Saturday, February 17, 2018


From today's letters and commentaries in the Star Tribune. First, two letters.

Have hunters had enough?

OK, hunters — I mean real hunters. Sportsmen. Not wannabe, gun-toting NRA members who are confused about the use of nonwartime firearms. Not uneducated people who don’t understand that the NRA’s start was for firearm safety. Or that the Second Amendment was to protect ourselves against government militia. Not about protecting those who want to kill their brothers and sisters. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to give up protecting the right of a 19-year-old deranged punk to procure an AR-15 assault rifle with abundant ammunition to kill more children.

I’m sick. Sick and tired of your belligerent NRA rhetoric to protect something a real hunter doesn’t need and doesn’t use. To you, the NRA, using my name and passing out the worst sporting magazine in America, American Hunter. Give it up. You want to ruin our heritage of outdoor sports? Stay stupid. Don’t give an inch to resolve a plague that kills children. You aren’t a hunter. You’re a dinosaur. The NRA is bringing us hunters down to protect deranged gun freaks.

Quit using my name as your shield. Save our rights to use firearms to hunt and shoot a round of trap.

David Larson, Plymouth, a volunteer firearm safety instructor, gun club member, deer camp huntsmaster and grandfather.
Other than Larson thinking the Second Amendment was about protecting against the government (rather than suppressing revolts by enslaved people), everything he says is right on.

The second letter is also from a hunter:
Most citizens are very upset about the mass shootings in our country. I am 76 and a lifelong Minnesota hunter. I use a semiautomatic deer rifle and semiautomatic shotgun. “Semiautomatic” means that it fires once every time the trigger is pulled. My deer rifle clip holds four cartridges and one in the chamber, for a total of five. The rifle does not hold more cartridges because the manufacturer (Remington) has determined that there is no practical need for more than that for most deer hunting. My shotgun also holds five shells, but Minnesota law for duck hunting requires that I put in a “plug” that allows only three shells in order to limit the killing of ducks. If I get caught hunting ducks without the plug, I get fined or worse.

My point is that if we limit the number of cartridges either for practical purposes in hunting or to protect ducks, surely we can limit the number of cartridges in a clip in semiautomatic weapons. I propose that we have a federal law prohibiting the private possession or sale of large-capacity clips. This is what mainly distinguishes an “assault weapon” from a semiautomatic hunting rifle. This law would not render a semiautomatic assault weapon useless to the owner. He merely would have to buy a smaller clip and destroy or turn in the larger clip, perhaps with a remuneration from the government. This would slightly impact some hobbyists and target shooters, but that seems a small price to pay to help protect our citizens from mass shootings. This obviously would not stop all killings, but it would require the shooter to reload, giving people more time to escape or overcome the shooter.

David Fulkerson, Chanhassen
Finally, I stopped to mourn over one particular fact given in a commentary by Twin Cities physician Chris Johnson:
there were fewer than 4,000 AR-15-type weapons registered in [all of Canada]. In 2013, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimated that there were between 5 million and 9 million such weapons in circulation in the U.S.
Even 4,000 of these weapons seems like more than necessary. Five to nine million... I just can't grasp that.

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