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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 06:49 PM

I don't think the problem is so much the guns as the culture of violence. [View all]

Let me try to give you my perspective.

I went to a 1-room country grade school, and I would bet that every kid in that school came from a home in which there were multiple firearms. I would further bet that every kid, of both sexes, and including the first-graders, had had some training with those guns. When we visited each other, we would often look at and handle our parents' guns, with their easily-obtained permission. Guns were viewed as dangerous tools, like axes, and we were taught to respect them and use them correctly. Everybody had a B-B gun by age 8 and a .22 by maybe 10. We started deer hunting at 11. Nobody was afraid that one of us would bring a gun to school and start shooting.

I am not arguing that that world of 60+ years ago was anything like today's world, and I am not addressing what society should do about guns in the present. I'm pointing out that access to firearms is not commensurate with wanting to use them on other people, or to the level of violence in society. The world was different then, and people didn't resort to guns. I can recall one (double-) murder in the county in all my years of growing up. That happened when a guy who had been brutally abused by his parents in childhood came home AWOL from the Army and murdered both parents with a deer rifle.

Everyone was really freaked out by this incident, and it was talked about for years. Yet I do not recall anyone panicking over the access we kids had to guns.

I think the major difference was that, among the people with whom I grew up, guns were a natural part of life, used mostly for subsistence hunting and sport.

In today's gun-crazed world, most urban gun-owners arm themselves for self-protection (or for aggression against each other).

In modern times, I believe we do need to limit firearms, and I mave become lmore accepting of the idea as time goes on.

However, gun control will not solve our terrible violence problem. It won't even dent it. The problem will only be solved when we stop inculcating a culture of violence into ourselves and our children. Movies, TV, and shoot-em-up electronic games are as much a part of the problem as the guns.

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