My grandpa taught me how to shoot when I was in elementary school—I was maybe around seven when I first fired a gun. The first time I hit a target right in the bull’s eye my grandpa called me “Little Annie Oakley,” and I was so happy to think that I had made him proud. My brother used to go hunting with him—in fact, so did my grandma and many other members of my family. None of us hunt anymore now that my grandpa has passed away.
I grew up around people who emphasized firearms safety, who taught me well and who were responsible about keeping the guns locked up. I found target practice interesting as a test of skill, but I never wanted to join them for hunting. But I ate the deer and the ducks they shot willingly enough, and I still believe that hunting for meat is no worse than buying it at the store, assuming you eat meat at all.
And now...all of that feels so far away to me. In my childhood, there seemed to be something of value in the lifestyle my grandparents lived: learning to use tools safely and with skill, hunting one’s own food, getting to understand the ecosystem they were living in—but fetishizing the weapons that make that all possible has consequences that could never be justified by that supposed value. Why, again, does anyone not actively in law enforcement have guns at all? Nothing they give us could ever be worth it. What freedom does a gun give anyone? What value do they bring to society, that could ever even pretend to outweigh all of the lives lost?
On a more practical note, I would be interested to your opinions and insights about specific gun control measures that you think would be the most effective or the most likely to actually pass, since I doubt getting rid of them all will ever happen. Thoughts?