Recently, a 12-year old Oklahoma girl who was home alone, shot a man who broke into her house. She called her mom at work and 911. Her mother told her where the gun was so she could protect herself. The girl hid in a closet and shot the intruder when he opened the closet door. The intruder was injured by the gunshot and then fled, causing the girl no harm.

This is an amazing story of a very brave girl. I agree with the mother telling her daughter to defend herself using a gun. I can only image what could have happened to that girl if she wouldn’t have had a gun to protect herself.

I didn’t grow up knowing about, or using, guns. However, I married a man who is an avid hunter, so I have had to learn both. I have gained a respect and an appreciation for guns. They do have a purpose.

We have guns in our house, and when they are not being used they are locked in a gun safe. My husband is very big on gun safety with our kids. They have learned to always treat a gun as though it was loaded and to never play with guns. My husband has also been teaching our sons to shoot, most recently with a bb gun.

For me, growing up not knowing anything about guns, made me afraid of them. So, I think my husband teaching our kids how to be safe and to respect guns is much safer for them than not knowing anything about guns. God forbid a situation like this poor girl had to go through happen to my kids. I feel better knowing that my kids would know how to defend themselves too.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.