I have a few comments about the March Editor’s Notebook section.
I really liked almost all of this section of the March journal. I especially enjoyed the suggestion of gun businesses donating a small portion of sales to help train volunteer school employees. I almost always take advantage of the NRA Round Up feature in the checkout of retailers such as Midway USA and Brownells. Maybe a similar program could work for this, too.
However, I was a little surprised by the logic used concerning young adults. When I read the comparison of the 19 year olds of today vs. yesteryear, I braced myself for a story about walking to school barefoot through a foot of snow uphill in both directions. I am no longer 19, but being 30 often sees me lumped in with millennials. This is a group that is often accused of doing everything wrong and will likely doom the human race. I become much less engaged in a conversation when I hear arguments of this nature. This is much the same way we as gun owners react when accused of not caring about kids or being racist.
I believe that there is nothing new under the sun. All generations consist of an overwhelming majority of good people and a few bad apples. All generations also seem to contain a fair number of people that complain about succeeding generations and new technologies (a fun example of this is illustrated by web comic XKCD at https://xkcd.com/1227/ The Pace of Modern Life). When I was 19, I remember hearing many adults and news programs lament the many terrible and stupid things kids were doing at the time. My perception then was that only a very small minority of kids fit these descriptions. Unfortunately, the few stupid people tend to grab our attention more often than the good majority especially with our sensationalist news media. Restricting the rights of everyone in a certain group based on the bad actions of a few is a notion gun owners often fight against. We should not be proposing it ourselves.
Having said that, I believe the age limit discussion is one worth having. I also initially reacted favorably to the suggestion of raising the gun buying age to 21. After further thought, I realized that reaction was most likely because it would not affect me at all and would be a small price to pay for avoiding further regulations. Throwing young shooters under the bus in this fashion reminds me of how in To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth Jeff Cooper urged all groups of shooters to stand up for each other unless we want to be picked off one by one.
Ultimately, my personal view is that we should recognize a person as fully adult at one age, whatever that may be. When I was in college, the drinking age had been raised to 21, yet those students who were inclined to abuse alcohol did so before and after turning 21. Many more students consumed alcohol responsibly regardless of their age. Additionally, a surprising number of students actually waited until they were of age before partaking responsibly. And this was in Wisconsin, where beer is a major food group along with cheese and brats.
I hope my response has not been too much of a rant. I appreciate you expressing your honest opinion so that we can have good conversations as a network. I really enjoy the journal and am grateful for all you do for Network members and gun enthusiasts in general.
DJ in Wisconsin
To the Editor,
I just happened to check some of the archived editions and read the Feb. 2013, article Why America Needs Assault Rifles, by Marty Hayes. I’m an experienced gun person, grew up with guns, and own several now and shoot often. My position was, “I don’t need an assault rifle, but the Second Amendment says I can have one if I want one.” After reading Marty’s thoughts and opinion on the “need,” I realized my thinking was short sighted and didn’t fully understand the meaning of the amendment.
And I’m thinking how many others have joined the Network since his article was published and didn’t get to view it, and could benefit by having their thinking about the true meaning and impact of the article, crystalized and focused, like mine has been. I think every reader would gain by reading it.
EB in North Carolina
Thank you for your comments, sir! Members, you can read the article at https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/why-american-citizens-need-assault-rifles.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.