Gun Control

August 22, 2000

August 22, 2000

I may sound a little different today, but I'm talking to you by telephone from a ranch in Colorado. There is a touch of fall in the air, crisp and clear. After 4 days of riding horses and shooting guns -- just a little target practice. All of this brings back childhood memories to me -- back to the day when I rode my pony (Spot) to school. Raced behind my dog (Butch) through the timer land as he rushed to tree a squirrel. With my sling shot or single shot 22 rifle, we might be lucky enough to bring home a squirrel for my grandfather to clean and my mother to make for dinner. Farm and ranch life is so foreign to the generations that have grown up in traffic congested cities. They are missing a lot. It is no wonder that they don't understand farmers and ranchers passionate support for property rights. Your land is your livelihood. It is yours and personal. Many kids from the country grow up learning how to use a gun. How to use it safely and respect it. It can be part of your way of life.

I don't have a big problem with the cry for gun registration. I don't think it will really help stop the senseless shootings that hit the news. I would suggest that percentage wise, the shootings we read about aren't being committed by country kids that learned early about how to use a gun. Doesn't matter what we do... the bad guys will always be able to get a gun. And that's what I resent: the foolish idea that weak gun control is our problem.

There are a lot of things about country living worth protecting. Our open space, our resentment of heavy government regulation, the right to hunt and ride, small towns and neighbors. Well, I'm going to go out for a ride this morning. There is still a lot of beautiful open country yet to enjoy.

I am John Block riding in Colorado.