Thursday January 24, 2013

In his weekly column last Sunday "Woods and Waters," the Eagle’s Gene Chague declared that he had foregone writing about the gun control debate because he was still grieving over the Sandy Hook murders. Now, however, he felt he could weigh in, his grief apparently assuaged.

It appears he is concerned about his semi-automatic duck-hunting and deer/rabbit hunting guns. He advocates supporting the NRA to defend his rights "to enjoy one of my favorite sports." Further, he complains about the fee that hunters are paying in Massachusetts -- $100 every six years, or $16 per year.

In Newtown, 20 children and six adults were slaughtered in a space of a few minutes with a military-assault rifle. This is not about duck hunting.

The problem of gun violence in America may be the biggest social problem we’ve had to face in our lifetimes. Responsible gun owners, hunters, marksmen, and hobbyists should step up and take the lead in banning assault rifles, instead of hunkering down in a big sulk. And while they’re at it, they could work to ensure that they keep their duck-hunting rifles. I’d call that a good trade-off.

Meanwhile, the stain of the murder of those little innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School will remain on our collective conscience until we all come together to create a greater good by reducing gun violence.

LINDA MORSE

Richmond