or Action. The Choice May Save Your
by Alicia Wadas
Founder & President, MothersArms
“Nobody needs a gun.”
“You can’t stop violence with violence.” “What’s wrong with registering handguns and owners?”
“The 2nd Amendment was for the 1800s.”
These phrases have been
ringing in my ears since I attended the ABC Good Morning America special, Moms
& Guns, a Town Hall with President Clinton. Of the women invited, a handful were ready to discuss how gun
laws restrict our right to self-defense… and triple our number uttering the
cry to enact more laws. All wanted
to stop crimes against women and children.
For two hours, moderators Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson ignored my
raised hand and chose not to select me to speak. I had plenty of time to
ponder these incredible comments. And
grow increasingly outraged.
First I must tell you that
some of the women who made these remarks are in terrible, gut-wrenching pain.
They have lost a child to violence.
It’s not the natural course of events.
Children are not supposed to die before parents.
But women for self-defense have also lost children loved ones to
violence. Why the difference in
Recently, I lost my father in
a tragic event. An irresponsible
driver crossed the median and hit my father’s car nearly head-on.
My father swerved to avoid her but it was too late.
The driver that killed my
father broke many laws. In fact,
she had sideswiped another car and kept on going.
Witnesses to her erratic driving called 911 before she hit my father’s
car. The killer driver was responsible for her actions.
Did you hear what I just said? She
was breaking laws and 911 had been called.
And my Dad is dead. Why?
Don’t laws protect us? Doesn’t
911 keep us safe?
A vehicle can be a deadly
instrument. And yet, a vehicle
raced my fatally injured father to the hospital.
A gun can be a deadly
instrument. And yet, a gun can save my life or the lives of my children.
When I hear women say,
“Nobody needs a gun,” I am dismayed by their naiveté.
There was a day when nobody had a gun. It
was called the Dark Ages. It was a
violent time for the weak— women, children and the elderly.
The fittest survived. But
the voices say, “We are more civilized now.” Gentlewomen, you may be
civilized. But if our society is so civilized why are our prisons full of
predators? Wake up women
It is nonsense to think that
violence will go away because we disarm law-abiding citizens.
Whenever I think of laws
limiting my G-d given right to self-defense I am angered that the government is
willing to sacrifice my life or the life of my child.
I am not the threat. If you
don’t believe that my right to self-defense is restricted, check out the laws
across the states. You will find
many places where carrying a gun is illegal and yet, only inadequate measures
exist to protect the innocent. Think
about Central Park or your child’s school.
Both are labeled “gun-free” zones.
But what safety measures ensure that those laws are followed?
We can only deduce that laws punish and not protect.
The irony is that victims are the first to be punished.
Look even closer into the
laws. You will find cities where citizens are forced to retreat from threats in
their own homes. Now think.
Who will follow the laws? The
predator, or you and I?
Think about how you would
feel if you had no right, and no means, to defend yourself and your children.
Imagine that it’s the middle of the night and an unfamiliar voice awakens you.
You hear strange noises from your daughter’s bedroom.
You rush down the hall, heart pounding.
You fling open the door and see the glint of a knife held over your
daughter. Her pajamas are ripped.
Now, you choose the ending…
You rush the attacker and
defend yourself with your bare hands. Remember,
he has a knife. I’ll let your
imagination finish the story.
You run to the phone and
dial 911, screaming until help arrives.
If this is your choice, look at your watch and sit for three minutes.
Imagine what is happening during that time to you, to your daughter.
During a stabbing, three minutes is a very, very long time.
Oh, and the help you have called will bring a gun.
I guarantee it.
You have your firearm
aimed at the attacker. My
choice. If he’s smart, three
lives will be spared. If not, I’m willing to sacrifice him over my daughter.
“You can’t stop violence
with violence.” Really?
Then what will stop this vicious scene? Shall I spout rhetoric to the
attacker and plead for his understanding? Or
will I use the threat of violence, a show of force, to stop the assault.
Although I don’t want to shoot, I will if it is required. I am her mother. I
brought her into this world and I will defend her to the best of my ability.
Oh, I can hear the voices of
the women ringing in my ears now. “Well!”
they say indignantly. “What are
the chances of that happening?” I
pray slim to none. What was the
chance my Dad would be killed? But
he is dead. And I have been robbed
of his presence. At the time, if
there was a survival tool and I had the ability to use it to save him, don’t
you think I would? And if I did
not, what kind of daughter would I be? I
ask… are you a mother or a daughter willing and prepared to defend yourself or
I train my children to defend
themselves. We talk and we plan.
For us, there is no difference between self-defense and learning how to
drive defensively. We discuss awareness, the use of various safety tools and how
to respond to threatening situations. The
concept of self-defense simply means knowing how to react until the
professionals arrive to help. In
our family, we prepare for unlikely events that can and do happen.
Women, if you choose not to
own a firearm, I respect your decision. I
trust that you have taken the training to learn to defend yourself and your
children through other methods. If
you have not, I beg you to get yourself and your children to a basic firearm
safety class. Just because your
household will never have a gun, your children may come across one at a
friend’s house or have one pointed in their faces anywhere at any time.
Knowing the operation of a gun might save their lives.
Yes, I do know you are afraid of a gun’s awesome power.
At one time, I was too. At
sixteen, I also was afraid the first time I sat in the driver’s seat of our
family car. Empower yourself with
To those who continue to
press forward to limit my choice of self-defense, I am puzzled by your desire to
sacrifice my life and the lives of my children.
I ask you to think through your statements and their consequences.
And not rush to deliver a speedy solution. The solution to protecting our children will take time and
work – by us and not the government.
Again, the voices, “But why
would you be against registration?” Stop
right there and think. How does gun
registration stop violence? Again.
Registration does not stop violence.
What is the purpose and value of gun registration when the issue is
protecting our children? Put your
energy into solving the problem of criminal use of guns.
Criminals will always find ways to get guns.
Indeed, most women at the
Town Hall meeting had their own stories of violence and loss to share.
Most expressed their fervent desire to pass more laws, with the steadfast
belief that those laws will keep them safe. Sadly, they don’t understand that in their rush to stop
violence, they are relinquishing responsibility to protect their families.
I want desperately to reach out to millions of moms, moms like these, who
blindly accept rhetoric and feel-good legislation without the benefit of a
First, we must teach mothers
about self-defense and protection through education and training.
And they will teach the children. I
know they will. They just need a
support system to help them. That’s
why I created Mothers Arms. To help
women be self-reliant. To help them
consider their first line of defense before the laws and 911.
Mothers Arms is dedicated to
helping women learn how to protect themselves and their children through
awareness, common sense and the use of safety rescue tools.
Mothers Arms needs your financial support to reach millions of women,
quickly. Visit www.mothersarms.org
and become a member. Please…show
your support for the women of America, today.