Gun culture.

My reader(s) is (are) probably fed up with recent posts on gun-related issues.  Perhaps i should explain.

My father was a Washington state country  boy who had hunted for much of his early life and who had been in the Army during the Second World War.  I grew up in a house full of guns, learned to shoot (badly) at a young age, received thorough training in  gun safety from a highly-regarded authority figure (I’d still be paying for the dental work if I had ever “played” with a gun), and got my first gun as a birthday present when I turned 12.  Guns hold no terrors for me.  (Gun-owners, well that’s a different issue.)

I had guns myself (shotgun, rifle, revolver) in my house for many years.  I taught my sons about gun safety along the same lines as my father taught me.  “Guns are always loaded until you know different; you can tell if a gun is loaded by checking in the breech; never point a gun at another person  except to save a life.”  (These rules caused much alarm among other parents during a gun safety lesson in Cub Scouts.)  I got rid of my guns when one of my children was diagnosed with depression.  Hard choice to make at the moment, but I haven’t regretted it for a moment.

Recently, I was asked to give the annual Constitution Day address at the school where I am employed.  With some trepidation, I told my boss that I would like to talk about the Second Amendment.  Recent events have made it a “hot topic.”  More than that, I wanted to try to sort out some of the confusions in my own mind about guns in America today.  The stuff I have posted on guns and killings is a part of the reading and thinking that I have been doing.  Hence, all the tedious posts.

The fundamental issues–as I understand them–are the following: The Supreme Court has held that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights; guns are a plague on at least a segment of the Americans population; a vast majority of gun-owners are going to be asked to sacrifice a “right” because a small share of Americans abuse that right; what are we to do?

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