***This “Public Service Video on reducing gun violence in schools and communities. This PSA was produced by Sleeper13 Productions,” as posted by Rejina Sinic on YouTube.

My Response: 

Let me open by stating that I am a 25 year old female who lives in Texas. I am up-to-date on current events and ensure that I am educated on what is happening around the world. On the surface I suppose I’d be lumped into the conservative circles, but I am more of an independent constitutionalist, though that isn't quite spot on either. I believe what I believe, and I don’t particularly need a label to define it. It just is.

So, now that you have the surface information, let’s get to the point. This PSA is a travesty. Pure and simple. It encourages kids to steal, yes, steal from their parents, putting themselves and other children at risk of bodily harm. This type of message in irresponsible and unacceptable.

I grew up with guns. My two older siblings and I were constantly surrounded with weapons. There was (and still is) a loaded .357 magnum rifle that hung right by the door. There were the loaded deer rifles, a .30-30 and .308 lever action rifle, which were in the hallway in an unlocked case.

My mom used to sleep with a loaded snubbed nose .357 by her bed, especially when my father was gone for work, and she still does when he has to travel now. There was also my father’s Remington pump-action 12 gauge that sat next to their bed, a .375 magnum revolver that rested on his dresser, and a .40 caliber Glock that was on my dad’s gun belt when he was home and off duty. Oh, there was also a 9mm Beretta that was in my older brother’s room. When he moved out, it became mine. I was 14.

I’ve never felt safer than when I was at my home. Even now, it is the safest place I know.

So. How, oh how, did we not kill ourselves, or anyone else, for that matter? How come we are not all raging felons? This was our childhood. Yet, all three of us turned out to be God-fearing, law-abiding, productive adults. This doesn’t chive nicely with what the gun control activists are spouting nowadays, so let me explain.

The answer is simple --  We learned gun safety from the time we could walk. It was drilled into us as a way of life. My father taught each of us to shoot a .22 lever action rifle when we were six years old. We learned to clean and handle them as we sat in the back pasture ,shooting at milk jugs, cans, an old feed sacks for target practice. We learned the damage weapons could inflict, and we saw the consequences of pulling a trigger. It didn’t matter that they were just inanimate objects. When you see a can or jug explode, or when you kill an animal while hunting, it leaves a lasting impression.

The training was simple and straightforward, but it started from the cradle. We were each taught that these guns were Dad’s tools, and you never ever touch Dad’s tools without him. These were tools that could hurt you, or people that you love, if they were mishandled.But, they were just tools. By letting us handle them, it took the mystique away. It took the thrill away. They were just a part of our life, of our culture, of our upbringing.

The one thing that was drilled into our psyche over and over again was: never point a weapon at anything, animate or inanimate, unless you were intending to kill it. That is the main point. We were taught restraint, discipline, and common sense. We were taught to value life.

Now, years later, my loaded pistol sits on my nightstand. All I have to do is pull the trigger. Right next to it, my loaded Mossberg pump-action 12 gauge shotgun lays propped against the wall. All I have to do is pump that baby. I feel safe in any situation because no matter what happens, I have that childhood training and discipline to fall back on. I can keep myself, and my loved ones, safe.

The key thing to remember is this: it’s all a personal, individual choice. You can choose to have a gun. You can choose not to have a gun. That is absolutely your right.

If you don’t want to have a gun in your home, I won’t say a single word against it. But, stop trying to force your views on those who believe differently because we have our right too – and it’s guaranteed under the Second Amendment. Stop trying to mess with it.