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    Posted March 28, 2013 by
    Albany, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

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    A Mother's Journey to Bearing Arms


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Mother of three HealingMe1 was adamant about not having a gun in the house, especially when she had children. Her husband, a Marine, is a firm believer in the right to bear arms and thought having a gun would ensure their safety. After their first son was born, they agreed to have one gun locked in a safe. Over the last 11 years, she has slowly changed her views.

    'It wasn’t until my husband educated me on guns that I changed my mind. Nobody has tried to break into my home, but there was a situation where we felt threatened by someone in broad daylight. That prompted me to learn about guns,' she explained.

    HealingMe1 said she would like to offer other parents a message: 'I think mothers need to educate themselves and learn how to best educate their kids. I work with a lot of other mothers at work and a lot of them are shocked that I was taught how to shoot. I understand because I was there at one point. I was scared of guns.'

    Read this essay on CNN.com and share your responses in the comments.

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    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    I am the mother of 3 amazing children. Prior to having children I was a firm believer that guns were dangerous. But I did nothing to educate myself about guns or gun safety. I feared the unknown and the danger guns seemed to "possess". I married a United States Marine. He of course was a firm believer in his right to bear arms. This posed no issue until our son was born. I was adamant that no gun be allowed in our home. He felt quite the opposite. We agreed on one gun locked in a safe. His other hunting guns were stored at his parents. Slowly over the years I became more and more fearful of being home alone on the nights he worked. We were living in Maryland on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I got a call from my husband telling me to lock all doors and windows as he just spoke with a sheriff down the road who was looking for an escaped convict. I was terrified. We had that one gun but I had no idea how to use it. That changed very quickly over the following weeks as we went out for target practice. I learned how to shoot. And for the first time in years, I slept well. I finally felt safe at night.

    Over the 11 years of our marriage I slowly learned about guns. I began to accept that the gun itself posed no danger. Any danger was in the hand and heart of the beholder. I learned there were safe ways to teach your children about guns. I learned that guns were a tool like any tool. They have multiple purposes and uses. I learned more about our Constitution and our rights as United States citizens. I learned I had nothing to fear and a lot to gain from owning a gun.

    So Mr. Obama and your gun control advocates - You will NOT infringe upon my right to protect my children or myself. I am not physically capable of stopping a 200 lb man from raping me or my daughters. I am not physically capable of stopping a 200 lb man from entering my home and doing what he may. However my gun is very capable of stopping such a criminal if such an act were to occur. We live in a society where no one is there to protect us. The police come AFTER the crime, not before. I do not have 24/7 armed protection like you do Mr. President. Neither do my children. So until you can explain to this nation why your old city of Chicago has the strictest gun control laws but some of the highest murder rates by guns, then I will continue to support the NRA, I will continue to urge others to support the 2nd Amendment, and I will continue to vote for those politicians that support my views. I will also support the notion of placing armed police/veterans/etc. in our schools. Why should your children Mr. President be of the select few children in this country who are protected by armed guards? Why are your children more special than mine? The fact is they are not - ALL children are special and have the right to be cared for and protected.

    I am a mom and I am proud to support the NRA and my right to bear arms.
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