The Gun Debate Goes On

| February 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

A Grandmother’s Perspective

My 15 year old grandson is a gun enthusiast. There I said it. It’s not easy for this ‘60’s era liberal to admit, but I’ve known this for years, in fact since he’s been a small child. At first his schoolteacher parents said no guns, just plain out, no guns. But by the age of 5 or 6 we noticed that whenever he sat down to draw, all he drew was guns. He was actually very good at drawing them and he was a very good child in general. He was well behaved, a superior student and an all around nice kid. Plus as long as a little boy or girl has a thumb and a forefinger, they have a gun.\

His parents finally relented and allowed him to have nerf guns. For those of you without little kids around, nerf guns shoot foam things, like foam pellets or foam darts. But they do shoot. And he loved shooting his nerf guns.
As he got older his father directed him to a healthy interest in guns. As a father and son they took lessons together at a shooting range. My son then steered his son into what is acceptable to us as a family, shooting for sport. We are not hunters in our family and we are not gun enthusiasts, but skeet shooting and trap shooting are sports that utilize the gun as a component of a sport that does no harm to any living thing.

When I discussed my own personal thoughts on gun control, my son assured me that our laws in California are one of the more regulated gun control laws in the country. There is a thorough background check, a ten day waiting period before any purchase can be made and guns must have a mandatory locking device. Not so in parts of the country where guns are a way of life. In states where hunting is a family sport the laws are often compatible with the general mood of that state. In some states you can even purchase armor piercing bullets and I have not seen anyone wearing armor in my neighborhood.

Speaking just for myself, the issue right now is not shotguns, hunting rifles or even handguns. The issue is why anyone needs a weapon of mass slaughter, many of which have only been on the market since the late ‘70s. Just as we cannot drive a Sherman tank down the freeway, we cannot have these weapons readily accessible. The weapons in question are really civilian versions of military weapons. Military weapons belong in the trained hands of military personnel.

When an NRA leader suggested armed guards at all of our schools, it brought to mind the fact that Columbine had an armed guard in the school at the time of the shooting there. Placing someone in a school does not stop a determined shooter who is hell bent on killing. I cannot help but think of a cousin of mine who was eventually diagnosed as schizophrenic who had held several positions as a security guard before his diagnosis. So much for testing those who are allowed to guard us.

Right now our country has to stop, stand back and let our intellect not our emotions guide us. President Obama wants to come up with a win-win solution. He is not asking congress or the American people to completely give up all guns. He is asking for a sensible approach to gun control. No weapons of mass killing, background checks diligent enough to weed out the mentally ill and the violent.

To me it seems that everyone would want that approach. Owning guns for sport, for hunting or for personal protection is not the issue. The issue is the safety of our children, our parents and all of our fellow Americans.

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