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| Patrick W. Allen | Steven R. Berryman | Chris Cavey | Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Patricia A. Kelly | Farrell Keough | Jill King | Earl 'Rocky' Mackintosh | Tom McLaughlin | Roy Meachum | Zachary Peters | Cindy A. Rose | Derek Shackelford | John W. Ashbury | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Blaine R. Young |

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 Re-Elect David Brinkley for Senate


Guns have their use, but…

December 10, 2007

This is in reply to Steve Berryman's article (Side-Arms Showdown in DC) of December 3, 2007.

This is a point where you and I diverge in our opinions. I am not a gun person.....but that being said, I also don't have a "dog in this hunt." The following may not speak exactly to the D.C. issue, but at least speaks to how some may think about guns.

So, what do I think?

1) There is a good argument that there is a big difference between the days of our founding fathers – when guns were absolutely necessary to hunt for food, and protect one’s self since there was not an organized system of police, etc. These days, that is not the case anymore, at least in 98% of the country. So, why let everyone have guns when they are not needed? I have three grocery stores right near me and local and State Police to protect me.

2) On the other hand, I see no reason why a competent person, thoroughly trained and licensed, should not own a weapon appropriate to some intended use. You don't need a machine gun to hunt deer, for example.

I think people also need to be realistic about the ownership of guns. I always hear about, and you mention in your article, that guns can be kept for – and used for – personal safety.

Your proviso that they are to be kept with the trigger locks on to prevent accidents does not jive with the usual scenario. You hear a burglar in the middle of the night, so you run to the gun safe or cabinet, looking for the key to the trigger lock and unlocking it, then loading the gun, all the while the intruder is coming at you.

Shouldn't the weapon be kept under the pillow or bed where it usually is, and that is where the kids find them moments before they shoot themselves.

In other words, guns are dangerous items, one of many actually, that are kept in the house. Everyone needs to be properly trained when they are around, and they should have some use, some purpose for the ownership of the weapon, not just because it is cool, or I "might" need to use it.

In the "old" days, people had a need. The gun was used frequently, and people learned about safety at an early age. Also, guns were expensive, and so they were not considered toys; and there was a big process to go through to load and shoot an old muzzle loader. One did not rob the local pub and shoot the joint up, taking out several innocent bystanders. You had one shot, and you didn't waste it. It took time to reload, during which other people had a chance to shoot at you!

These days, guns are plentiful and cheap. Also, you can unleash an unbelievable hail of gunfire from a pair of semi-automatic pistols, and reload quickly to continue with the hail of bullets. Many do not even hold a gun until late in life, generally speaking; and they do not go through any training whatsoever. This makes for a dangerous combination.

So, basically I am confused and unsure about the issue. No, I am not going to own a gun; but I would love to learn to trap shoot ...contradiction. I will let my son try firearms, but he will be trained well, first in Scouts (this has already been done to some extent in Cub Scouts with BB guns), and then further if he wants to go forward.

I will not hunt. I don't need to kill anything, but I won't stop anyone who wants to. I just hope they are doing it for real purposes of using the meat, etc. (I admire the Indians. They revered the animals they took, prayed to the gods about it, used every part of it, and only killed what was needed).

It will be a great topic to discuss further over a beer.

Russ Winch Walkersville


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