Ohio's children need protection...period.

by Mindy Whited

On July 27, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published an op-ed by Renuka Mayadev entitled "Ohio's children need protection from guns." In the article, Mayadev cites several tragic accidental shootings involving Ohio children as reasons for which Ohio should pass new gun control laws.

I am a mom to five children ages 3-20. I agree that as a mom, our first priority should be keeping our children safe. Ten years ago I was against the idea of anyone having guns in a house where children are present. The idea really scared me because of hearing the kind of statistics mentioned in this article. I used to take what people said and not question it or research it myself.

Once my eyes were opened I still had a fear, but my fear changed. After seriously listening to both sides and researching things for myself I suddenly felt very vulnerable and realized I had no way of protecting myself or my children.

This fact really hit home for me last summer. We had someone come to our house, threaten us and busted in our door with a large knife in his hand. We called the police because that's what you're supposed to do, right? The police will come flying in when you tell them you are afraid someone is trying to cause serious harm to your family, right? WRONG!!!!!

It took the police 30 minutes to get to our house. My husband was outside when this guy came flying up our drive. This raving lunatic jumped out of his car with a knife saying he was going to kill us. The ONLY REASON WE WERE NOT HARMED WAS BECAUSE MY HUSBAND RAN IN THE HOUSE AND GRABBED A GUN!!!!! When the guy realized my husband had a gun he ran back outside. He agreed to drop the knife if my husband dropped his gun. He still refused to leave, however, and continued to threaten. I honestly believe if my husband had not grabbed his gun at least one of us would have been fatally stabbed.

What if my husband hadn't had a gun in the house? Or what if he was required to keep it locked up? That guy could have easily stabbed my husband to death while he was desperately trying to retrieve his gun from a locked box or gun safe. And then what? Would he have come after the rest of the us? We believe this guy was strung out on drugs. There was no reasoning with him; he was out of his mind crazy. I've never in my life seen someone look and act like that.

That's when I realized that if that can happen in my little country town at my own house it can happen ANYWHERE at ANYTIME! I decided right then that I was not going to be helpless. I REFUSE TO BECOME A VICTIM! As a mother I will do whatever it takes to keep my children safe. I took a concealed carry class that summer, bought a handgun and got my Ohio Concealed Handgun License. I train with my gun and know how and when to use it. I pray I never have to use it to protect myself or my family, but I am confident that I can if I'm ever in that situation.

Let me ask you; What would you do if someone busts into your house? Call the police? Who knows how long it will take the cops to get there. Even if they get there in 10 minutes that nut job that just busted in will have plenty of time to hold you down and rape you or kidnap you and kill you. Your children may be there, helplessly watching, scared to death, as this New Jersey woman's daughter was:

Is this what you want? You're supposed to be their protector and you're being forcefully attacked right in front of them? We've been told to just cooperate and do what they say and you'll be fine. Cooperate with them? Criminals by definition are dishonest and should never be trusted or believed. Most criminals are evil people with no thought or care about any one else. "A victim who begs for mercy can give his attacker a tremendous feeling of power which many criminals seem to enjoy. You cannot expect mercy from someone who does not now what mercy is." (From "Why Surrender is Never an Option" by Larry Mudgett)

I am now the Chapter Leader of The Well Armed Woman Central Ohio Chapter. The Well Armed Woman's mission is "to educate, equip and empower women for self defense and expand the world of firearms to all women." I am also an NRA Certified Instructor for various NRA programs and a Buckeye Firearms Volunteer Minuteman. I have chosen to REFUSE to be a victim. I refused to allow fear to potentially cost me my life or jeopardize my children's lives. I have chosen to fight for my right to PROTECT myself and my children.

What will you choose? Will you continue to allow fear to control your life? Will you allow that criminal, that guy strung out on drugs, a chance to harm you or kill you and your children? Will you allow twisted statistics like the ones in this Plain Dealer article keep you helpless? Or will you choose to fight back with everything in you to protect your children? Will you choose to overcome your fear and learn how to shoot a gun, and learn the safety rules about proper gun handling and storing? Will you choose to become a confident woman, a confident mother and know that you will be able to protect yourself and your children if you ever need to?

My children have all been trained and taught gun safety and gun handling based on their age and understanding. Even though our younger children have been taught not to ever touch a gun, we realize a three year-old still has a natural curiosity and we do not leave guns just laying around where he can reach them. My gun is on my body during the day. Just like we teach our children not to run into the road, not to run with scissors, not to run with sticks. We don't lock all these items ups or ban them. We teach our children; that's also our jobs as mothers. Our older children have been taught how to shoot a gun and proper gun safety. Our older children also have their drivers license and drive a vehicle that could result in someones death. But once again they have been educated on the dangers of driving and taught safe driving skills. We don't ban cars or refuse to allow our children to learn about them. If we allow fear to control our lives and all of our decisions our children would be locked up in a bubble! Our children would never learn anything or become independent responsible adults. The key is educating and properly training our children about firearms just as we educate and train our children about so many other issues in life.

Renuka Mayadev concludes her article by saying "Ohio can't afford to wait for more of our children to die before taking action." I agree - but let's take meaningful action, rather than just passing more words on a piece of paper that will only be ignored.

Mindy Whited is a Buckeye Firearms Association Minuteman.

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