Letters to the Editor for the February 11, 2012 weekly print issue: I'd rather have a gun and never need to use it than desperately need to use one and not have it. Findley says that he is giving up his guns, but will continue to hunt using other weapons. Is he not just continuing the barbarity?
Orlando, Fla. and Mill Creek, Wash.
Regarding Samuel J. Findley's Jan. 28 commentary, "Why I'm giving up my guns": I find Mr. Findley's logic flawed when he says he will give up his guns to "make my household a place into which anyone may walk, without fear of being killed...." The fact that his household a gun may be what makes his home a place of safety for others.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who will think to themselves, "Hey, this guy doesn't have a gun! He can't and won't stop us!" Not everyone is as ethical, logical, and thoughtful as Findley is. If they were, we wouldn't have or need police, laws, the Transportation Security Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or even locks on our doors.
In fact, Findley is exactly the kind of person who own a gun safely. He is not interested in playing Rambo and understands what a firearm can do as well as the responsibility that comes with owning one. One can own a firearm without having to shoot anyone. In most situations, you don't even need to fire; don't underestimate the deterrent effect of simply pointing a shotgun at someone.
Chances are neither of us will ever be in a situation in which we might have to use our guns for self-defense, but personally, I'd rather have a firearm and never need to use it than desperately need to use one and not have it available.
How agonizing it must have been for Findley to decide to give up his guns. His love of hunting, born in his youth from his father and family, will always be a cherished part of his memory. But as he explains his decision: "Recent events, especially the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., have caused me to realize that as a gun owner, I am unwittingly abetting the narrative of American violence."
Findley says that though he is giving up his guns, he will continue to hunt using other weapons. But is he not just continuing the barbarity – the desire to kill – with his new non-gun weapons? How does he justify this? Are not the beauty and the peace of the woods reason enough for an outing? The geese and the pheasants and the rabbits can be appreciated without having to kill them.