by Frank Fader
The letter written by Mr. Kevin Moran and published in your April 28 edition was very interesting because it presented two ideas that haven't been talked about too much.
The first idea, and one that surprised me because it's novel, is that the NRA is finally admitting that there is a problem. The second, and most far-reaching, idea is Mr. Moran's recommendation that we educate our kids about firearms.
The NRA has always been the champion of the citizen's right to own and use firearms. They advocate and promote citizen participation in the safe and effective use of firearms for hunting, competition and self-defense.
What they haven't advocated is restraint by our citizens and our gun makers and related industries. When AK47s and Mac10s were for sale to everyone, they were silent. When our own AR15 was made available to the public, they were still silent. Our own government didn't help things either, by making these weapons available to the buying public. When an overnight industry sprang up offering to replace the disconnection that limited these firearms to semi-auto, to be replaced by full-auto, my eardrums weren't shattered by the noise made by either organization.
Unless all my neighbors show up at my door with tar and feathers, I can see no reason for owning any of the above firearms. They have no hunting use, and other than an AR15, which is used for competition, what practical purpose do they serve?
They have a very limited self-defense use because of the high penetration of the cartridges they fire and the indiscriminate direction these bullets take when they leave the barrel. They are used mostly by movies and television dramas to accumulate a body count that the sanitation department has a hard time keeping up with.
Did the NRA take a stand on military firearms that could easily be converted to full-auto? Did they ask if a firearm of this type had a place in civilian hands? Did they attend the movies, and watch the television shows that showed in graphic detail what these firearms were capable of doing? Our kids watch each and every one of them.
Mr. Moran's suggestion that our kids be educated about firearms is the best idea I've heard since gun atrocities became part of our daily lives. But in order for this idea to become a reality, we have to have informed and responsible teachers. The subject is not taught in schools, so any information the child acquires comes from home, and we can't teach them what we don't know. If the kids go hunting with dad, and also spend some time on the shooting range under dad's supervision, do you think they will grow up to be responsible gun owners and users. I do.
The safe handling and use of firearms is our responsibility. This should be our goal, and the one we pass on to our eager students. And don't think for one minute that they aren't eager. You're dealing with a turbocharger hormone with feet.
Firearms are a reality that is not going to go away, despite the best efforts of our anti-gun fraternity. We can only help ourselves by creating a generation of informed and responsible gun owners. This is something the anti-gunners can't fight because, by doing this, we will have eliminated the foundation of their platform.
The above, combined with the pursuit and prosecution of gun felonies to the point where it actually becomes dangerous for the illegal gun user, would make our society much safer than it is now. It makes little sense to enact a new law to fix the old law, when the only problem with the old law was that it wasn't enforced.
The surest way to ensure that our kids will enjoy the same rights that we have enjoyed is to be responsible with our firearms and to pass that responsibility along.