In most ways, I am considered a progressive liberal. However, I am very much in support of the second amendment, the Right to Bear Arms -- any kind of arms, by anyone. And no, I am not a member of the National Rifle Association and never will be.
As I matured into adulthood, I was forced to come to grips with some very not-so-pleasant realities about humans. Once a person has been exposed to terrible violence, whether personally, professionally, or both, one never looks at the 2nd amendment in the same way again. Both categories pertained to me. I found that the 'real world' out there is often not pretty.
As a young mother, I discovered that the greatest threat to the lives of myself and my children was the man in my own home. Home is where women/children are most vulnerable and where law enforcement often arrives far too late. I believe every woman should have a gun readily accessible if she so desires, and be willing to use it.
As years passed, professionally, I spent years involved in law enforcement, myself as a probation officer, and my then-husband of twenty years as a federal law enforcement officer. Both of our work experiences showed me that the 'real world' often does not abide by regulations or by laws, that emotions often do not follow reason, and that violence remains prevalent in our society. I became even more convinced that having the ability to defend one's self and one's family is a practical necessity.
If you've walked into the Marshalltown Social Security office lately, you've been confronted by an armed guard suspiciously awaiting you. An armed guard, presumably paid for by taxpayers, to protect a handful of well-paid adult government employees in an already highly-secure office building. And this while those most innocent in our society, our children, are bunched together in large buildings in huge numbers where they provide big bright targets. I'm all for posting TWO guards --yes, armed with assault rifles if need be -- at every school, paid for by taxpayers. Forget making taxpayers provide armed guards at Social Security offices.
There are already millions of automatic rifles out there. For any defense at all against them, a person is wise to have one. As our societies continue to become more dense and crowded, we will inevitably have more disenfranchised individuals --- suffering from hunger and poverty, from increasing illnesses (both mental and physical) due to pollution by chemicals in the air, foods, and soil, from anxiety and powerlessness brought on through anonymity in large school systems or working in large corporations -- and we will have increasing incidences of horrific murders from desperate people. I hope every adult member in my family owns and has guns kept safely in their homes.
I also believe that as our larger earth environment deteriorates -- whether by destruction from terrorists, or by radical right-wing conservatives who naively think our resources are unlimited and they should be able to keep taking whatever they want, or by the endless greed of large corporations, or by our political systems being controlled by big money -- that more and more humans will inevitably become more desperate. As this happens, I hope my grandchildren will have access to as many guns as they need in hopes they might be in one of the few small groups able to survive.
The reality is -- the 'real world' out there is not pretty.
Mary McBee lives in Tama.