I believe in the Second Amendment, but I have a confession to make. I'm really not very experienced in actually shooting guns. There are several reasons for this.
First, I am uncoordinated. To put it bluntly, I'm a klutz. I am probably the only person in the history of the world who was in special ed gym without actually being in special ed.
When I was in elementary school, I would have to stumble down to the gym a couple of times a week and walk on the balance beam. It didn't help me much. I think I fell down the steps at my house once a week for my entire childhood. There is a reason I now live in a one-story house.
I'm also very near-sighted. Although my vision is improved with glasses, I have no depth perception. I'm just not very good at shooting even though I've tried several times.
One thing that I discovered a few years ago is that my dominant eye is my left eye, but I'm right handed. Being cross-eye dominant makes shooting more difficult and explains why I've never been able to shoot well.
This year, my son was given the opportunity to attend Christian Service Brigade camp. At this camp, a boy can concentrate on one activity. My son chose marksmanship.
I was a bit nervous, but Second Amendment mom won out over overprotective mom. I also couldn't resist that fact that he would spend a week clinging to his religion and guns (that's my boy). He returned home full of enthusiasm for shooting. His first words to me were, ''Mom, I want to save up for a .22.''
The day he came home, I received an invitation for a fundraiser for Nancy McArthur, who is running for the state senate in the 32nd District. It was supposed to be a day of target shooting. As soon as he found out, my son begged to go. I relented and promised him that we would.
Almost immediately, I regretted the promise. I was scared. I wasn't worried about my safety or the safety of others. I trust Nancy and knew that she would have professionals there who knew what they were doing and could deal with anything - even a klutz like me.
I was concerned, however, that I would look like a complete and total fool. A promise is a promise, however; and a promise made to one's child is sacred. I knew I had to face my fear and go. So I went, and I shot, and I had a blast.
Teezon Wong of Newbury in Geauga County ran the shoot. He and his staff were great. They knew I was a novice, and they took great care in instructing me and making me feel comfortable. I shot a .22 pistol, and actually hit the target. I can't wait to do it again.
Some nice man even paid for my son and me to shoot a couple of rounds with a Barrett .50-caliber. Now that was awesome. The best part of the day, however, was knowing that I faced my fear and overcame it.
You know that little girl that I was once upon a time may have been klutzy, but she was also pretty fearless and spunky. She was tiny, but afraid of nothing. She gave boys bloody noses and played tackle football. She took risks and didn't care what people thought about her.
Somewhere along the way, I lost her. Sure, she came out now and then, but over the years, I quit taking risks. I made lists and I planned and organized; and I played it safe and was content in my neat, safe, little life.
A few months ago, I found out the hard way that those plans and my neat, safe, little life could be gone with the wind in the time it took for a doctor to give his diagnosis. I became painfully aware about exactly how short life is, and how it can change in a blink of an eye. By losing my security, I realized that nothing really is secure. I may as well live my life fully, taking risks, being that fearless little girl again.
You know what? I like that little girl, and I'm glad she's back. I missed her, and quite frankly, these days, I need her.
Yoder is a Farmington resident.