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Letter: Alternatives to guns

It is time for us to face the issue of being a nation of citizens possessing 300 million guns. We’ve tinkered with regulation long enough. Discussions about guns that focus on fear, Second Amendment rights, protecting schools with guns, comparing guns to automobile dangers, background checks and blaming mentally ill people only divert us from considering what kind of nation we want to be.

Today, it seems, we seek to arm good people to outgun bad people. Our children learn that guns are the way to solve relationships with anyone we fear: the bad people. No wonder our young people sometimes turn to guns to solve their problems.

Congress, Mr. President, governors, councils, legislators, citizens: Consider the option of a gun-free society. Don’t let fearful people with guns silence discussion. Guns do not demonstrate strength. They hide weakness.

Consider some alternatives:

∎ We could protect our homes with a network of good neighbor communications.

∎ Fear an oppressive government? We could learn to participate in our democratic society. (No amount of home firepower can protect us today from a rogue government army in possession of assault weapons, rockets, tanks, drones and overwhelming air power).

∎ Target shooters could rent guns at a firing range.

∎ We could reevaluate hunting for sport.

∎ We could allow basic rifles for hunting food and for predatory animal control in rural settings.

Our safety does not depend on guns to overpower one another. Our safety depends on tools of education, compassion, empathy and understanding to empower each other to be good citizens and good neighbors.



Legacy Comments4

Well sir, you certainly have every right to your opinions, even when I am not in perfect agreement with them all. For example, I do not believe that many (if any) people are teaching children that guns are the way to "solve relationships". More like, I would say, the most effective way for a properly trained individual to survive lethal threat. But I do have a question. If we are not to protect our homes (and quite possibly our lives in cases of home invasion) with guns, what on earth does it mean to instead effectively "protect our homes with a network of good neighbor communications"??

Good Neighbor Communications. I guess that means if someone breaks into my home, I could call my neighbor up and he could come to my home unarmed and do what?

Hello Mr. burglar, welcome to my home. Let me take your coat . . . pull up a chair and set a spell. My neighbor should be along any minute . . . perhaps we could play some cribbage? What? No cribbage? You'd rather rob me blind? Hmmmmm . . . they didn't teach me how to deal with this in the "good neighbor manual . . . "

"REEVALUATE HUNTING FOR SPORT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" Based on what, John? First of all, I don't consider it a "sport." Neither do Tovar Cerulli, Steven Rinella, David Petersen, James H. Swan, Georgia Pelligrini, Mary Zeiss-Stange, Lilly Raff McCaulou and many, many others. It's a way of life. It's the only successful wildlife management tool we have, it's a way to put high-protein, low-fat, sustainable, organic protein on your table. You sound like Ingrid "PETA" Newkirk, who was incensed when she found out OBama DID NOT mention banning hunting in his "gun speech" last week. Sorry, but if you think that Sandy Hook has opened the door on the end of hunting . . . if you think you can use the memory of those slaughtered children for your own political gain . . . THINK AGAIN!

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