Letter: Privileges, rights and responsibilities

Privileges, rights and responsibilities

Editor of the Reformer:

Would you need a .30 caliber machine gun to hunt deer? A .50 caliber machine gun to hunt bear? How about using a mortar to stir up a herd of bison? All right, you're a dead eye and don't need these. The authorities used to require plugs in shotguns to limit the hunter to one in the chamber and three to follow; seems reasonable. If we needed more it was time to practice skeet shooting. Now, who needs an assault rifle? Exactly what are they hunting? Who needs an automatic weapon? What is their prey? Please explain this to me.

As to qualifications to own and use a weapon, is it different than a car? Is it different from a big truck? Is it different from practicing medicine? We have to supply all sorts of information, identification, and evidence of training and knowledge to own and/or drive a car or ... especially a big truck. To maintain "board status" in family medicine one must be retested every few years, the testing usually taking a full day (the initial testing did go for two days at one time). Why shouldn't gun owners and users have to submit data to prove who they are, validation of their knowledge in using weapons (like how far away from a neighbor's house you should be to fire your shotgun or rifle), and other tidbits that would help to keep the unworthy at bay. Why shouldn't they be tested and retested (every so many years) including a bit of psychological testing so when the paranoia scale hits the ceiling a bell rings?

Owning and using a gun is a privilege as much as a right, and it certainly is a heavy responsibility.

Blake D Prescott, Newfane, June 16


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