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Letter to the Editor: Get the guns out of our homes


Where has American bravery gone?

This country was founded and built by courageous people. They came here from all over the world and built a country - literally carving it out of wilderness. They built magnificent farms, cities, highways and industry unmatched in the world. They were tough, fearless people.

But something changed just a couple of decades ago. People started buying into a message that we all needed to be constantly fearful, and needed to buy and hold guns in our houses to protect ourselves. We needed to carry guns day in and day out to protect ourselves and our property. This was just a couple of decades ago. This fear did not exist for the first 200 years of our country's existence.

And I submit this was an unsubstantiated, created fear. It was created by gun manufacturers when their military market dried up after the Vietnam conflict. Check my timeline out - you'll see the match. When the American Army market was saturated (we still employ versions of the same AR 15 I carried in Vietnam) gun manufacturers had a huge manufacturing capacity and no market. They tried to compete overseas, but were met by the popular and less expensive Russian/Chinese AK47.

As a result, our country has now by far the most heavily armed civilian populace in the world. Three hundred million guns in homes, I've heard reported. That's one gun per man, woman or child in this country for crying out loud! Semi-automatic long guns and hand guns with huge military magazines! Now, every year we have hundreds of domestic arguments which end in gunfire. We have hundreds of children accidently killed and injured playing with unguarded guns. And we all know about the horror which happens when the mentally disturbed get a hold of guns. And how many cases of guns being used to legitimately for self defense? Single digits!

The evidence is guns in your home are far more likely to lead to the killing and wounding of innocents than anything else. We have criminals - always will. But we also have very capable police forces - always have. We are safe, we do not need to be ruled by fear. We need to get the guns out of our homes - they're simply killing us.

Richard T Rhoades, Mt. Jackson


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