"Young People Will Lead The Way"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, has launched a new gun control debate, led by survivors and their counterparts throughout the world.

I will join the multitude of voices with my opinion.

Recently, I read an opinion column in a weekly paper that put forth a suggestion to discourage future shootings in schools or churches. I’m not sure if this is a new idea or if it has been put forth in the past. A writer said there should be a military-style person, with a large gun and a large, guard dog posted at the entrances to all schools and churches.

How ridiculous, the man and dog would stand out and any shooter advancing would be able to avoid them. Like most ideas being talked about, this one fails to address the root problems or offer a solution in any way.

I have expressed my views in the past, as recent as last October when a mass shooting left 58 dead and 851 injured in Las Vegas. I received a good deal of criticism for my remarks in that column. One came from a mom and perhaps I deserved it. She expressed she would not give up her guns nor ask any family members to do so. She was right to express that belief. None of us should ask any members of our families to forfeit their “right to bear arms.”

When we spoke, I said I agreed with her because I knew she would not allow any of her youngsters to play with a firearm. I’m also certain she would not fail to notice if one of her family members were carrying a gun without cause. I do believe, however, one solution to gun control problems — especially among young offenders, sits at the head of the dinner table. Parents need to control the owning and carrying of firearms by their children.

Taking guns away will not solve the problems. Teaching responsibility may help. Many families in our area enjoy hunting with various guns — rifles, shotguns, etc. They often go on hunts together and in preparation will practice shooting to insure their guns accuracy.

If they get a new gun, they want to become familiar with it to gain skills to handle it. Families — male and females alike — participate and the females are often just as adept and successful in the hunts as the males.

So I suggest to mom and dad, if you have offspring old enough to own a firearm, be sure they know how to use it and how to safely store it.

If you come across a loaded weapon, and you are not certain who is responsible for it – find out. I cannot believe a parent could have a gun in their home and not know it is there. I cannot believe a parent would not know an offspring is carrying a gun for a purpose other than mentioned above. If you have reason to question the mental stability of a family member who may be displaying anger, it may be hard to face a decision to have them evaluated. Consider how hard it will be to face the alternative if they obtain a gun and act out their hostility upon others.

Step back and ask yourself how you would feel if your son or daughter were involved in a shooting.

As I see it, and have said so in the past, the second amendment was not intended to include military-style weapons. There were no such weapons in existence at the time of the authorship of the amendment in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. We all like to take the National Rifle Association (NRA) to task about the issue but how about our elected officials who are financially supported by them? Don’t they bear a burden to act?

I believe the public should be told how much each person seeking election receives in campaign financing from the NRA. If the amounts are hidden in some way, let’s find a way to expose them. When this information is made available and we enter the election booth, will it influence our decision about whom we elect?

It’s time to have everyone accept responsibility for what is going on in our country. The marches, demonstrations and outburst displayed by the next generation of leaders of our nation will not stop. When you see a sign on one of their backs that says, “Am I next?” you know they are literally fighting for their lives.

Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.