[A timely repeat – from February 22, 2018] When I was a kid, my father sent me down to the local creek to shoot rats. Big Norway rats. I used a BB gun or a single shot .22 loaded with CB shorts. When I was 14, I was on staff at a Boy Scout camp in Wisconsin. I got on the school bus for the ride up north with my knapsack and my Stevens Model 416 .22 caliber bolt action target rifle. Art T. brought pistols to camp since he was on a pistol team back home. Since we arrived on Sunday, we put our guns under our bunks and on Monday checked them in to the rifle range for the duration of the summer. No one ever thought of doing something violent or hurtful to another person. Many of the boys were junior members of the NRA.
I don’t object to those who want guns for hunting, target shooting or protection. But I oppose semi-automatic weapons, bump stocks, massive clips or military-style (“assault”) weapons. They are not necessary. Nor are they contemplated by the Second Amendment. The NRA is no more. It is not the National Rifle Association. It is now the National Assault Rifle Association. Maybe the National Bump Stock Association. The NRA ignores the gun violence that suffocates our nation. Instead, they preach the same sermon that most weapons should be legal. With little limitation. Easy on the background checks. As we all know, some NRA members crave automatic weapons. And bazookas. And RPG’s. “Pry my cold dead fingers. . . . .”
I understand that some believe that by confiscating all weapons, violence will come to an end. And there are some [probably the same folks] who proclaim that even those who are mentally ill and prone to violence (as we have seen in the recent mass shootings) cannot be forced to take meds or have institutional treatment unless the individual agrees. That’s just ducky. Toxic attitudes. Toxic agendas. Toxic results. .
With such extreme positions – competing for legitimacy – it is tough to find common ground. And common sense. We need to do something. But sanity and compromise seem to have gone out the window.
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