Support rising tide of tolerance
There is an uplifting tide of tolerance continuing to come ashore in our country. In my lifetime, African-American men were murdered for trying to flirt with a white woman or for threatening a white man. Buses, theaters, water fountains – everything was segregated. Our armed forces were first integrated after World War II. Little Rock Central High was integrated in 1957 by nine black kids protected by 101st Airborne with fixed bayonets. Fifty-one years later an African-American was elected president, and four years later re-elected.
Homosexuals were mostly referred to by a derisive epithet. Many were murdered or driven to suicide by all the hate. Our armed services no longer restrict gays serving openly. The Boy Scouts of America is “looking” at a change in its ban of gays. Some states have made gay marriage legal, acknowledging the love that has long been ignored.
In 1920 women were given the right to vote. In 1972 Congress passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for women. Not enough states ratified it, though, and it died. Significant progress has been made without it, especially in employment, education and health care. Now women can serve in our armed forces in any capacity when they qualify by the same standards set for men.
Let us continue to support this rising tide of tolerance.
The New York Times article “Firearms industry spending heavily to woo next generation” (Jan. 27 Eagle) tried to compare the gun industry to the tobacco industry in marketing to kids. I loved the last line of the article, in which a university psychiatrist said that “there are a lot of ways to teach responsibility to a kid. You don’t need a gun to do it.”
I guess that is technically true. But rifle and shotgun clubs and teams used to be a very common part of high school athletics in the 1950s. With the decline of those activities in schools, there has been an increase of that activity outside the school (unless it involves a school).
Fifty years ago, schools supplied guns to students for practice and competition. Today you can’t even take an imaginary gun to school. Fifty years ago, there was only the rare accidental shooting or a disgruntled person shooting one or two people. Today we have massacres.
The article “N.H. Police group raffles guns for kids program” (Jan. 27 Eagle) also had a very negative slant toward guns and had factually incorrect information about “assault rifles.”
The fact that The Eagle published this yellow journalism from the liberal rag New York Times shows me that The Eagle is not interested in informing Wichitans and Kansas but is more interested in pushing the liberal agenda.
Learn gun safety
With all this gun frenzy happening now and with so many individuals wanting to purchase a gun – perhaps for the first time and with little or no knowledge of how to use it properly – I have a suggestion.
On top of the mandatory background check, I think that anyone who has never had a pistol or rifle or even a shotgun before, or those like me who have not shot one in a long time, should be required to take a firearms-safety class offered at many gun shops or at a qualified gun range with a National Rifle Association or police-certified instructor. I would not want people to shoot themselves while cleaning their gun.
At the successful completion of the class, and if the instructor deems the individual suitable enough to own the weapon, he can then purchase the gun of the style and caliber that he requires. Make citizens show that they are knowledgeable enough to own a gun.
I do not want to prevent qualified individuals from owning a handgun, just make sure that they know what it means to own one.