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It’s so hard to admit when you find out a belief you thought was true for years was…well…wrong.  Since I didn’t grow up around guns and was misinformed I thought they were unnecessary, evil, and had no idea why anyone would ever want or need a gun.  Oh yeah, and they were SCARY!!

I was guilty of believing at least a few of the movie gun myths pointed out here and here.  I was also guilty of believing that that gun owners were lawless and took fighting crime into their own hands, that crime could never happen to anyone I know, and that gun owners were just paranoid.  After all the police were there to serve and protect us, right?  If you’ve heard the news say it, I believed it, and never thought twice about looking to see if any of it was true.

I didn’t take any initiative to educate myself any further than what I saw on the news, in movies or on special reports after tragedies so I just believed what I was fed.  I remember when I met my husband’s father for the first time; I was terrified when he pulled his gun out of the holster and laid it down on the coffee table.  That was the first time that I ever saw a gun in person.  I just couldn’t believe that he put a gun on the table, I mean didn’t he know that at any moment it could just go off and kill one of us?

Even though we’d been together for years until recently it made me uncomfortable just seeing the gun on him.  I would wonder why anyone would EVER carry all of the time and honestly thought that he was paranoid, delusional, and plumb crazy.

I remember having some really heated gun debates with him over the years.  I would never take the time to fact check his arguments and I really was just debating him with my emotions and misinformation.  I was dumb.  It may have taken me 19 years to admit this….but…he wins.

As I’ve said before if it wasn’t for my husband wanting his pistol permit I’m positive I’d still feel that way.  It wasn’t until we were going to have guns in my house that I even took the initiative to back up any of the arguments that came out of my mouth against guns and then I had to insert my foot in my mouth over and over.

I, like too many other Americans, chose to NOT educate ourselves not just about guns but on many topics because it is too hard and time consuming.  Too many are willing to take everything they hear on the news or what they see in the movies as reality.  What furthers the problem is that people tend to only seek out information that confirms their beliefs instead of looking at the facts presented by the opposing side.

I’d say two things specifically have made me feel more comfortable: spending more time around guns and educating myself.  I’m not sure that anyone else would have been able to change my mind about guns that’s why I feel it’s so important to bring my non-gun owning friends to the range and share the information that I have learned, debunking myths, and showing them how much fun target shooting is.

I was literally afraid to be in the same room with a gun, I didn’t even want the guns in the bedroom at first because I felt they were somehow going to go off and kill us while we were sleeping.  Sounds a little like I was the one being paranoid, delusional, and crazy, doesn’t it?

When my husband has had to go away for work overnight I ALWAYS slept with a knife close by.  I was willing to use it, or anything else for that matter, to protect my life if an intruder came into the bedroom.  So I’m not sure what took me so long to come around to guns.  I hope to God I never ever have to use it but am now comforted by its presence.

Because I can understand why people, like me, who grew up in an anti-gun state like New York, never having an encounter with a gun would be scared of them I now feel a strong commitment to changing other peoples’ anti-views of guns.  Even if it is just one person at a time.

It took some time, but if I can change my beliefs anyone can, but they need to take some initiative to educate themselves and be open minded.  Like I said I can’t believe that I now feel SAFER in a room with a gun in it.

The good news is that I have waked up by giving myself a re-education about guns, and personal safety. Now I just feel like I need to share that information with everyone.

I worry about my single women friends and those whose husbands have to travel.  I can’t bear the thought of something bad happening to them and need them to at least have some kind of plan even if it doesn’t involve a gun.

We’re worth it, our families are worth it. 

My husband has told me for years that I argued not with facts but with emotion.  I didn’t believe him and would argue with him about that too. I now realize he was right all along.  I’m sure if he is reading this he has a huge smile on his face and can’t wait to tell me I TOLD YOU SO.

I feel bad for him…it must be such a burden to be right all of the time.  😉