Guns have impacted my entire life since childhood.
My dad had guns, lots of them. There was a crude gun case in the entrance of our home and it was never locked. Often as a child I would open it and play with them including the World War II German guns my uncles brought back from Germany for my dad. There were pistols, shot guns, rifles and knives in this hand built case.
When my brother and I each turned ten getting a gun was a big deal. It meant you could go hunting with the men folks and kill rabbits, pheasants and deer. My brother Melvin love to go hunting with them with his two beagle dogs Betty and Benny. You could hear them howl on a fresh scent back in the house as they tracked down game.
When I received a 12 gauge shotgun on my birthday, I was simply horrified. There was no way I was going hunting and killing any animals. It became a huge issue between my father and I with numerous intense and angry confrontations. Finally I agreed to become a good shooter but not kill any animals. So guns became just a another source of great conflict between my father and I.
In my teens and twenties, guns killed my heroes. On November 22nd, 1963 I was completed devastated by the assassination of President Kennedy. That followed in 1968 with the assassinations of Senator Kennedy and Dr. King. Our hope was totally stripped from us by gun violence and more importantly the direction of the world was changed with it.
Over the years, Americans have endured one killing spree after another. Each time the perpetrator seeks targets out or increase the number of killed that will ensure their place in history. Now we have reached the stage of 20 innocent children in a small New England town being buried this week before Christmas. Without question this massacre has eaten into my heart more than most and surfaced a sheer determination to at least begin to make progress on the sane and sensible control of guns.
If not now, when will we stop the madness?