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Linda White's op-ed column on guns in America.
Barack Obama justifies his gun-control proposals with hypocritical comments about 'keeping our children safe.'
Charles Dharapak/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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By LINDA WHITE
MY NEARLY 87-year-old mother told me a story the other day while I was driving her to a doctor's appointment. I'm not even sure what prompted it.
She and her sister, who is one year older, lived out in the country on the White River near Indianapolis with their parents when Mom was a girl. Mom reminded me of that fact and said, "One of our jobs when we were little was to make our parents' bed in the morning. And we had a rule--if we found a gun, we were not allowed to touch it." She looked at me across the car. "And you know, we did find one sometimes, and we'd go tell Momma."
"Why," I asked her, slightly shocked, "would there be
"Because," she said, "you never knew who was coming down the river."
We forget sometimes, or
Today, out where I live, it might take 30 minutes or more for a sheriff's deputy to respond to a call for help, so people understand they need to be prepared to defend themselves. The most violent thing I've ever done is pepper-spray a possum that was on our front porch (I think I missed), but I do understand folks wanting more firepower than that.
SOUND AND FURY
The terrible massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has provoked a firestorm of reaction, from hot-blooded, right-wing, don't-touch-my-guns Internet posts to outright demands for gun bans from the hand-wringing left. Despite all the sound and fury, there's been little real light shed on the issue.
Why do we own guns? Why do people shoot strangers? What can be done to prevent another Sandy Hook, another Aurora, another Columbine? What stimulates violence and what restrains it? Because guns by themselves don't commit massacres. It take a human hand, guided by a human mind, inspired by a human heart, to pull that trigger.