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Section A: General News


Letter: The key to gun control: Educate yourself




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February 27, 2013 | 1,373 views | 7 comments

Editor:

Gun control is a seriously hot-button topic at present. So hot, in fact, that broaching the subject tends to raise both temperatures and voices. It’s hard not to set your jaw against the injustice. Who wants more children to suffer and perish at the hands of a madman? Who thinks it’s fair to punish lawful citizens for the random acts of the very few?

The problem is that there is no solution, and no effective way to compromise. Setting aside emotional reactions to terrible atrocities, we have to face two truths: There is no way to remove every single firearm from the planet and prevent the subsequent manufacture of more; and human beings are violent. If either of these things were not true, we could “fix” the current issue. If someone could wave a magic wand and turn all guns into daisies, surely we would never see another mass shooting. Since people would still be violent, we’d see stabbings and bombings instead.

Firearms actually contribute to relatively few deaths, and nearly two-thirds of them are suicides. Firearm-related homicides number roughly 11,000 per year. Many times as many souls perish in automobile-related fatalities. Before you cry “but those people got in the vehicle, it was their choice” or “but a gun was made to kill, a car wasn’t,” consider this: Around 5,000 pedestrians and bicyclists are killed in vehicular accidents each year. I doubt their families care whether or not a car was specifically made to kill -- because it accomplished the task very well. That’s reality.

The truth is, we as a society accept cars as a useful but potentially dangerous tool. We accept that tens of thousands of people are going to die each year, but we shake it off because life, after all, isn’t bubble-wrapped. We do require training for all those who would operate a vehicle, starting with children while they are still in high school, and we continually strive to make our roads safer. A gun is also a useful but potentially dangerous tool. Around 600 people lose their lives in firearm-related accidents yearly, but there is little call for training, just calls for more bans. Restrict them, lock them up, and keep them out of sight. All fearful reactions that do nothing to improve anyone’s situation.

Instead of putting our heads in the sand and wishing violence would end, or that all firearms would magically disappear, why don’t we choose to do a better job of educating ourselves? I can’t help but think that if all children were taught the correct way to handle a firearm, the number of accidental shootings would plummet. I can’t help but believe that, if people were familiar with what firearms really were and how they operated, they wouldn’t be so irrationally fearful. You don’t have to love guns to know how to use one. Heck, I don’t love my car, or my lawn mower, or the chemicals I use to clean my house, but I need them, and I dang sure know how to handle all of them in a safe manner.

The truth is, no law and no amount of wishful thinking will remove muggers, rapists, and murders from among us. That is also reality. I’m not sure when people started thinking their personal safety was “someone else’s” problem, but it’s created droves of easy victims. Did you know that the police have no obligation to defend one private citizen from another? Even if they did, they are seldom present to prevent bad things from happening. No, it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and our families to the very best of our abilities. The more sheltered and defenseless we allow ourselves to become, in body, mind, and spirit -- the more likely we are to become victims -- both of opportunistic criminals and the government.

KASSANDRA ROYER

La Vernia
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
March 2, 2013 4:34pm
 
I am sure that most children are taught to not run in front of cars, yet fatal accidents continue to happen. Perhaps they are playing and not paying close attention or they may lack the ability to judge time and distance. ... More ›

 
Kassandra Royer  
La Vernia, TX  
March 2, 2013 12:42pm
 
Prairie Grouch- We all know children mature at different rates on a mental and emotional level, but if they are around firearms throughout their young years they will learn-regardless of wether the training is hands on or not. ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
March 2, 2013 8:20am
 
I am not sure what ages the author is classifying as children. The designation of children seems to be creeping upwards. The group in the middle teens and up used to be referred to as young women and young men, I would ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
March 2, 2013 6:59am
 
I believe that the amount of bullies in our schools is directly related to the suppression of victims ability to fight back with all means possible. When you remove equalizers, only the physically strong rule. These equalizes ... More ›

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
March 1, 2013 12:30pm
 
Silly, silly, silly. I would like to use harsher words, but I'll refrain. Have NEVER heard of a gun shooting anyone. It's the trigger finger that does the deed. And, you'll never be able to control the trigger fingers. ... More ›

 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
March 1, 2013 11:50am
 
In South Texas gun control is having a steady hand.

 
Ken Semlinger  
Poth, TX  
February 28, 2013 10:54am
 
A logical, well thought out and presented letter. Thank you Kassandra. Glad you live in Wilson County. We need many more like you.

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