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home : opinions : columns   May 24, 2016

3/12/2013 10:07:00 AM
Column: Our right to bear arms

Kevin Caufield
NT Reporter

It easily was one the coolest experiences of my life up until that point. Yours truly at the age of eight was standing with my dad and Uncle Charlie alongside my Uncle Shorty’s trout ponds in the very tiny village of Turner which is buried in the woods of up north Michigan.
Several yards in front of us were a couple sawhorses with various items set carefully on top such as a tin can, a small empty box, and assorted what-not I cannot remember.
Nearby on a table was an assortment of firearms: a shotgun, 30-06 hunting rifle, and an assortment of revolvers and pistols with boxes of assorted ammunition.
As for me, I had my BB gun rifle and a bulging front jean pocket full of BBs.
It seems today many of our elected leaders, people who live in cities and those completely ignorant about firearms would be aghast at such a scene. To them, the very thought of owning a weapon or teaching a young boy firearm responsibility is far too dangerous and reckless and government must step in and protect us.
Maybe they think an erosion of the 2nd Amendment will make the general populous much easier to rule which has long been a key to happiness for progressive leaders. Or maybe people are unfortunately ignorant enough to believe gun control laws will somehow limit gun crime despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary (i.e. Chicago has very progressive-style gun bans and is one of the leaders in gun-related homicide).
What I would like to enter into the gun control debate are some recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Centers for Disease Control regarding gun-related deaths.
n Knives and cutting tools accounted for 1,825 deaths in 2009, 1,477 more than rifles.
n Clubs, hammers, and other blunt objects totaled 611 in 2009, 263 more than rifles.
n Hands, fists, and feet killed 801 in 2009, 453 more than rifles.
Obviously, we’re not going to ban knives, cutting tools, clubs, hammers, blunt objects, and require citizens constantly to wear padded gloves…I hope.
But I think the data shows gun-control proponents are simply ignorant and scared of what they do not understand — never mind the countless failures of gun-free zones and other similar nonsensical pieces of gun-control law.
And that is the fault of those of us who stand for the Bill of Rights. We need to reach out to those that have no experience with firearms and show them the joys of target shooting, hunting, and teach them that an armed and responsible populace has always been the cure for tyranny.
We that stand for the Bill of Rights also have another responsibility.
The scenario I described above wasn’t meant to illustrate that one of the coolest experiences of my first eight years of life was standing around all that weaponry. It was when my dad looked at me and asked if I wanted to try his.
Dad instructed me just as he did with the BB gun. Rule 1: never point the weapon at anything other than the ground unless you are ready to fire it. (And he sternly told me he didn’t care if I thought it was unloaded.)
The pistol was just a .22 revolver. But I can still remember the tingle in my little hands when I pulled the trigger, that immediate waft of freshly lit gunpowder, and my amazement at how badly I missed.
If we as a society truly want to limit gun-related deaths then we should support educational programs such as the city of Peru’s BB gun club, encourage anti-gun folks to step outside of their comfort zone and spend an afternoon at the gun range with a qualified instructor, and remember to teach our sons and daughters the common sense value that guns don’t kill people, stupid and evil people kill people.

Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Anonymous20977

Uh, excuse me, but many of the proposed rules/laws ARE about rifles and/or shotguns. For example, rules about magazine capacity, how many add-on accessories qualify as an "assault weapon", and so forth. Can't say that there is much talk specifically about handguns beyond concealed carry. This is a good article about being taught at a young age the proper safety rules about firearms and the enjoyment spent with family plinking away at targets. Perhaps if today's kids had some of that safe family involvement there would be less "loner" types making the news doing the wrong things with an otherwise safe item. Yes, safe. Guns can only do two things all by themselves with no outside help. That would be gather dust and rust. Never saw one fire just sitting there untouched. Teach the people, prosecute the criminals, and allow people to take care of themselves instead of depending on someone who could be miles away for protection.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: ronwood61

Is this columnist being paid by the NRA or is he writting from their script for free? I like his comparing various gun deaths to "rifles", which are the least popular gun to use for killing due to their size/length. There are over 30,000 gun deaths per year but this column would make you think there are few. None of the proposed firearm rules/laws have anything to do with rifles or shotguns but this column would make you think so. Mr. Caufield, have you ever noticed the words "well regulated" in the 2nd Amendment?

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