Weather Forecast


Consider fear during gun discussions

In the weeks following the Newtown, Conn., shootings, there has been a lot of talk about firearms - more specifically, what purposes they serve in society.

I'll admit, I'm not a gun enthusiast. Like many other outdoorsmen in our area, I enjoy pheasant hunting with friends and family. But similar to a select crowd of U.S. citizens at this time, the sight of certain guns still makes me nervous.

I grew up in a small North Dakota town, so I'm used to seeing deer rifles perched inside pick-up trucks. And I understand why some folks like to have a rifle nearby for when skunks and other pesky animals venture into the front yard.

But, my understanding is that these guns have a necessary use. Sure I've lived in the Midwest all my life, but I can't seem to see why weapons of a higher caliber would be needed today.

I know people who collect guns, so I suppose it is understandable that they would seek certain firearms that are not as common. But other than that, what do you need an assault rifle for?

Perhaps I should visit the other end of the spectrum for a moment.

Following recent violent events, such as the Connecticut shootings, I can understand why some people would want to take precautions for the safety of themselves and their loved ones. It can be a frightening world, and it makes sense that some people want to have a particular weapon nearby.

Then again, I'm sure there are many out there who want these guns for a different purpose. I mentioned gun collecting, and I imagine some just enjoy the sport of target shooting.

But the undeniable fact is guns scare people.

Just because someone considers themselves to be knowledgeable about certain guns in question today doesn't mean they shouldn't consider the reasons for worry among their peers and the U.S. Government. Plus, I'm sure this is a very sensitive issue right now for those who lost loved ones in the Connecticut shootings and similar violent acts.

When it comes to firearm availability versus sensitivity toward victims, which side does one choose?

A friend once told me he was driving on Highway 10 and spotted a man with a military-style gun shooting in a field near the road. I imagine that would make me nervous, too.

Most people, like gun enthusiasts, might not appreciate having certain freedoms taken away from them. I understand that. But what about considering the greater good?

I also understand that guns aren't the only danger in this world. Today's society is faced with other fears, such as violent videogames and terrorism. But is being able to own a high-power weapon worth the fear it will instill in others?