Where do we go on guns? – Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Growing up in small-town New Hampshire, guns were just another part of life.

When I was nine or ten, I saved up and bought a BB gun with my brother to shoot tin cans out back. Although it lacked much kick, it was more exciting than my homemade crossbow. Then there were my uncle’s rifles at the family farm and his old editions of “American Rifleman” from the NRA – any boy’s dream. I had school friends with shotguns for the nearby sandpit and tried my hand at pistols at the shooting range. 

Guns in good hands were never threatening but fun. 

Then came Columbine. Like the shooters and their victims, I was in high school at the time – a rural public school with plenty of pickup trucks and gun racks in the parking lot. For the first time, I had to stop and think about what it meant when guns got into the wrong hands. If angry, unstable people in a leafy Denver suburb could get hold of semi-automatic weapons designed for hunting human beings and shoot up a school, was anybody safe? 

Banning guns wasn’t the issue for me, but I wondered why we didn’t try a little harder to limit certain guns for certain people through background checks and training.

Columbine was the first mass shooting I can remember but it certainly wasn’t the last. In the 18 years since that painful day, I’ve felt the familiar knot in my stomach far too many times as TVs lit up with gruesome scenes of yet another killing spree in schools, churches, night clubs, and the like. Each time, I’ve held my loved ones close and asked the same question: why don’t we at least try to stem the bleeding by limiting certain guns for certain unstable people through universal

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