The United States of America is a great country. You can debate absolutely anything, whether or not it has merit, and whether or not it's any of your business.
But guns? There's nothing to debate. Throw out all the numbers and expert opinions. I've got your expert right here, and it's called EXPERIENCE.
Just before midnight June 30th, my husband, Chuck de Caro, and I and our Weimaraner were four days into an all-American, cross-country road trip. We'd just dined with a friend in Albuquerque and intended to hit historic Route 66, then stop for the night.
Realizing it was late and Route 66 is no fun in the dark, we stopped at a pet-friendly Motel 6. Chuck showered; I went to the car for dog food.
He was making wild passes with his gun. Finally he lunged at the briefcase in front of me, and headed for the door. For a second, I thought he'd leave. Instead, he opened fire on my husband.
The armed guard patrolling the second floor was engrossed in a phone conversation, instead of checking the parking lot.
I unlocked our door, picked up the food I'd placed at my feet and was assaulted by a jackass with a big, silver semi-automatic weapon.
He shoved me into the room. I was airborne and landed on the bed. He shut the door and stood behind it, gun on me, debating his next move.
He didn't expect Chuck to open the bathroom door. My husband (Air Force Academy, U.S. Army Special Forces), said "What's going on here?" and advanced into the room. Stark naked and dripping wet, he maneuvered himself in front of the small table between the beds, concealing two small .380 legal handguns we'd brought in from the car.
I moved around, we spoke to the assailant, kept him busy, offered him things, kept him from focusing. We felt he'd shoot when he'd gotten what he wanted. He was comfortable with the situation, had been there before.
I walked my purse to Chuck, talking about finding something inside. I reached behind Chuck and slipped a gun in, then handed it to him, asking if he could see anything that we might give the man. He said yes, wrapping his hand around the gun.
The assailant grew agitated as I again walked across the room, splitting his concentration. He was making wild passes with his gun. Finally he lunged at the briefcase in front of me, and headed for the door.
For a second, I thought he'd leave. Instead, he opened fire on my husband. Chuck returned fire, emptying his gun even as he was bleeding profusely.
Bottom line: Assailant DOA in the parking lot. My hero recovering from five gunshot wounds. We both are alive.
Now, ask me how I feel about the right to bear arms.
Here's the truth:
1. Criminals will always have guns, this is not about them.
2. Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms. Humans have a right to defend themselves. If we didn't have the Second Amendment, we would create it.
3. You can't control everything; but if it makes you feel better, go with a simple law preventing violent offenders from buying firearms. Make it "violent" offenders rather than "white collar" offenders, or most of Capitol Hill won't be allowed to own them.
4. Get a gun, get legal, be responsible, trust yourself. Don't trust yourself? Then don't carry. But for God's sake then, shut the f**k up about it, because that's where your involvement ends.
Chuck and I were married one year ago, on the Fourth of July. Sure, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary in a hospital. But thanks to the Second Amendment, my crack-shot husband and the pistol he used, we were able to have a first anniversary.
Lynne Russell is a former Headline News anchor and CNN correspondent.