Gun Control and Farm Boys

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The Nankipooh Enquirer
By: Scoop Biggers

I grew up out in the country on my grandparent’s old farm.  In those days folks in the country always had loaded guns in the house, cause there was always the need to shoot a varmint or a snake,and it was good to have something handy for self defense in case of need.  Most people had shotguns or rifles, but we never gave it a second thought about having a loaded weapon in the house.  My grandfather keep his 12 gage Winchester automatic loaded with five shells, leaned up in the corner against the wall next to his bed.

I got my first shotgun when I was fifteen years old, but I had cousins who got their first shotgun at twelve or thirteen years old.  Just about everybody hunted either dove or quail, or rabbits and squirrels.  When I got my old 16 gage Mossberg, I asked Grandpa if I could keep it loaded next to my bed, like he did.  He said that would not be necessary, since one loaded gun was enough, and everybody in the house knew where it was and how to use it.  I had fired my first shotgun when I was five years old, and when the recoil knocked me to the ground, I got my first lesson in gun control and safety.  By the time I was fifteen, I had ten years of gun training and experience under my belt.

Now to a farmer, a shotgun is just another tool like an axe or a hoe.  We preferred to use a long handled hoe to kill snakes around the hen house, but the shotgun was more useful for foxes or raccoons trying to steal your eggs.  I was taught to use it like any other tool on the farm, and when we hunted, it was for food, even though I did enjoy the sport of the hunt.

When I was in high school, and the school bully was out to beat me up , it never occurred to me to get my shotgun, I just did my best to avoid him, and finally the threat passed away.  The fact is I was taught to respect both the power of a gun, and its danger, but I was also instilled with a respect for the value of a life.  Even when hunting there should be respect for killing an animal or a bird whose life is given to us for food.

The debate we are having in our country over guns and violence, should be focused on how to teach our young the value of life and respect for anything which has the power to take life, rather than passing laws which tell us which tools we can use in the leading of our lives.  There is no more reason to ban guns, than there is to ban long handled hoes, and we already have enough laws to punish those who take lives.

“Just my opinion”
Scoop Biggers
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