Rural Wrap

"Sport" the very least of a firearm's value

By Dan Steninger

ecent events shine the spotlight on those clamoring for gun control; and the added light shows the futility and counter productivity of their efforts.

We became a nation of free people because the common citizen, when the time came, was able to raise his privately held firearm and kill the people who were attempting to prevent him from breaking away from a foreign monarch, a power that considered Americans not free people, but his personal property.

In recognition of the importance of those private weapons in the founding of our nation, the right of Americans to arm themselves when necessary was enshrined in the Bill of Rights. In addition to keeping us free over the centuries, from would-be tyrants both foreign and domestic, that right has, on more than a few occasions allowed a citizen to protect his life and the lives of his family from criminals.

Yet there are people who see firearms used by criminals and then conclude the solution is to take away that all-important right, on the illogical theory that a mechanical device turned a good man bad and caused him to shoot a fellow human being. That obvious nonsense is seen as the truth by a large portion of our population.

And that includes lawmakers and judges, unfortunately. They have seen fit to violate their oath to uphold our right to arms, chipping away at that right until we have reached our current state, where the president of the United States tells us that since certain guns have no "sporting purpose," we shall not be allowed to obtain those guns.

Guns that the banners consider to have no "sporting purpose" include—don’t try to make any sense of the list—automatic weapons, semiautomatic weapons with large-capacity magazines, semiautomatic weapons with certain features such as bayonet mounts and folding stocks, and, always, handguns.

Sporting purpose? That’s a funny way to describe the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers did not write that sentence in order for Americans to be forever free to shoot at wild turkeys. They wrote it to ensure our survival. A man with President Clinton’s well-documented mental unbalances may consider survival a sport, but we don’t.

Neither did the people who wrote and approved the Second Amendment. Those people explained that private firearms are "necessary to the security of a free state," not necessary for the citizens to engage in good, clean sport.

And neither did 15-year-old Nicholas Curtice-Templeton. Templeton used a firearm last month to save the life of his mother, who was being beaten by an intruder in her home in Spring Creek, just south of Elko. The sheriff added the odds are Templeton also saved his own life and that of a 3-year-old sibling. Templeton killed the attacker with two shots, but not before the man had broken the cheek and nose of Templeton’s mother. The gun was a .22-caliber, semiautomatic pistol—a gun, we are told, that has no legitimate purpose and should not have been in private hands.

And just what is a "legitimate" gun? Well, most of the gun haters restrict the list to those well suited for hunting game, such as shotguns—the single most effective weapon for the killing of a human being at close range—and the guns we refer to as deer rifles which, we note, was the weapon used to kill those school kids in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

In Las Vegas, less than a week after the Spring Creek incident, another intruder broke into another home and attacked a mother. As was the case in Spring Creek, one of the mother’s children attempted to pull the attacker off the mother, but failed. Unlike the situation in Spring Creek, the child did not have access to a firearm. And unlike the local incident, that mother now is dead; her child, as this is being written, is in the hospital, recovering, we hope, from two knife wounds. u

Dan Steninger is the Editorial Page Editor for the Elko Daily Free Press.


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