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Don’t prevent women from protecting their families, Colorado

By Debbie Brown
Guest Commentary

What would I have done if a stranger broke into my home with a crowbar and began to hunt room by room for me and my young children? I know what I would have felt — terror — as I heard him take each step closer and open the door to the attic room where we were hiding in fear.

I would have stilled my shaking hands, ignored the heartbeat thundering in my ears, and did what Melinda Herman, a Georgia mother of Atlanta, did recently when an intruder broke into her home. Like Melinda, I would have fired at the intruder and fled the house with my precious children. I can be certain of this because my children mean more to me than anything in this world. From that love, I would find the courage to protect them.

I suspect that Melinda Herman is a lot like me — interested in just about anything but firearms. I’m guessing this because she hadn’t fired a gun until two weeks prior to the intruder’s break-in. She learned to handle a firearm solely for protection. That’s the reason I know how to shoot a gun. I don’t hunt. I don’t shoot skeet or trap. I don’t collect unique or antique guns. I’ve never read a copy of Guns and Ammo and I guarantee I never will. It’s just not my thing. That said, I am grateful that I have a gun and can use it if I was forced into that situation. For me, it’s about the safety of my family, period.

It’s for this reason that I’m concerned about the irresponsible rhetoric and grandstanding around the issue of firearms. Like other moms, I wept when I watched the news about Sandy Hook. My own teenagers could have easily been at the midnight show in Aurora. I know we can do a better job keeping guns out of the hands of vicious, crazy people. I worry, though, when lawmakers talk about restricting the rights of decent, law abiding people.

This week, several firearms bills have been heard in Colorado General Assembly committees. None of the bills address gun ownership by criminals or mentally ill people. All of them instead target purchases by law abiding citizens including women like me.

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