Updated: Sep 18, 2018
Article by Jenee Cruise
Theresa (Terry) Zoubul is an 84-year-old conservative and proud American. Her father, a Greek immigrant with strict Christian values, emigrated with Terry’s mother from Greece during WWI to escape oppression. Her father was looking for freedom and knew America was the place to find it. It was because of this Terry grew up in a house where they appreciated all of the personal rights and freedoms which come with being a citizen in America.
Eventually, Terry moved away from home and married a military career officer in the United States Air Force. He was a conservative whose first job as a member of the military, according to Terry, was to honor his country. It was his 28 years in the service, love of hunting, and respect for the Constitution which drew Terry’s husband to advocate for the Second Amendment. Together, they raised their two boys to appreciate freedom, to work hard, and to live a life devoted to their country. We sat down with Terry to hear more about her incredible life story and ask for advice on issues we face in today’s world.
Expressions: What drew your interest toward the Second Amendment?
TZ: [My husband] became active in the NRA, so we had a family membership. He passed away 26 years ago, and I kept the membership. So, I’ve always been an advocate of the NRA, and my sons are avid outdoorsmen. They said, “Mom, we need to teach you how to shoot.”So, I started shooting with my sons for fun. But also, like most areas in the United States, we had some small robberies. We lived in the woods in a rural area, and the next thing you know, you have some break-ins. Both boys told me, “Mom, you’re gonna have a gun, and we’re gonna show you how to shoot and use it.” I did it for sport, but also for my personal safety.
I moved to Indianapolis and got a lifetime permit to carry, because unfortunately, down in Indianapolis, we have a very high crime rate. They do prey on women, you know, we’re the weaker sex, and I do feel more comfortable having a gun.
Expressions: Why do you think, as an American woman, it is important to advocate for the Second Amendment?
TZ: Well, the most important thing is personal safety. We are preyed with the #MeToo movement and the women’s movement. I’m a personal fitness trainer, and they say we’re just as strong. No, we’re not. I don’t care how hard I work out, and how hard I lift weights... if a 200-pound man comes at me, there’s only one thing that’s gonna stop him — a gun. I am no match. You are no match. I feel very strongly we have to take care of ourselves. You have to take care of yourself. You shouldn’t rely on anyone else.
Expressions: Do you think that leads to why all women should learn how to use and carry a firearm?
TZ: If they feel comfortable. I took a couple of courses with the NRA for women; they talk to you about how when the adrenaline starts creeping in and somebody’s broken into your house or coming toward you, you have to make up your mind that you are going to shoot that person. Not necessarily kill him or her, but you do have to make up your mind that you have to shoot and hurt that person. You have to mentally think that, “Yes, I will do that.” If you’re scared to death and you start shaking and quivering, then no. That woman should not carry a gun.
Expressions: What would you say would be a good second option for women who aren’t necessarily comfortable carrying a gun?
TZ: You need to carry mace or pepper spray. You should not go out unarmed. I’ve used that on some dogs that came after me, and those sprays work well. Carry something. Don’t plan on somebody else helping you.
Expressions: Do you currently carry a gun with you?
TZ: I don’t carry it socially when I know the neighborhood. If I’m traveling, I carry it. I carry it in the front seat, and I have the permit in the glove compartment in case I’m stopped by an officer. The NRA has taught us you don’t have to tell the officer you have a gun on you; if you have a permit, you’re legal, and there’s nothing to worry about.
Expressions: What is the best advice you can give to young girls about standing by and sticking up for our beliefs?
TZ: I think you have to reach inside yourself and think, “How do I fit into this world? Where’s my place? How do I fit into what’s going on around me?” I think you have to find your place and find your niche. If you’re conservative, you’ll find that many of your young friends do not agree with you. I’d say if you’re a young woman, you need to stand by what you believe in and don’t be guided by peer pressure. Peer pressure does not run very highly with the conservative woman, old or young. I think a young woman needs to make up her mind where her place is, what she needs to do in life, and she needs to stay steadfast. Don’t give into what’s trendy.
Expressions: Where do you see our country heading, and how can the people of my generation help move it in the right direction?
TZ: There’s many ways. We have an extremely poor voting record, which I find real objectionable. Indianapolis had 22% vote this year for Senate seats. The older people are the ones who come out and vote. The younger people are very apathetic when it comes to voting. They complain a lot. You don’t have a right to complain if you don’t vote. Voting should be one of the most important things you can do. I try to let younger people in on the importance of voting. Never miss an election.
The other thing is, which, I have to be careful with, is very personal: you need to establish a faith. Does that mean you have to go to an organized church? No, but I find a lot of them don’t have a deep faith, and you need to have something that gets you through hard times. You’re going to have hard times somewhere in your life. Have faith in something. I believe in God. We need to encourage our youth; I know organized churches are going downhill, and I feel that’s a problem. You don’t have a good faith. You don’t have a strong faith.
Expressions: Who was your favorite president and why?
TZ: Other than our current president, I’m not sure because he could end up being my favorite. Since he hasn’t finished his term, I’d say Ronald Reagan. He was an outsider. I’m not particularly charmed with the professional politician. Ronald Reagan had a great deal of common sense. He didn’t believe in many entitlements. I believe in people earning their place. Ronald Reagan was very strong on this country, a very strong nationalist, and very strong on the Second Amendment. I think mostly that he was an outsider. I think most of us are very disenchanted with politicians. It’s just a career job; for Ronald Reagan it was not a career, it was a passion he had for the country.
Along with Terry’s advice to our generation and how to better lead our country, another thing which would make a difference is talking to and taking advice from people just like her. Leftists our age want to blame their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents for all of their problems. By doing so, they miss out on all of the wisdom people from those generations can offer. Like a seasoned pan, they have lived through and experienced so much. Take Terry, for example: her parents were immigrants who raised her to appreciate freedom and to never feel entitled to anything. In turn, she and her husband worked hard and raised their sons the same way. It’s time we all start living more like Terry. We must stay armed and never expect anyone but ourselves to save us in times of trouble. We must find ourselves and stay steadfast. We must remember our vote matters and find our faith. Most importantly, we must stay proud of and devoted to our great country.