R. Melendy: Gun violence in American society

I was born and raised in a small, rural Maine town of 3,000 people. I never had a gun until I was 13. It was a BB gun.

One day, I was in the backyard when I shot a local girl's horse in the rump as she rode the horse down the street. She was not hurt, but no one ever saw the gun again.

I spent two years in the U.S. Army and became familiar with the M-1 rifle. I became quite proficient, with an expert marksmanship medal.

Most families in the town of Wilton were like mine. Most folks did not own guns. They didn't carry guns, even in their cars except during deer hunting season.

Now some families have handguns, rifles and military assault-style guns. Thousand of citizens are being killed in this country every year.

The NRA deserves condemnation for its place in American culture.

I grew up in a peaceful society where guns were not a significant aspect of the culture. Now, it seems that a minority of the population (those with guns) wields considerable influence. Those people have wealth, power and influence.

I resist the notion that the culture of this society has changed in its values from 50 years ago.

I believe that most families are not part of the NRA "gun culture."

The ordinary citizens of this country must organize and collectively oppose the NRA to minimize its negative impact on U.S. culture.

We must protect the children.

Ronald Melendy, Auburn

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

“One day, I was in the

“One day, I was in the backyard when I shot a local girl's horse in the rump”
You were not a bright kid or you lacked parental guidance. May neighborhood boys owned BB guns we never shot at anyone or any domestic animal. The adult males in the neighborhood taught us gun safety.
“Now some families have handguns, rifles and military assault-style guns. Thousands of citizens are being killed in this country every year.”

You are making a faulty cause and effect relationship in this statement. The statistics are well known (perhaps no to you) that most of the annual gun deaths are due to handguns. Moreover, deaths due to “assault-style” weapons are a very small fraction.

“We must protect the children.”

I expected to see this early in your prose. If you really want to protect the children, you would understand that there is much more low hanging fruit. For example, more kids die in automobile accidents than from guns. This is true even though the Center for Disease Control considers a child 19 or younger when compiling gun statistics. The takeaway is that the CDC statistics include a great deal of gang related shootings.

While your emotion is not uncommon but emotion does not make good policies.

RONALD RIML's picture




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