Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Basic Human Right

This is from a blog meme I ran across today called BlogDriveInsanity(^):
Wednesday Mind Hump
Welcome to another Mind Hump. Today is Human Rights Day.
What human right are you most passionate about?
My answer would be... Well, I would start with the fact that I've never heard of the United Nations' Human Rights Day(^) before now, even though this is the 60th anniversary of the first one.

Yay, learning new stuff!

And second, to answer the question, I guess I would say that I am most passionate about the right to self defense. Without the right to protect yourself, all other rights immediately cease to matter. If you aren't walking the Earth anymore, the right to vote; to property; to clean air and water; to food, the right to anything becomes meaningless.

I'm not talking about the dubious "right" to be an aggressor, or the ability to go to war. Simply put - I mean the innate right to stop aggression against yourself or those you care for. To feel safe and secure to the best of your ability without harming others who are innocent in the process.

I was a long time in becoming convinced that I could protect myself. And that even if I could, that I should. One thing that prompted me toward action was seeing other women taking the steps to defend themselves or others.

Women like Jeanne Assam(^), from my own neck of the woods, who saved untold lives at New Life Church last year.

Women like Stephanie Nielson, author of The NieNie Dialogues, who decided earlier this year to take firearms training and get her concealed carry permit because of crime in her neighborhood. She wrote about it eloquently in a post entitled NieNie get your gun(^).

And women like an unfortunate neighbor of mine whose home was invaded over the summer, and who was beat mercilessly. She didn't have the means to protect herself or her family.

So, I made the decision, took the classes, and did the most important thing: practice, practice, practice.

range practice

I made some interesting discoveries along the way:
  • Women are most certainly welcome at firearm ranges. I'm never the only one there. Women made up exactly 25% of my training class, and there are often knowledgeable women working in sporting goods stores that sell firearms.
  • People in the know are willing to answer questions, make suggestions, and offer explanations. There are no stupid questions, and all of my questions have been answered with respect and patience.
  • Everyone involved with firearms that I've met takes safety and competence very seriously.
  • It feels good to become competent at something that had previously seemed so scary and once I did become competent, the scare factor went away.
So, the right I am most passionate about is the one I consider to be most basic right of all, the one that all others flow from.

Finally, I mentioned Stephanie Nielson above, a blogger I've very much enjoyed reading for some time. Stephanie and her husband, "Mr Nielson" were in a terrible airplane accident in August, 2008, and they both sustained life threatening critical burns.

While they recover, their loved ones are reposting previous NieNie posts. To read her blog, click on the link above. If you'd like to learn more about these two wonderful people, or if you would like to help, click the icon below.


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