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    Posted July 25, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun ownership in America

    More from Fides111

    Yes! I own a gun.


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Gun owner Fides111 says she can't predict or influence the actions of others, but she does have control over how prepared she would be if placed in a vulnerable situation. "I own a gun out of a sense of personal responsibility," she says. Although Fides111 says firearms shouldn’t be authorized to those with criminal records or histories of mental illness, she doesn’t believe reinforcing government intervention would preempt tragedies such as the shooting in Colorado. “Government agencies can only provide the illusion of control. The only way to affect the kind of control that keeps people who shouldn't have guns from owning them is martial law and complete lock down with loss of basic rights for everybody. Nobody wants that.”
    - stein0726, CNN iReport producer

    In the aftermath of the mass murder in an Aurora, CO movie theater this past week the debate over gun control in the US has been reignited. The political machines on both sides of the issue are at full tilt with each side trying to garner more Americans to their point of view. The fact is most Americans are already decided on where they stand with regard to this issue. Myself included.

    I am a gun owner. I am also decidedly not political or religious. I don't own a gun because I have a constitutional right to do so. I don't own a gun because it makes me cooler in some way. I don't even own a gun because I ever plan on using it on another human being. I own one for a singular, simple reason. It is my responsibility to take care of, and defend myself and my children. Just as it is my responsibility to feed, clothe and provide for myself and my children. I am an adult female, 38 years of age and the proverbial buck stops with me when it comes to the health and well being of my family. I have a responsibility as a mother to make sure that I can adequately provide safety and basic necessities in a world where fewer and fewer people take responsibility for their own thoughts, words and actions. We live in a world where people think that their circumstances are not their own fault and that somebody or something else is to blame or should be responsible.

    I could veer off the course here and start playing that same blame game. I could say that our moral compass and sense of self respect as a Nation has been undermined by video games, social programs, Republicans, Democrats, the breakdown of the nuclear family, social media, a sense of entitlement, so on and so forth, literally ad nauseum. However, I believe the truth lies much closer to home. It lies within the self. If one takes responsibility for everything they say and do, even if it was wrong, all the "causes" of our ills listed above disappear. They simply cease to matter.

    I am not a fool. I understand that most of the population will not take responsibility for themselves. I understand that to believe such a thing is possible is to believe in a utopian society that is the stuff of fantasy. But that wasn't the question was it? The question was, "Do you own a gun? Why?" The answer, simply put, is personal responsibility. Perhaps if enough of us try it, we can make a difference.

    I would never step into a theater full of innocent movie goers and use my gun to wreak death and havoc but I also understand that not everybody is like me. Not everybody plays by the rules or with a full deck. I will however, take responsibility for my own protection because though I cannot control the thoughts, words and actions of others, I can certainly control my own.
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