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I am as patriotic as the next guy. I believe in the Constitution, and I want us all to be comfortable and safe in our homes. But, somehow, turning our country into the OK Corral doesn’t appeal to me. The NRA saying we need more guns in the hands of our citizens makes as much sense as saying a drowning man needs more water.

When it comes to gun violence, the United States leads the developed world. Maybe we should change our anthem so it says “land of the frightened and the home of the violent.”

I know the Second Amendment allows me to have a gun. However, I also know it does not require me to have one.

The framers of the Constitution may have assumed we would all be capable of good judgment and would have a sincere interest in promoting the common good. They apparently misjudged us. We are in the process of turning their Republic into a firing range.

Recently, an acquaintance of mine spent a few minutes telling me how much owning a gun meant to him. His father and grandfather owned guns. He is a hunter, and so were they. Hunting is part of his lifestyle and family legacy. He taught his son to shoot. His face hardened noticeably when he asserted that he would never give up his guns. I thought of asking him if he would give them up if, by doing so, he might be able to save the life of just one human being. I did not ask because I knew he would want to answer.

We seem to have so little regard for human life other than our own. If we were all asked to give up our guns to diminish senseless killings, we would likely say no. Maybe that is why we are all so afraid.

Many years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt, in a time of crisis, said, “All we have to fear, is fear itself.” Today, he would have to amend that statement to include “and all our friends and neighbors with guns.”



Alfred T. Jackson, Issue