Sunday, December 12, 2004

Society has lost its respect for firearms: "It's about respect and responsibility. It's too easy for people today to blame someone or something for their personal failures. Access to firearms, for instance, is universally blamed for gun accidents and violence. It's too easy to get guns say the naysayers; they are too readily available.

Why is it, then, that 30-40 years ago -- when firearms were virtually never kept under lock and key -- the statistics weren't nearly so dire? Because in those days youngsters were taught to respect firearms. Back then we knew that a gun was something that you would be able to use when you reached a certain age and level of responsibility. Handling a firearm was an earned privilege. We were fully aware of what a firearm was capable of, respected that power and aspired to a level where we would be allowed to handle it.

In those days guns hung over the fireplace, were stored behind doors or in the corner of mud rooms, under beds, behind truck seats, etc. I remember kids on the rifle team riding to school with their rifles on the bus. Access was far easier than it is today, yet society didn't have the problems with gun violence that it has today. There simply is no respect anymore. Not for human life, morality, courtesy or firearms.

Defending the home in Britain: (Scroll down to post of Dec. 7th) "Thanks to strict criminal laws, working conditions in Great Britain are the safest in the Western world -- that is, if your profession is burglary. On the other hand, if you're a law-abiding citizen quietly staying at home, you're at much greater risk in the nearly gun-free United Kingdom, than in the gun-happy United States of America. ... One reason that British burglars are so much bolder than their American cousins is that only about 4% of British homes legally possess a gun, whereas about half of American homes do. British police administrators require guns at home to be stored unloaded in a safe, and that ammunition be in a separate safe. No American jurisdiction has such extreme 'safe storage' requirements. As a result, an American burglar who breaks into an occupied home faces a significant risk of getting shot."

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