One letter to Miss Manners from a boat owner explained that he had invited several friends to come for a day of boating and fishing. One of the guests got terribly ill with seasickness. The friends continued to enjoy their day while the ill guest threw up and finally slept.
Miss Manners, also known as Judith Martin, explained: "It is wrong to prolong one person's suffering for the sake of recreation...."
And that is the lesson I would like to apply to gun control.
Many hunters insist that their pleasure in shooting guns is more important than the massacre of thousands of people throughout the country each year. Not the world, our country, the United States.
When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, they included a right to bear arms, and people needed them to survive in many places on the frontier.
Today, most people who use guns use them for fun, because they enjoy shooting -- whether skeets or animals.
I know hunters will argue that they hunt for food. They fill their freezer with deer meat, but when most people add up the cost to buy firearms, ammunition, a hunting license, travel to the hunting grounds, perhaps camping supplies, the cost of a freezer to hold the meat, processing for the animals they shoot -- they could have purchased meat for the same price or less.
For most hunters, it's about the enjoyment of the experience. Does their enjoyment hunting trump the rights of all the people who have been killed with guns this year? Not according to Miss Manners who says, "It is wrong to prolong one person's suffering for the sake of recreation...."
|Here's my son at age 8 at an FBI shooting range. The Tommy gun, which|
is illegal for civilians to own, had not clip in it.
I'm not saying we need to get rid of all guns.
Some people need guns for protection. I have never been in a situation where I felt a gun would help make me safer, but perhaps we could compromise on the kinds of guns people have for safety.
We could safely ban semiautomatic weapons for all civilians. I'm no gun expert, but the way I understand it, semiautomatic weapons self load and the shooter can release a bullet as quickly as his finger pulls back and lets go -- no need to stop and cock a shotgun or pull back the hammer on a pistol. This is what allows mass shooters to kill so many people so quickly. A semiautomatic comes in handgun and rifle form.
If in your life you need to own a semiautomatic weapon, sell the weapon and rethink your life choices.
Of course, there are other good ideas to restrict the free-flow -- the overflow -- of guns that are killing thousands of people.
Each gun should be registered and licensed like a car. And people should have insurance on their guns, so if it's stolen, they report it to the police. If it's used to kill people, the gun owners' insurance is going to spike up high. Maybe people would begin putting their guns in safes, places they can't easily be used against innocent students at elementary schools or colleges.
It's time in this country that we put the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all the children, college students, moviegoers, and other innocents above the rights of those who have guns, simply because they enjoy shooting them.