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Nevis, Minn., Tom R. Kovach, Published December 20 2012

Letter: Columns, letters in The Forum don’t suggest rational gun debate

The editors of The Forum call for a rational gun debate (editorial, Dec. 18). I couldn’t agree more. However, judging by the columns and the letters in the Dec. 18 Forum, I’d hardly call this a two-sided debate. After the horrific school killings of innocent children (and adults) by a young madman, emotions are running very high, and gun owners, and especially the NRA, make for easy whipping boys in the gun control “debate.”

I would hardly call the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center an unbiased participant in this debate. Some years ago, Sarah Brady said she would not be satisfied until all guns were eliminated in the country. Now let’s be realistic; it would be impossible for the government to confiscate all weapons in this country. You’d have a revolution on your hands.

I’ve been hunting and using guns for almost 60 years now. I have a lot of friends and family who are responsible gun owners and enjoy hunting and target shooting. Some belong to the NRA, some don’t. But it is unfair for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, to name a few far-left liberal newspapers, to single out the NRA anytime some madman goes on a killing rampage.

I agree on all sorts of background checks to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people. But in the real world, it would be impossible to keep guns out of the wrong hands, no matter how many restrictions we put on guns. That is the cold reality of the situation.

We should also try to curb the use of violent video games (especially by children), and back off on all of the violent movies coming out of Hollywood. Our nation should also spend much, much more time, energy and money to recognize mental health problems, especially in young people, and work to help curb violent tendencies.

It won’t be easy. There are no easy solutions to mental health or the gun issue. But I think – no, I know – that responsible gun owners are willing to listen to the other side. The question is: Are gun control opponents ready to listen to gun owners, including the NRA, which is an organization that strives for gun safety and the enjoyable aspects of gun ownership?