by Aby Rinella
(Originally published at NRA Family.)
As I saw her face, I knew nothing would ever be the same. This life I held in my arms put it all in perspective. As a college-educated career woman, I looked into the eyes of this child and knew I would take her home and never turn back.
I had become a mom.
I remember the feelings that flowed when my husband and I found out we were pregnant. There were so many things we had to prepare for and learn; how to feed, care for, protect and train this little life; how to raise a human being. It all seemed overwhelming, so I decided to focus on something more tangible at first: the ‘’items new moms need’’ list that was suggested to me. I pulled it out, unfolded it and looked over the long catalogue of items. Diapers, wipes, blankets…it went on and on. As I reviewed each item, I pondered all that would change in our lives. I made it to the bottom of the list and realized they had missed something. I flipped the paper over—nothing. Did I miss a page?
There was nowhere on the list of ‘’mom must-haves” that mentioned any way to protect this new family of ours.
I looked down at my handgun, the same handgun I have legally carried for years: as a college student living alone; as a professional driving to and from work; and as a newly married woman whose husband cared about my safety and protection. The handgun I was trained and confident in using was not on ‘’the list.’’ I placed my hands on my tummy and reflected on the life growing in me. At that moment I felt a deep need to be armed…with more than an extra spit-up rag. I made a decision that day. There were many things in my life that would change with the arrival of this baby, but one thing would not: my right to keep and bear arms. I picked up my.38, slid it into my holster and walked away with a greater urge to protect life than I had ever had before.
Many women choose to be armed because there was a pivotal moment when they or someone they loved became a victim at someone else’s hands. They vowed “never again.” I, thankfully, do not have that story. I have never been a victim and I pray that I never will, but I will learn from those that have. So I will arm myself.
My story may be different, but my drive is the same. I believe in the value of life and I believe that I have been given the power to stand up for, defend and protect life. We are living in a time when political forces fight to redefine and re-design what rights God created. They tell us to release the safety of our families into their hands. What they do not realize is that life and the right to protect it is not a choice or privilege that anyone can take from us. It is a God-given fundamental right, freedom and responsibility…and it is ours to keep.
I am a woman by design. I am a Keeper of my Home, a life-giver, life-defender, protector of the weak and voice for truth. And when these things are threatened, I will stand ready to defend.
I am a mom and I am armed.
Being a mom takes a fierceness rarely found elsewhere. It is a calling that is so delicately balanced between soft and strong; fierce and feminine, passionate and tender. It takes being willing to stand against the world if need be, in order do what you know is right. It takes strength, conviction and determination. And so I arm myself for the job. I am armed with Truth that I will stand on; an understanding of what real womanhood is and a call to serve One greater than myself. I am armed with something so deep inside me that I will do whatever it takes to fight for my freedom to protect life. I am armed with my concealed carry permit and the ability, training and confidence to use it.
Every day my husband walks out the door and I am able to give him the peace and the security of knowing our family is safe and protected in my care.
I may not have the physical strength to defend myself or my children from an attacker, but that does not mean I will fall victim to or sacrifice them to evil. I will stand behind my Second Amendment right that allows me to protect myself and my babies. And I will stand behind my God-given right to defend the defenseless. When you meet me at the park or at the grocery store you can be sure that I am exercising that right, because it is my duty to protect. I choose to take action, because I live in a world that does not value the same things I do, and so I must take a stand.
I am a mom and I am armed.
So, while other women may be marching in the streets making a mockery of themselves, I will fight for something with real purpose. I will stand for the right to protect and defend life. I will be a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for keeping women and children safe and protected.
I am a mom. I am armed. And I am not alone.