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Guns have been a part of my life for over 55 years. I believe in the Second Amendment of our Constitution that gives us the right to keep and bear arms for militias. I believe most, not all, people in our country should be allowed to possess firearms for self defense, sporting activities and collecting. But as responsible citizens I feel we should examine the facts.
Our country is in the midst of an epidemic of violence. We can argue and debate guns are or are not the cause of the violence, but it is not questionable firearms are the means for most of our mass killings.
If this epidemic of violence was being caused by bombs or weapons of mass destruction using chemicals, bacteria or radiation we would expect and demand our heads of government take any and all steps required to stop the culprits and eliminate the precursors required to commit mass killings.
Because the means for our epidemic are guns, there are many who do not support any actions of our government officials based on our Constitution and the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791. When written, our founding fathers were referring to single-shot muzzle loaders that were needed for protection as well as for gathering food and hides for clothing. It was before supermarkets, malls and movie theatres. Public schools were small and very sparse.
Many people today argue that we tried gun control once, it did not work (though we will never know what was actually prevented), so we should not try it again. If the Wright brothers had that attitude we may have not landed a vehicle on Mars today.
I look at the world we live in today and ask how I can be part of the solution and not the problem. How many guns do I actually need to feel safe and secure in my own home? How many rounds per minute can I fire and remain effective and efficient? How many bullets does it take to bag desired game?
As responsible gun owners who enjoy hunting, plinking and just having one around, it is time we examine what we really need and what matters most. Do we really need the right to any and all firearms that fire a bullet or bullets or should our children have the right to attend schools without barbed wire fences and armed guards patrolling the halls or armed teachers in the classroom?
Instead of saying “No” to everything let’s step off our soap boxes and try working together to find a cure for our epidemic.