Letter: Insight on guns
Gary Sanderson — THANK YOU! In Gary’s March 14 carefully expressed column about gun violence, he clarified the efforts of gun manufacturers and advertisers to maintain their sales and increase their profits. It has nothing to do with hunting, since “guns for hunting account for less than a quarter of the market.”
Another important piece of information Gary passed on: “in five years time, gun manufacturers’ aggressive marketing campaign has paid handsome dividends, with handgun sales soaring 70 percent and assault-weapon sales doubling.” Gary’s insightful and impassioned piece has an interesting historical basis. In “High Country News,” a monthly news and issues magazine about the American West, articles following the gun violence debate are frequent. These tidbits are especially interesting as we observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
“After the Civil War, the nation was awash in cheap guns ... In response, Western communities regulated firearms ... most states had laws against concealed weapons and Tombstone, Ariz., believe it or not, banned guns altogether during the 1880s. In a Cripple Creek, Colo., newspaper in 1988, the editor wrote: “It is high time that the man who packs a gun should be suppressed, fined, jailed or run out of the country.” The mayor of Durango, Colo., is quoted as saying: “Firearms in the daily walks of life have no place in our modern civilization (1903!) and should not be carried.” Isn’t this interesting considering Colorado’s recent adoption of new laws affecting gun/ammunition purchases and ownership?
When the National Firearms Act of 1934 was passed restricting the sale of machine guns, the National Rifle Association didn’t protest. It accepted that such weapons were intended for battlefields, not the streets or the hunting ground.
Finally, Gary Sanderson included an insightful quote from a local man who had served in the military: “I’ll be honest. I’ve never wanted to own one of those weapons I shot in the service ... Those guns aren’t for hunting. They’re for killing people. Why should anyone own one?” Our question exactly.
BEN and LOUISE MINKS