Pamela White, editor of the Boulder Weekly, wrote a story last August describing her own harrowing experience of being at home when two would-be rapists broke in, armed with knives. She called the police, and she was very fortunate that they made it in time to save her.
After pondering the incident for a decade, she wonders what might have happened if she were in possession of a firearm that night.
"If I'd had a gun, I'd have shot them both in the face," I told Gary.
I visualized myself doing just that-holding the gun, firing at the filthy, leering smirk on the men's faces, watching their heads split like melons.
Not long after the break-in, I shared those thoughts with a former professor of mine, now a friend and mentor.
"If I'd have had a gun, I'd have shot both," I told her.
While sympathetic and full of compassion, she wasn't impressed, so I explained further.
"I would be better for me to kill them then let them attack me."
Her response, to the best of my recollection, was this: "Certainly it would be horrible if they had done what they wanted to do, but if you had shot them it could have cost you your soul."
The nightmares have ended, as has the fear of being alone. The desire to buy a gun passed long ago. But I've never written about the handgun issue because in so many ways I'm a fence-sitter.
If someone tried to break into my house again, I'd probably still call the guys who pack heat for a living. I won't carry a gun. I let them carry one for me. Second Amendment supporters would say that makes me a hypocrite or even unpatriotic.
She writes much more concerning the spiritual reasons she wouldn't use a gun.
Ari Armstrong, of the Colorado Freedom report and contributor to the Boulder Weekly, thought she had an unreasonable fear of guns and of using them for self defense. He challenged her to learn more by taking a firearms self defense course.
She took him up on the dare. It was an emotionally challenging event for her, and she writes of her experience in this week's Boulder Weekly:
Ari tells me he hopes two things will come out of this weekend. He hopes first of all to demystify guns so that I come to see them as tools, as opposed to little metallic monsters, the embodiment of violence and evil. He also hopes to combat stereotypes I might have about people whom we in Boulder might simply call "gun nuts."
I won't tell you how it turned out. You'll have to read the article.