Montana Sen. Steve Daines’ latest offering in the common sense gun control debate has finally convinced me effective legislation could be a generation away. But can’t we as a society at least quit using the terms “gun” and “safety” in the same sentence? Can’t we agree on the insanity of parents teaching their mentally ill children how to handle an assault rifle or taking their young children to the range to shoot a weapon of war? Leaving guns and ammunition where kids can find them should at least be branded as parental neglect and everyone who carries should be fully aware the gun they pack is far more dangerous to themselves and their loved ones than it ever will be to a “bad guy.” The time of solving our problems with a gun in hand ended long ago and those of us who have amassed an arsenal to take on our tyrannical government are just plain delusional.
Tens of thousands of us ache because a loved one was killed by carelessness with a gun or the handiness of one in a time of anger or depression. Though millions of us are responsible gun owners, too many of us think of them as a cool toy. We can resolve to be the kind of gun owner whose guns will never harm a human being except to protect ourselves or our loved ones. That means securing our guns from kids and the emotionally distraught, admitting to ourselves that packing is too dangerous unless we’re highly trained and ready to live with the consequences of our split-second decisions, facing the fact that assault weapons are deadly, unnecessary toys, and treating all guns with the respect instant death warrants. Then we can educate others to do the same.
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