Everything that means anything is local. Many people think national news is what makes all of our futures. This is wrong. Where we live defines how we live. What our neighbors believe and what our children are being taught defines what we are and what we will become. In other words, what kind of a world do we want our children and grandchildren to live in.?
Anytime anyone discusses the concepts of gun ownership, laws, and definition there are many people who immediately label you as being a left-wing radical socialist. I wrote an essay the other day at which time a right leaning web site published it. Many of my friends asked me why I do this? Why would anyone express their ideas to people who agree with them? Many people were against the article but at least determined I had the right to write it. A couple of people not only didn’t like the work but called me things I had no idea as to what they were. I even wrote back for a definition of some animal that wore a towel. I never heard a response.
To be clear, I am not a gun owner. I never owned a gun but I did fire one a few decades ago. It took me a couple of days to regain my hearing but the experience was a good one because I now have a concept of what a gun is. As a teacher I’ve dealt with firearms especially in my early years. I remember a time when students used to bring their hunting rifles into the school office before school started so they could resume their hunting after school was over. It was not surprising to see dozens of rifles in the corner of the principal’s office with boxes of ammunition stacked on top of the school’s safe. Hell, the rounds never made it into the safe. I doubt if this would be allowed today.
I’m saddened to state we are in a different world. Back in my earlier days I never saw anything that resembled a semi-automatic weapon. They were considered something our military would carry in a place most of us hoped our children would never see. These weapons are made to kill people. The rifles I remember were made for sport and hunting. Many of my students hunted to help their families survive.
These multiple mass shootings and political warfare over the second amendment has changed all this. Personally I respect the second amendment with its right to bear arms. The second amendment has nothing to do with guns that can be used to kill each other and the children of all of us. I don’t get it.
So, today I contacted The Kittery Trading Post and Cabela’s Sporting Good Store. Dick’s Sporting Goods Store, Wal-Mart, LL Bean, and many others have made policy changes to stop this madness. These stores did not attempt to eliminate the second amendment; in fact they are all selling rifles and handguns that can be used at a shooting range or to hunt. They did change the age from 18-21 and did eliminate the sale of these weapons of mass destruction with their ammunition.
There are also other solutions to the violent attacks on our nation. People are discussing more perfected background checks, more emphasis on not allowing mentally problem people to have a gun, and the idea of having teachers carrying firearms into their classroom. As I stated, I am a retired teacher and clearly understand I would never carry any weapon into my classroom because the definition of a classroom is a safe place of learning. Guns just don’t fit.
Finally there is the NRA. Many of my friends and family are members of the NRA. They argue this organization protects the gun owners from having their guns taken away. I disagree with this concept. The basic and only tactic of the NRA is to protect the gun manufacturers.
Everything that means anything is local. I’ve written to the major gun-sale stores in our area. Sometimes companies believe it is best to ignore these types of questions in order to have them fade away. Students from Florida remind me of the thousands of students I’ve had in my career. These students will not go away.
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine
You can contact Jim at: email@example.com