Yes, You Can Be Pro-Gun And Anti-Violence At The Same Time

Yes, You Can Be Pro-Gun And Anti-Violence At The Same Time

I am training to be a certified firearms instructor. I advocate for responsible gun ownership, understanding gun laws, and for people, particularly women, to take responsibility for their personal safety.

These are crazy-ass times, after all.

Whenever a mass shooting occurs, the anti-gun types demand stricter gun laws, if not the complete abolishment of our legal right to bear arms.

Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom attempted to set new limits on carrying a concealed weapon, which thankfully backfired.

He tried to go around a recent Supreme Court ruling and push a law that may be unconstitutional. Unfortunately, anti-gun proponents seem willing to break the law to push their agenda. This is not Ok.

Having a CCW (concealed carry weapon) permit in California seems like an oxymoron. However, as someone with a CCW in two California counties (even though it’s a state-issued permit, you have to have one in every CA county where you live *eye roll*), I can attest that it’s not an easy process. To obtain one here, you must:

  • Fill out a lengthy application.
  • Submit to a background check.
  • Provide boatloads of paperwork, including two forms of a government-issued ID, utility bills, referral letters, proof of gun ownership of the firearms listed on your permit, and up until recently, a written good cause statement with evidence of reasoning.
  • Attend a one or two-day class, depending upon the instructor.
  • Undergo an interview process with either your local police or sheriff’s department.
  • Get a Live Scan fingerprint done, which includes a scan of every finger on both hands and a full hand scan of both hands, which is sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ).


I know it’s not as stringent in other states, but clearly, the State of California doesn’t hand these things out like candy.

All counties in California have their own CCW systems and procedures, so what I listed above may or may not apply, but most likely does. For example, I got a CCW in Orange County, which didn’t require referral letters. However, when I moved to San Luis Obispo County, I had to get referral letters from personal and professional contacts.

What’s the point of all of this information? It’s to demonstrate that those serious about gun ownership are not the ones behind mass shootings and gun violence.

Those who live in constitutional carry states where you can get a permit at your local gas station (I joke) who are impassioned Second Amendment supporters aren’t the ones carrying out these shootings either.

People have asked why I feel it’s necessary to have a gun in the first place, let alone get a concealed carry permit. My answers are simple:

  • Because I am taking full responsibility for my safety in a dangerous world.
  • Because I want to empower and inspire other women to do the same.
  • Because I genuinely enjoy the sport, enhancing my skills, and learning about gun and criminal laws.
  • Because I want to encourage others to learn about and practice responsible gun ownership.
  • Because I can.

There is this misnomer that having a concealed carry permit increases gun violence. This is fake news, my friends.

The U.S. News and World Report published an article regarding the public safety rankings for each state based on the FBI’s latest available data. The study found that the top three states for public safety are Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. All three are constitutional/permitless carry states.

I find it interesting that despite its draconian gun laws, California is ranked #36 on the list, making it one of the least safe states in the nation.

Coincidentally, it also has a high poverty rate. There’s no doubt that poverty and crime go hand-in-hand. So, as a woman living in a high-crime state, you bet your sweet arse I will protect myself.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Lt. Matthew Boerwinkle, a spokesman for the Illinois state police, stated:

    “You rarely hear an instance where a CCW holder is unlawfully using their firearm. They’re generally law-abiding citizens, and they’ve gone to great lengths to get to where they’re at to have a CCW. And they’ve taken training to get there.”

And, with all that one has to go through to purchase a firearm LEGALLY, responsible gun owners are not the ones who rob banks and shoot up schools.

On the contrary, we want our guns to protect our homes and families as was initially intended by the Constitution. Legally obtaining and owning a gun doesn’t make someone a proponent of violence. Instead, it makes them a defender against violence.

Why would anyone want to take that right away from them? Restricting or prohibiting access to firearms while living in a time of heightened hatred and division is like preventing a child whose being abused by their parents from living in a safe environment.

Furthermore, criminals are less likely to commit a crime if they know or suspect the potential victim is carrying a firearm.

This is also why I believe we should train teachers and school administrative staff on how to use a firearm and firearm safety. If a would-be mass shooter knew teachers and staff were armed, trained, and locked and loaded, they probably wouldn’t carry out their nefarious crime.

Or, as I read in a recent Op-Ed in an LGBTQIA publication: “Armed Queers don’t get bashed.” True story.

Of course, mental health comes into play here, even though gun control advocates attempt to convince you that “mental illness does not cause gun violence.”

That statement alone diminishes these groups’ credibility. Last I checked, no perfectly sane person would commit suicide or shoot up a school, church, or concert from a hotel room window.

