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The Suburbanite
  • Frank Weaver Jr.: Up in arms over gun control?

  • I’M NOT SURE why everyone’s so up in arms over gun control. I’m not. My understanding of any proposed legislation is that it’s designed to control the sale of assault weapons, not game hunting or target guns. After all, for what other reason would you need a gun? If you’ll notice, I didn’t say “ban.” I said “control.”

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  • I’M NOT SURE why everyone’s so up in arms over gun control. I’m not. My understanding of any proposed legislation is that it’s designed to control the sale of assault weapons, not game hunting or target guns. After all, for what other reason would you need a gun? If you’ll notice, I didn’t say “ban.” I said “control.”
    Before you get all beside yourself and discombobulated, please hear me out so you don’t misunderstand. Even though this may be counter to the majority, I’m not against people owning guns. I believe the second amendment gives us that right.
    I don’t own a gun. Never have. Not that I’m against them. It’s just that I don’t have any use for them. My one brother owns guns and I have no problem with that. I have uncles and cousins who own them and they all seem to be folks who are even keeled. However, no one in the family has ever owned assault weapons or has ever threatened anyone with guns. I even have a sister and niece who served in the air force, and in doing so, I’m sure they’ve handled weapons.
    I’ve shot guns and I’ve enjoyed doing so. It’s self-satisfying knowing you can hit a small, paper, bullseye target from an established distance. It’s even more of a challenge with archery. However, I’ve never shot a weapon at any living creature simply because I’ve never had to. No living creature has ever attacked or even threatened me.
    As a young lad growing up on a farm with a family of 12, we were never exposed to guns of any kind. It wasn’t that we thought they’d intimidate us into becoming criminals. It’s just that hunting and killing animals wasn’t our bag. Some of my uncles were into it, but Dad never was. He was more into fishing than he was hunting, so that became the year-round, outdoor game sport we followed.
    That doesn’t mean we didn’t go hunting. For the record, I did. Often on a crisp, clear autumn Saturday or Sunday, I’d take our border collie on a hunting excursion throughout the fields, woods and along the fence rows of the farm. The dog would chase wildlife from brush and hedgerows and I’d aim and shoot. But since we rarely ate wildlife, I’d use a 35 ... millimeter camera, that is.
    I’d use the single telephoto lens on the camera much like hunters do with the scope on a gun. I’d aim carefully and then get a good shot. In doing it that way, the animal would still get to enjoy the rest of its life, I’d have a “trophy” photo of my hunting expedition to hang on my wall, there would be no food wasted and everyone would go away happy. I didn’t need to press a trigger to show the world how good a hunter I was. I merely pressed the shutter.
    Page 2 of 3 - I don’t ever recall any of the neighbors in that neck of the woods protesting my use of a camera to capture trophy wildlife. Most of them liked what I was doing. Maybe they felt it left more wildlife for them to hunt. On the other hand, perhaps they felt safer with me having a camera in my hands instead of a gun.
    Who knows?
    As a matter of fact, I don’t recall many of those farm neighbors owning guns. If they did, they kept them well hidden because I never saw them. Of course back in the 1950’s it seems to me that folks treated other folks respectfully and more with an air of courtesy and civility than they do today. Back then, there seemed to be little need for weapons of protection.
    One neighbor up the road had a 12-gauge shotgun he used for small-game hunting each fall, but that was the only time we ever saw it. For the rest of the year, he would empty all its ammunition and lock it away in a secured wooden gun box.
    Another neighbor from a mile away had a single- and double-barrel shotgun and a rifle he used for deer hunting. Since deer were sparse in that area at the time, I only ever saw the rifle once. Most of the time, he was sporting one of his shotguns in the fall when small-game season was in. But I never ever saw assault weapons.
    Because we were never that fond of wildlife’s “gamey tasting” meats, we rarely went hunting. Occasionally a neighbor would shoot more game than they could eat and, knowing we had a big family, they’d give any extras to Mom. She’d make delicious squirrel pot pie or some kind of rabbit dish. One time we were given a ring neck pheasant. We cleaned it and Mom stuck it in the oven with couple of a chickens. She served them together and we never knew which was which. Later Mom asked what we thought of the pheasant. We thought for a minute and then my brother responded, “Tastes just like chicken.”
    I’m not sure what, but something must be done before we lose more innocent children like we did at the Sandy Hook School. Just like our parents had an obligation to protect us, above all else we have a moral right and an obligation to protect the youth of this country. Isn’t that one of the ulterior reasons we go to war…to prevent enemy countries from taking over and controlling our children…to make sure they enjoy the same freedoms we have?
    Common sense is the big common denominator in this issue. Using it is paramount. I’ve rarely been one to immediately jump on a bandwagon. Usually I take a long, hard look and think more than twice about issues. And this is no different than others to which I’ve given much thought. But to say there’s no need to control the sale of assault weapons in this country is like saying there’s no need to control the public sale of missile launchers. After all, they’re considered to be assault weapons, too. But I’m not sure I’d want to live next door to a neighbor who owned one.
    Page 3 of 3 - Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com