. Don’t we all love our children? My stance on owning guns had nothing to do with how much I value the lives of every single child, every single innocent. I was opposing more gun control because I knew the statistics, I knew gun control measures typically signal and uptick in gun violence, and I knew that the real issue had not much to do with weapons at all.
So I recorded a message to those who might label me a child-hater simply because I had different views about the right to bear arms. I didn’t want to be combative. I tried to explain how my position from anti-gun to pro-2A had evolved over the years, driven largely by my love for my own children and the desperation I felt to keep them protected in an area with high crime and low police involvement.
I explained that an issue of the heart can never be solved by the intervention of man. We can ban everything that might hurt another human being, but until we can figure out how to ban the hatred that lives in a man’s heart, our efforts will be useless. More than that, they will be dangerous because in the process of trying to make something right, good people become more vulnerable to wrong.
A part of me feels the same as my ideological opponents: here we are 5 years later and this message is still called for. We are still experiencing tragic shootings. Guns still hurt innocent people. I understand the anger. I don’t think it is wrong…I just think it is misplaced.
Anyway, I was reminded of this message over the last week and thought it might be relevant to post again.
We can never ban evil, but we can make the decision not to let evil divide us. We can decide to listen to each other, to respect each other, and to give each other the benefit of the doubt.
And here is me on NRATV discussing my story more in depth.