You Only Need One Shot to Take Down a Deer
I write these little pieces and set them up to post the day before they actually do. Last Friday, I had already set up my post for Saturday when I heard about Newtown. I chose not to change that post because I didn’t know what to say. I, like a lot of others, needed time to process the tragedy.
I come from a gun-owning family. Grandpa John owned a gun shop when I was a young, and both sides of the family were hunters – not trophy hunters, but the kind that actually eat what they kill because they like the taste of wild game. When I was very young, my father and grandfather taught me how to handle a gun, how to shoot, and the finer points of gun safety. However, as an adult, I choose not to own a gun.
The argument that assault weapons should be available to sportsmen is invalid. In all my family’s years of hunting, not one of my relatives thought an assault rifle was an appropriate weapon for the sport. You see, assault weapons are designed to do the most damage in the least amount of time. If you are a hunter, you don’t want to do too much damage to your prey – you want a clean shot. No one wants to pull a hundred rounds out of their venison stew.
Two things could have prevented or, at least, lessened the number of victims: psychological testing before gun licensing and a ban on assault weapons. Just like the banks should not have been allowed to self-regulate, gun sellers should not be in control of the gun ownership process. We don’t have car salesmen giving driving tests, do we? A gun salesman wants to sell guns, not tell some guy with cash in hand that he isn’t mentally fit to handle one. An assault-weapons ban would be practical. Without the ability to spray bullets, potential shooters would find their killing-spree casualties significantly reduced. That doesn’t mean these tragedies won’t happen – only that fewer people will die.
I’m a realist, though: as much as I personally would like to see all guns removed from society, I know that too many Americans (including my own family) disagree. I respect them and their right to hunt. I pray that nothing so tragic as what happened in Newtown ever happens to them.
My heart is broken for those families in Connecticut.