"Oregon outdoor writer passes on to his next greatest trek" Bill Monroe writes in memory of Tom McAllister who inspired so many with a love of hunting and fishing and the NW outdoors.
Major retailer Dick's Sporting Goods announced this morning that they will no longer sell military-style, high capacity rifles. They will continue to sell rifles, shotguns and related equipment for hunting and target shooting. Importantly, they also sell a variety of gun safes, lock boxes and locks for safe storage of firearms. Thank you to Dick's for stepping forward!
There is solid reasoning behind this decision. These weapons and their high capacity, fast reload magazines are specifically designed for combat soldiers not sportsmen and women.
Here are two stories that I think are worth reading and thinking about together. We ought to be able to maintain responsible firearms ownership and enjoy the outdoors and also take the lead to support common sense measures to reduce gun violence.
In the first one a Florida Republican Congressman and combat vet explains why he supports a ban on the sale of military style weaponry to civilians. I vehemently disagree with his support for federal "concealed carry reciprocity" of handguns overriding state laws, but on the issue of a ban on the civilian versions of the weapon he carried in combat he deserves a big thank you for his courage and common sense.
In the second story, the Oregonian's Outdoor Sports columnist Bill Monroe writes about youth competition and training in the sport of clay target shooting and joins GOFRO's Paul Kemp with a message for safe storage of all firearms to help prevent suicides and other forms of gun violence.
The brave students, teachers and parents of Parkland High School in Florida are calling out for gun safety reform. Once again, another mass shooting and murder of innocents in a school compels all of us to look deep within ourselves and act to save lives - to save our children. This NY Times Editorial says it well -
Some have said any action on guns is a "slippery slope." But the essence of legislation is to set limits. To fear to act because of the "slippery slope" or because the proposed law is not perfect just means we do nothing.
The students, teachers and parents of Parkland are saying that is unacceptable. I agree.
This article in the Journal of the American Medical Association describes a number of examples of physicians working at the grassroots level to help reduce gun violence. One of the examples featured is the partnership between Dr. Lisa Reynolds and Paul Kemp of Gun Owners For Responsible Ownership (GOFRO).
The Oregonian's Tim Nesbitt writes about the value of extreme risk protection orders. GOFRO believes that Oregon's Extreme Risk Protection Order law creates a legal process that achieves a balance between the rights of gun owners and the rights of families to protect themselves and their loved ones from gun violence.
There is much to digest here but the last two sections are especially thought provoking: "Beyond Statistics" and "The Difference is Culture"
More in the news today:
And lest we forget why were are having this whole debate about common sense measures to reduce gun violence -
There is a lot to think about here in this article from an Oregon writer who, like many of us grew up in small-town Oregon hunting and "plinking" and learning about firearm safety, the value of the outdoor life and responsible ownership. Yes that was a long time ago and unfortunately many of the institutions and community leaders that emphasized responsible gun ownership are no longer present. But it is long past time for those of us who are gun owners but who abhor the the current epidemic of gun violence and guns at any price political lifestyle to speak up. It seems to me the essence of public health is solid research, testing different approaches, and focusing on those that can contribute to an effort to protect the public. Approaching this as a public health issue where we come together to try some sensible ways to deal with this problem offers a way forward.
The majority of Americans do not have a problem with gun ownership but do believe strongly that gun laws should be more strict. They strongly support specific measures including limiting "assault-style" firearms and high capacity magazines. The poll also shows there are a number of misconceptions around the scale and nature of gun violence. There is a good deal of information in this poll for all of us to ponder and it is well-worth reading in depth.