Right to bear arms – but what kind?

  • Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dear Judy,
So much is in the news about gun control that I wanted to share my thoughts and experience with guns.
When I was in eighth grade in a small town in western Pennsylvania, I joined the Junior NRA in school. Most of us had .22 rifles and we would go to the city dump and shoot big rats.
This was a great pastime for us; we were good marksmen.
Getting back to the Junior NRA subject, we would carry our .22 rifles on the school bus – not loaded, of course – and the guns would be locked up in a locker in school. We met at 7 a.m. in the gym and had a certified instructor. We were taught gun safety and how to handle a rifle, and how to take care of the rifle. We shot in the gym at 25 yards starting in the prone position, We were given five rounds each, each round loaded separately, and on command we would aim and shoot at the target. We were all required to use peep sites.
You didn’t think of pointing the rifle in any direction except toward the targets.
After two years I was able to get my gold medal that signified me as an expert marksman. We were awarded the medals at our student assembly.
We could do this because our village was the community of caring and discipline and believe me, the switch was not spared.
Today we deal with a lot more issues than we did in the 40s and 50s. Violence on TV and movies, mental health issues, drug issues, debt issues, broken family issues, networking issues and electronics issues. One of the biggest is the mental health issue.
I believe we do need some control over assault weapons. Only law enforcement, military and folks who are enforcers of laws should be allowed to have assault weapons and not private citizens.
Remember: guns don’t kill, only people kill.
I believe this is a wakeup call of the mental health folks which we need in all of our schools. More money needs to go to these folks and we need more of them.
I was told by a grandparent that their grandchild in grade school was expelled because he had a water pistol in their backpack. And we need to be careful not to go to extremes on regulations.
God Bless the USA and the second amendment: the right to bear arms – but what kind?
John Calvert
Scottish American Military Society

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