Yet, when one of these mass shootings occurs, hardly anyone asks what makes a 12-year-old school kid want to murder their classmates. Instead, they want to regurgitate the “we need stricter gun laws” mantra.

And while these mass shootings and violence of any kind are absolutely tragic, and my heart sincerely goes out to anyone affected by gun violence, we should no more restrict firearms to those who want to legally purchase and use them responsibly than we should ban cars to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Gun control is a bandaid. It is far from the cure.

Do I believe everyone should have a gun? Absolutely not! Just because we have the constitutional right to own one doesn’t mean anyone walking and breathing should. Just like not everyone should have a child or a pet, not everyone should have a gun.

Rather than create stricter gun laws that infringe upon our constitutional rights, why not require more training to have one? Taking a beginner’s firearm class is a great start. However, taking one class that shows you the basics of proper gun handling won’t cut it if you have an intruder in your home, are in an active shooter situation, or get attacked on the street.

We need to put the concept of “ownership” into gun ownership. If you are going to own a gun, you need to take full responsibility for it.

A gun is a tool. The responsibility lies with who is holding that tool. You can’t blame the pencil for failing the test, just like you can’t blame the prop guy on the movie set. Whoever is holding the weapon is responsible for the weapon. Period.

An entire psychological and emotional dynamic goes into firing a gun, even if you’re practicing at the range. You have a deadly weapon in your hand. It is a HUGE responsibility.

If, God forbid, someone breaks into your home, your mind is going a million miles per second. You can barely muster up the mental wherewithal to call 911, let alone pull your gun out of the safe, ensure it’s loaded, and know how to handle the situation, so you’re not the one who ends up facing criminal charges.

Being ready and able to shoot someone in self-defense takes a lot of training, not just the muscle memory part of it all. It also includes knowing when to shoot and what to do in the unfortunate case you have to.

Knowing your state and local gun and self-defense laws is also vitally important. For example, does your state have castle doctrine, Duty to Retreat, or Stand Your Ground laws?

In addition, the psychological aspect of potentially taking a life, even in self-defense, will have hefty mental and emotional repercussions. It would be best if you were prepared for that.

Gun control laws only (negatively) affect law-abiding people who go through legal avenues to protect themselves.

Why is gun control bullshit? Because obviously and typically, criminals don’t obtain firearms through legal means, which means they aren’t going to submit to background checks. Gun laws and gun control don’t prevent criminals from acquiring guns.

“The majority of firearms used in criminal activity are obtained illegally,” said David Chianese, a correspondent at Law Enforcement Today, published author, and former NYPD detective. “Stricter or additional gun laws do not reduce gun violence.”

Hear! Hear!

We need to give law-abiding citizens the right to protect themselves by any means possible. Rather than prohibit, control, and restrict, let’s educate and train. Knowledge is power. Put the power back in the hands of law-abiding citizens, not try to take it away from them.

This was the original intent of the Second Amendment: “The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defense.” Unfortunately, this right is abused by those who intend to cause harm. We need to be empowered and trained to protect ourselves from those with such malintent.

Or maybe take a page from Germany’s book. The country has one of the highest weapons-per-head rates in the world, yet its gun homicide rate is one of the lowest in Europe. In addition, German law requires licensed gun holders to undergo psychiatric evaluation and anger management tests with a trained counselor.

I am not necessarily a fan of this, but I can see how it could cause gun-related violence to decrease while allowing those who legally own a firearm for sport or protection (or both) can do so without being punished for the crimes of others.

In addition to arming teachers, I think local police should have frequent active shooter drills, especially after the Uvalde police debacle. Had the department been prepped and ready, with better (and practiced) live shooter systems and procedures, more lives probably could have been saved.

There was a false active shooter alarm at my 16-year-old niece’s school in Florida. This drill allowed the local law enforcement agencies to do a dry run, work out any kinks, enhance strengths, and improve or modify current response and action policies and procedures.

I pray to God this never happens, but at least my sister knows her local law enforcement personnel is ready and able to prevent a catastrophic outcome.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need guns. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. So yes, I am pro-gun. I am also vehemently against violence of any kind, be it gun violence, animal abuse, child abuse, or elder abuse, you name it.

It doesn’t take a gun to commit an act of violence. If someone is hell-bent on committing a violent act or suicide, they’re going to, gun or no gun. It is a far more complex issue than gun control. We need to understand better where crime and criminal behavior begin and where they end.

I believe mental health is a significant issue that is a part of the root cause. In addition, lack of training and weak firearm theft prevention methods play a role. We can do many things to allow law-abiding citizens to have guns while reducing gun violence. Restricting responsible, law-abiding citizens from legal access to guns isn’t the answer.