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During a newsroom discussion about guns about a decade ago, a woman piped up: “I don’t understand what the big deal is. I’m from Santa Rosa. We grew up with guns.”
In New Mexico and other rural states, we begin the discussion from different sides of the fence. In the country, a gun is a tool used to hunt and protect livestock against varmints. In the city, the varmints are two-legged.
Since the nightmarish shootings in Connecticut, the arguments and analyses fly back and forth like an old western shoot-out, which leads me to a few observations.
First, gun ownership is a personal decision. I lived for eight years in a tough neighborhood where people kept telling me I should have a gun.
I had a young son and chose not to. I did keep an ax handle next to the door and a tire iron on the nightstand, and never had occasion to use either. My son told me as an adult, “It’s a good thing you didn’t have a gun, because I would have found it.”
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