When issues of gun control arise, I always remember a young Seabee who served with me in Vietnam. He was a handsome, personable young man about 18 years old and determined to make the most of his experience.
He was killed in Vietnam, but not by the mortar rounds that went through our camp during the Tet Offensive, or the stray rounds when we replaced overstretched Marines on a perimeter. He died when someone outside his sea hut was playing with a pistol, and it went off. The .45 caliber bullet went through the wall and struck him while he was sleeping.
A conversation on a bus stays with me as well. A man was telling what he thought was a funny story. He sleeps with a pistol under his pillow and one night he was startled by a shadowy figure in the bedroom. He fired a shot, just missing his wife, and hitting a bottle of hand lotion splattering lotion all over the wall and around the bullet hole. He laughed about it and said he still kept his pistol under his pillow.
These are just my stories. We all know many, many other instances of tragic deaths and near injuries caused by irresponsible people.
There are people who should not have guns and local sheriffs know a lot of them. We need stronger gun control laws, not weaker ones. The burden of proof should be on the potential owners as to whether they will be responsible gun owners. Safety training and gun locks should be a requirement.
The “right to bear arms” in the Constitution refers to the need to have a militia, not the desire to be a cowboy. The general public has an over-riding right not to be killed by a stupid person.
Thu, March 15, 2012
by Karl Schilling