I am writing to express my extreme concern regarding the proposed gun legislation for the state of Maryland and across the nation. The right to bear arms is as fundamental to our society as the other rights protected by the Constitution. It provides the means necessary for citizens to protect themselves, their families and their property.
The right to self-defense was clarified by the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. It is imperative that Congress work to prevent this right from being infringed upon.
I am a woman who comes from a family of hunters and outdoor sportsman. I am very familiar with guns, from shotguns and rifles to handguns and other semi-automatic firearms. My husband and I own many of our own, all of which have been obtained legally, are used responsibly, and are kept in a locked gun safe at all times when not in use. We have a beautiful two-year-old little girl who is our world. I feel safe in my home because I know that I have the means to protect myself and my family if the need ever arises.
As a mother, I will always do whatever is in my power to protect my daughter. That is my God-given right. And it is my right as a law-abiding American citizen to bear arms. If a man breaks into my home with the intent to do harm, I know I have no chance of defending myself or my daughter with my own bare hands. A firearm offers me a chance to defend myself.
It seems that semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines are being targeted. This worries me. Based on the current proposals, I will only have 10 shots to defend myself. Those 10 shots may not be enough if more than one assailant enters my home, if I miss a few shots, or if any of my shots are not take-down hits. It is not unheard of for an individual to keep moving after being shot multiple times. The more rounds I have in my gun, the safer I feel. Nobody should be able to take away from me the only thing that makes me feel safe, or the only thing that may be able to save the lives of myself and my family.
It is nonsense to believe that crime rates will decrease because certain weapons are made illegal for the law-abiding citizens to own. People who respect and follow the law will continue to respect and follow the law. Criminals who have no respect for the law will continue to defy the law and will obtain illegal firearms as they always have. One gun will kill just as easily as the next if found in the hands of an individual who wishes to do evil. A 20-gauge pump shotgun is no less effective than an AR-15. A rifle with a pistol grip or a mounted flash light is no more dangerous than the same gun without those extra features. I do not question an individual's need for a black sports car with ground effects, added horsepower, or a scoop on the hood as these added features do not change the fact that the car is still a car.
The exploitation of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. is as opportunistic as it gets. The loss of life by any means is tragic, but the rights of law-abiding citizens should not be lessened because of the transgressions of a small minority of criminals.
I have lived in the beautiful state of Maryland my entire life. I hate that I may now be put into a position to have to make the difficult decision to change my state of residency and leave behind everything and everyone I know and love in order to protect my rights as an American citizen.
I strongly urge our elected leaders to reconsider any legislation that in any way infringes on my right to bear arms. Please do not take away or put limits on what makes me feel safe and allows me the chance to defend myself and my family in my own home. Dialing 911 and waiting for help to arrive will not deter a criminal wishing to do evil.
Jennifer DiNenna, Shady SideCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun