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NRA opinion

By Nathaniel Rioux

In recent events surrounding the tragic event at Sandy Hook Elementary school, the debate over gun advice has been renewed.  Hopefully, through the use of civil discourse and civil tactics, there may finally be a solution to this growing issue of mass murders in public settings.  While there are many voices that have been on the forefront of this debate, all equally creditable and all equally welcomed, there is one particular voice that, although welcomed, I as a sportsman disagree with. That voice comes in the form of the speech given by the National Rifleman’s Association two weeks after the shootings in Connecticut. While I respect the association and its system, I don’t feel they totally understand the views of all gun owners and not just the few that they portray.

In watching the speech, I couldn’t help but express distaste in how they presented their solution to this issue of gun ownership.  I was grateful that they waited a couple of weeks to present their official statement to much scrutiny of the public, but in that amount of time they should have presented a better argument. Their argument was to have armed guards in every school, which does hold some creditability, but it was their idea that they were going to form a training program to be used and funded by the government to arm these guards in our schools, thus making them win financially in the long run.

While that may sound like a random rant, there is a reason why this causes distaste. What about the other percent of gun owners who use guns for sport such as hunters and competitive shooters? Why is it that when the issue of gun ownership comes up, the NRA is so quick to ask for more guns, blame the media, and alienate every gun owner to their group even if they don’t believe in the ideology of the NRA?

What I am trying to say is that guns are owned by different people for various different purposes. I myself used to hunt with my father back in Maine when I was sixteen. In my hands, a rifle was a method of population control of wildlife which when used respectfully is shown to better the ecosystem as a whole. When we were done hunting, our rifles would be locked away in a cabinet safely as they should be.

When I came down here, there was a lot of support for guns and while I do agree that the right to own guns is up to the individual, I personally don’t see the need for gun owners to have assault weapons. These weapons are designed to inflict massive damage and there really is no need for them in a civil society.  Plus, I think that our government needs to be stricter with background checks on who can own a gun and who cannot. I think that’s an agreement that all gun owners can agree upon.

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