As many of you know, my family is in the media business. We own newspapers and tv stations in PA, NJ, AL and FL. It’s a great business and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it. I learned from childhood that keeping your political beliefs private was a responsibility for the media (I know, an antiquated notion).
No more, not for me, not on the issue of guns.
While I am not (nor will I ever be) a gun owner I was around hunters and guns a fair amount growing up. I took a hunters safety course and have always enjoyed trap shooting- I believe that responsible gun ownership is normal and I think it is imperative that kids be taught how to handle guns- it demystifies them and they need to know how to handle them in case they are ever in a situation where they are present.
That is a far cry from where our country is today. The tragedy in Netwown is unspeakable and I’m feeling it deeply. It has brought my emotions in alignment with my beliefs about guns and now I’m going to do something I’ve never been comfortable doing before: openly support a political agenda.
Here’s a variety of things that I’ll be supporting:
1. Ammunition bans/restrictions. Let’s face it- there are 300 million guns in the US. The only wat to effectively impact shootings is the impact the amount of ammunition produced and sold. 10 round magazine maximums and bans on ammunition for assault weapons.
2. Ban on Assault weapons. Obvious and necessary.
3. Mandatory gun safety training for prospective gun owners. We need to cut down on the accidental tests as well. We get tested for driver’s licenses.
I think the best way to get this done is to apply pressure on anyone in the gun business: manufacturers, retailers, hunting lodges, etc. