I’m a Mom Too and Yes, Guns Belong in Schools By: Kat Ainsworth Stevens

Kat Ainsworth Stevens with Glock
I’m a mom. I’m also a gun owner, and my kids know how to shoot. (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth Stevens)

The bodies of the dead were not yet cold in the wake of an active killer spree at a Nashville, Tennessee, Christian school when it happened. Law enforcement had given brief statements, doling out dribs and drabs of information, and a spectator decided to get involved. She was an unidentified woman who claimed she was, coincidentally, in the area vacationing with her school-age children (spring break is over, but whatever).

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Later identified as Ashbey Beasley, the woman gave this speech to the assembled cameras:

Aren’t you guys tired of covering this? Aren’t you guys tired of being here and covering all these mass shootings? I am on vacation with my son visiting my sister-in-law. I have been lobbying in D.C. since we survived a mass shooting in July. I have visited with 130 lawmakers…these mass shootings will continue to happen until our lawmakers step up and pass gun safety legislation.

Lights. Camera. Gun control.

It was another push to restrict gun rights, and it was made before the blood of the murdered had even dried. Was that tacky? Classless? Taking advantage of dead bodies to further an anti-Second Amendment agenda?

Ethan shooting an AR-15
The author’s 9 year old, Ethan, adjusting a scope before moving on to live fire. (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth Stevens)

It was all of those things, and speaking as a mother, I’m here to say yes, Ms. Beasley, we are tired of it. We’re tired of mental illness, psychosis, and evil being ignored and sometimes promoted in favor of demonizing an inanimate object.

Beau NRAAM 2022
The author’s son, Beau, walking the stage for a concealed carry fashion show at NRAAM 2022. (Photo credit: Mike Branson)

I’m a mom, too. In fact, the ages of my kids run the gamut from a college student to a boisterous boy who turns two on April Fool’s Day. I’ve been through lockdowns, guns being spotted on campus, possible active killers on school grounds, and a boy in college who felt it was appropriate to draw and gesture with a knife during class (the school, by the way, did nothing, but that’s a story for another day).

grace with an ar-10
A cheerleader with her favorite AR? Why not? The author’s daughter started hunting and shooting at an early age. (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth Stevens)

Here’s my hot take on the current state of affairs: guns belong in schools. In our small Texas town, teachers, the principal, and other staff members legally carry. It isn’t because we’re the Lone Star State so much as it is our specific community made this choice.

As a matter of fact, when we lived in the now mega-restrictive Washington State, my daughter had a grade school teacher who carried, and I don’t think anyone ever noticed besides me. Normalcy bias is real. People see what they expect to see. He was my favorite teacher through her entire grade school career. Who wouldn’t love a teacher who was prepared to defend their kid’s life?

What are the odds a deranged, misguided youth is going to shoot his way into an educational institution where it’s known the staff carries? What are the odds of a massacre when teachers, office staff, and even the janitor are willing to shoot back?

A Nashville police spokesman has this to say yesterday when asked if The Covenant School was the only school that was targeted . . .

It was the only school that was targeted. There was another location that was mentioned, but because of a threat assessment by the suspect, too much security, they decided not to. 

lyla stevens with kat
My kids know gun safety and are encouraged to fight back, not cower in fear. (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth Stevens)

We are all horrified by the events in Nashville at The Covenant School. It’s hard to wrap our minds around suddenly losing a child to a derranged killer. Or at least it’s hard for most people. For some of us, the reality of violence is a bit closer to home.

Many women, such as those involved with Moms Demand Action, or Ms. Beasley who just happened to stumble into a live press conference while she was in town, feel the solution is strict gun control. Strip the guns from existence, they scream.

The fact that schools are already, by and large, gun free-zones means nothing to them. It only means we haven’t taken gun-free zones far enough yet. We need to make them nationwide! Let’s no-knock gun owners and take their firearms by force! (Admit it, you can hear them saying exactly that.)

Moms don’t have the luxury of irrational behavior when it comes to their kids’ safety. I’d do just about anything to ensure the safety of mine, whether you’re talking about the one that’s technically grown or the little dude who has proudly “helped” take more than a dozen deer and even more feral hogs in his short life. He’s even supervised the building of ARs and cleaning who knows how many guns.

That desire for their safety doesn’t mean pushing for gun control or fighting to make the entire country “gun-free.” It means raising kids who fight. Kids who are smart. Kids who know guns. Kids who understand that sometimes you brace yourself and do battle like you’re the third zebra trying to get onto Noah’s Ark and it’s started to rain.

kat with an AR-15
Part of being a responsible gun owner and a dedicated mother is being safe, smart, and an excellent shot. (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth Stevens)

Guns belong in schools, and schools should advertise that fact. If it were a reality that defensive gun use was expected in schools rather than frowned upon, advertising wouldn’t be so necessary. But considering the gun-free zones that double as free-fire zones for deranged killers, a bit of signage seems like a good idea. Or not. What is it they preached to our kids in preschool? You get what you get, and you don’t get upset. That goes double for spree killers.

Taking this a step further, here’s a little detail for you: I was a private school kid. The school I attended was larger than The Covenant School, but it was also religious. I wasn’t raised around guns. Not even kind of. Instead, I was raised to turn the other cheek (translation in my childhood and early adulthood: get your ass handed to you and take your lumps). I don’t pretend to know the dogma or practices taught at the Nashville school, but by and large I’m quite familiar with the environment.

Unpopular opinion: turning the other cheek is all well and good until your child is lying dead on the floor.

kat stevens with AR
Do moms demand some sort of gun-related action? The author does, but it isn’t a ban, it’s the end of gun free zones. (Photo credit: Mike Branson)

Armed, trained school staff would be fantastic. College kids being allowed to possess firearms on campus nationwide would be amazing. The abolition of “gun free-zones” in general would be stellar. Because, you see, when you say it’s for the children, it should be about keeping them alive, not condemning them to spend their days as soft targets waiting for evil to arrive.

I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, or polka-dotted with pink stripes. Gun rights are human rights. If just one teacher or janitor had been carrying a gun in Nashville, the body count likely would be lower or maybe even nonexistent (a dead would be spree shooter doesn’t count).

Kids deserve to be safe, and whether you like it or not, that means…guns. Guns in schools. In private schools, public schools, and that weird school down the street you think is probably run by a bunch of hippies.

beau at nraam
Yes, I’m a mom. Don’t you dare tell me this little boy would be better off without guns for self-defense. (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth Stevens)

I refuse to apologize for my pro-Second Amendment stance. I won’t back down from the belief that schools should not and cannot be “gun-free zones.” In fact, a school staff that’s known for carrying guns just happens to be a prerequisite for my son Beau’s future educational institution. Expect me to trust you to educate my child? Well then, I expect you to be armed and properly trained, too.

Our hearts go out to the families suffering this unspeakable agony. I would never seek to minimize the pain of he loss of a child. As someone who has been there, I empathize. But please, don’t take your hurt out on inanimate objects or those who choose to use them.

The very guns that are vilified by people like Ms. Beasley and the women of Moms Demand Action are the guns that guard your banks, patrol your streets, and protect your politicians. Why are our children deemed to be of less worth than an ancient Senator in D.C.?

Is “gun violence” epidemic? Not really, if you look at the numbers, but evil is. The age of entitlement and weapons-grade meltdowns is upon us. Please see that you do your part to curb it by getting trained, staying trained, and keeping your EDC gun on your person. My kids will thank you, and so will I.

So I say, bring it. I want all the guns in schools. Make schools a killer’s most feared target. You say you do it for the children, but your anti-gun agenda says differently. Gun control will quite literally be the death of our kids. And that, my friends, is the truth no matter how much it may hurt.