Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What I Did With My Husband Last Night

Tonight Collin took me on a very special date. Part of what made it so magical was that we weren't celebrating anything in particular - this date was "just because". No, we didn't dine at a five-star restaurant, nor was it a night at the opera. We gulped down Wendy's value meals in the car and then we were off for some quality time on the firin' range.

So how does a 35 year old, homeschool mom, who has never handled a gun, end up in a parking lot full of pickup trucks outside a TN indoor shooting range? It begins a couple years ago...

Collin approached me with the idea of buying a hand gun for home defense. I was horrified at the thought of having a gun in the house. A half a dozen objections jumped to mind. I was terrified at the idea of having to use it, for one. Also, four curious little hands have explored most of the nooks and crannies in our house already. Finally, I had a severe case of general anxiety of the unknown. I decided not to press the issue, however, figuring it was one of Collin's wild hares.

To my dismay, he continued to talk to me about it in the months that followed. I found that he had given a lot of thought to all of the same questions that I had. I also found that he was willing to listen to my concerns and not just minimize them. I finally came to see things differently. The first fact that I came to grips with was that guns do not make us safe, nor do they guarantee that you will not be the victim of a violent crime. You can still be killed wearing a seatbelt.

The second realization I had was that the Bible does not call on us to be passive victims in every circumstance. When Jesus talks about "turning the other cheek", I don't believe He means I ought to let myself be raped or murdered. I don't know what to say to someone who would suggest that if a drugged-up felon breaks into my home and waves a knife around, and I'm not able to escape, that my Christian duty is just to let him have his way. Besides, you can own a gun and still choose not to use it, but you have given yourself the choice.

This issue takes on a whole new dimension for parents, because now I am not just making a choice whether to defend myself but whether to defend my children. Not owning a gun means severely limiting your ability to defend your family in a "home invasion" scenario. Collin, in particular, felt responsible to use any available means to ensure our safety. While it's conceivable that he might feel led not to defend himself in some situation, he can never imagine a situation where he would not be responsible to defend his family. And if he had to choose between the safety of his wife and sons and a criminal, he would choose the safety of his family.

I realized in the end that my ideas about guns had been shaped by mass media and that I hadn't come to my conclusions based on my own thought, experiences, and research. That's how I found myself on Wednesday night squeezing off shots from a .22 revolver (the .38 hurt all the way into my teeth!). I wasn't ready to fire at a man's silhouette, but I put those little .22 slugs as close to the center of the target as I could.

Epilogue...While we were at the range we ran into a member of our parish who herself had just purchased a handgun. She told us that a woman in our congregation had been murdered last month by her ex-boyfriend as a result of an ugly custody battle. It reminded me again of the need to be prepared to defend myself, particularly as a woman.

By: Collin and Brittney


LisaWA said...

ooohhh.. you go girl! Im not messin w/ you! *Ü* snort

Hey... a night out... is a night out! I take what I can get! lol Hope you had fun... it looks like you are a pretty good shot... that center target got some action....

Night~ well you are probably in bed... its 10:20 pm here... lol


Lori Carr said...

My husband is a huge gun guy. He likes to collect old rifles and handguns. He is more of a shooter than a hunter. He is already teaching our daughter to shoot. They have daddy daughter days at the gun range. I have no desire to learn to shoot but know that I need to for the reasons you have listed. I did go with him once and not one of my bullets made it to my target! Looks like you are a good shot!:)

my5wolfcubs said...

Like Lori I have no desire to shoot. But if I ever do, my dh has several handguns I could learn on (note to self, start w/ .22). I do however also have a lovely wooden recurve bow that I'd like to get back to using!
I think this post was right on target. :)

Tina said...

WAY TO GO! I have been out shooting a couple time with dh, but it isn't my top choice of together time. :o) They scare me...

I am planning on putting the kids in a bow & arrow class for homeschoolers soon. We shall see how that goes. :o)

DH has a nice quality one that is REALLY REALLY hard to pull. Hopefully the ones for the younger ages are easier. :o)


Tina said...

Oh meant to say that it was so sad to hear about the woman that was murdered. Praying for her and her family.

Zelda said...

Wow. That's a heckuva date night. Nice shootin', Tex.

I live in a part of the country where people ask you if you have a gun in your house and if you say "Yes" they don't let their kids come over. People don't even let their kids play any games with anything resembling a gun. I find it alarming. They will, however, buy the kids a brand new Hummer when they turn 16 and then send them out with ridiculously late curfews and little adult supervision which seems to me exponentially more deadly (and obnoxious).

But, you can't beat the weather.

Anonymous said...

How cute!!!
A night out??? What's that?!
I remember going on a date with my honey before we were married and guess where we went... a driving range and then... scoutting!!! At that moment I should have realized ehat an adventure this marriage would be!!! Fun...