Regarding the Jan. 24 Nicholas Kristof column “Inconvenient gun facts for liberals”: The intangible factor in our gun debate is the culture of vigilantism that widespread gun ownership fosters.
Sloganeering about good guys with guns encourages gun-toting residents to step unwisely into conflicts. Yahoos openly carrying rifles while claiming to defend freedom instead create fear and anger.
The fact is too many ordinary gun owners are careless. One study found 600 accidental shooting deaths happened in 2010. The Centers for Disease Control found that from 2007 to 2011, an annual average of 62 children were accidentally shot and killed. Ohhshoot.blogspot.com posts a running account of shooting accidents from the amusing to the tragic.
Reasonable people on both sides can agree that gun ownership demands training, safety and responsibility. While the NRA endorses safety and training, its push for greater gun ownership outstrips its support of adequate training.
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Adequate training entails more than just learning how to fire a gun. It includes psychological preparation to understand the limits and consequences of using a weapon.
If guns are here to stay, then requiring that gun owners be adequately trained is merely protecting our right to live in safety and prohibiting the misuse of the Second Amendment.