"Let's Reduce Gun Carnage"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, August 22, 2014

The shot heard round the world was fired April 19, 1775, to begin the American Revolutionary War in Concord, Massachusetts. Many tales, songs, poems, rhymes and published accounts tell of the event. Historians debate when and where it occurred but most attribute it to the North Bridge in Concord.

Many other shots have said to be heard around the world since 1775, but none gained such significance. Some of us recall the phrase but few remember learning about the actual battle.

With the massive number of guns in the hands of careless and dangerous persons in today’s society, shots are heard around the world daily — probably even hourly. It is not my intent to challenge gun owners but news reports are proof of the above statement. Local broadcasts, without a description of a shooting event, are rare.

I own long guns and hand guns and would not stand for anyone dictating to me that I can’t own either type. I do take great care to see that my guns are not readily available; they are kept inaccessible to others. I believe everyone should have the right to own a firearm. I also believe they should be properly trained in its use and be responsible for its safekeeping.

As I see it, in today’s society, there is a demand for ownership of firearms but little or no qualifying in their use. Firearms should not be sold to any purchaser without a lock and they should be made less accessible to those untrained.

I’m not an NRA member mainly because one can only keep up with so many organizations. If you can’t keep up or participate in a group, why pay dues? The NRA is a major force in our country and highly supported. I wish they would apply some of their influence and financial might towards creating an initiative.

They could encourage the government to join them and really seek a type of gun control that will slow the death count in our schools, streets and businesses. Perhaps call for a law against having a loaded gun in a vehicle that is accessible to drivers or passengers. Why does a driver need a loaded gun at his side while trying to maneuver in heavy traffic? And, how many deaths are caused by road rage?

There could be a law enacted that would require that the theft of a firearm be immediately reported. Laws that are on the books are not enforced with enough consistency, nor are penalties great enough.

No matter the excuse, if parents allow a loaded gun to be visible and readily available in a home, car or Mom’s purse, they should be given extremely harsh penalties. Guns are an object of curiosity to youngsters and many are killed simply because a gun was at hand.

People, especially the elderly, that believe they need to carry a firearm for protection should have to attend classes taught in the proper use of them. These people should be required to spend time in an urban emergency room. Those who think they could shoot someone might quickly change their mind.

A person who does not believe they can shoot someone and carries a firearm is a danger to themselves and others. If they pull out a gun, it will likely be taken from them and perhaps turned on them or someone else.

Let’s all work toward a resolution of the carnage and find a way to reduce the shots heard “round the world.”

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