Letter: Can’t rationalize universal access



I grew up in remote areas of Alaska, before it became a state. My family, and our neighbors, had guns as a matter of course. Our meat was moose or caribou, and we shared fishing streams with bears. I don’t remember any murders or shootings. The National Rifle Association would say that was because we were all armed, I suppose. Maybe. But our long guns were bolt- or lever-action; the fewer bullets you used, the less meat you spoiled. Our handguns were revolvers; safer, dependable in extreme cold and, we thought, more accurate.

The NRA supports ownership of military-type assault rifles that can spray dozens of bullets, and/or semiautomatic pistols with clips that hold 40 cartridges or more. These weapons are for killing people.

Obviously, I believe we’re entitled to firearms for hunting. In a pinch, I suppose I could protect myself against home intruders with those same firearms. And I might reluctantly be able to rationalize gun clubs where military weapons would be kept for target-shooting on the premises. But I am completely fed up with the sickening results of today’s universal access to military weapons. A total prohibition on them would suit me fine.

I don’t believe limits on gun ownership are un-American; I think their absence is irrational.

George Cheek