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Editorial: More gun power is not the way to fight 'chaos'

Dec. 12, 2017 at 11:50 p.m.

At least one local gun retailer tells us holiday sales are booming, a reality that would put the store in line with what national gun sellers saw during Black Friday.

We are just fine with that. Increased sales are positive for our economy, be they sales of guns, butter or anything in between. We're sure the recipient of a new hunting rifle or pistol will be happy for the gift this Christmas.

Having said that, the reason the retailer gave for the higher sales — what he understood from the buyers — is more than a little disquieting.

People explained they were buying guns because of the "chaos" in the world today. While guns might offer an individual temporary protection in an emergency, their ability to do so depends largely on the training of the person holding the gun.

If that person has no proper training — and despite regular classes being offered, many do not — a gun is more likely to add to the chaos than stop it.

Not only that, but the "chaos" being feared is mostly hyperbolic hot air being blown out by politicians hoping scaring voters will get them elected. No sort of gun or number of guns is going to make that go away.

These unscrupulous, would-be leaders know fear may not be the way to your heart, but it is sure the way to your vote.

While guns might make you feel more secure, in the long run they are not going to solve what ails our society or any of the problems around the world.

The number of responsible gun owners in the United States exceeds the bad actors by an exponential factor, but those data are of little use when someone starts firing at a school or church. The few bad people with guns can cause deadly violence without warning and without a way to prevent it.

If you want to feel more secure, invest your time in ways that help improve understanding and communication among peoples of all kinds. Hate, borne through suspicion and fear, is our chief foe.

Again, some politicians play a role in spreading hate but they are by no means the only ones. That is a virus not easily defeated, and one of the ways it is spread is by the barrel of a gun.

Increasing understanding in the world is not as simple as pulling a trigger, and our aim is sometimes far off, but that's because we lack the practice we need.

If you want to buy a gun for hunting, for temporary protection or just because you like guns, that's fine by us. If you're buying a gun to save the world from chaos, we suggest you save your money. That just won't work.



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