A mother and gun owner from Mission Viejo was awakened the night before the Newtown school shooting with a terrible dream about children being shot. The woman, who asked to remain nameless, explains her reaction to the tragedy in this letter to the editor:
The night before the shootings I had horrifying nightmares from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. I was talking in my sleep and my sister finally came in and woke me because I sounded hysterical. I was yelling "Call the police, they're shooting the children!" So Friday's news packed an additional punch for me since I had dreamed about children I didn't know getting shot and no one would call the police.
As a gun owner I've had to defend myself several times since the shooting Friday. Every time there is a shooting I go through this, but yesterday's was more intense for obvious reasons. I can't enjoy Christmas as much this year knowing how many are suffering from what happened yesterday. Losing a child is the greatest loss there could be. I don't think anyone will be able to enjoy it as much this year. How could we?
Soon after the news hit, I received a text message from a friend. It said, "You need to get rid of your guns." It went on to say that I was a mother who purchased guns and had a son and therefore I was in danger because my son could snap at any minute and do something like this young man. Obviously I was insulted, angered and hurt. Yet, I had to hear him out and let him share his opinion. Then another friend who I care deeply for is sharing his very strong opinions about gun control.
This country's problems with gun violence are so much more complicated than they understand. It's about how we treat people, how we identify those with mental illness and get them on medications so they can deal with their issues inwardly rather that outwardly. It's about personal responsibility for everyone who owns a gun. It's about stopping bullying by teaching kids to be kind to the ones that are different. It's about all kinds of stuff that could fill a book. It's overwhelming and I think that's why it's so hard to implement changes. It starts with every one of us.
Because of the Friday shooting I've had to defend myself several times to people who don't understand or agree that firearms are not only tools of violence - they are about a sport. I wrote this on my friends blog:
I do think there need to be changes in who can purchase what. But I think gun owners need to wake up and realize that if they are going to invest in and own guns they also need to invest in a gun safe and not share the combination with anyone. It's virtually impossible to break into a good gun safe. I wish shooting ranges would rent gun lockers so people wouldn't even have to keep their guns in their home.
Please don't hate me because I own a gun. I am the least violent, most peace-loving person you'll ever meet....I won't even kill a bug. But I do see shooting as a sport. It's also considered a sport by the Olympics. We can't punish the hundreds of thousands of gun owners for the horrific tragedies that occur that have nothing to do with us.