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Letter: Gun ownership

In 1951, when we were 15, we got our guns. A Winchester bolt action single shot .22 was the ticket. No license required. They came with strict regulations and stern warnings. Lessons in care and handling ensued. We then took to the woods and back roads plinking bottles and cans. Squirrels were at risk. An infraction of the rules meant giving up your gun until you were deemed responsible again. We policed one another. Later on, when the military called, we went and were given the guns to do the job. On returning home, some of us became responsible hunters and target shooters. Most of us put our guns at the back of the closet and forgot they were there.

Some plain facts have emerged from the current gun battles. Gun ownership in this country is NOT at risk. This is true despite the efforts of the NRA to preserve their control of the government through a campaign of fear. The NRA is not relevant to the argument.

There are enough loose guns in this country to arm every citizen over the age of 12 for the next hundred years. High capacity guns and ammo should be limited to law enforcement and the military.

Licensing and background checks should be standardized nationally. This should include ALL gun shows and sales. Criminals and those with mental disabilities should be denied ownership. All these efforts won’t be wholly successful but we can sure try.

It is time for our elected leaders in government to find the courage to speak out.

FRED OAKES

Greenfield

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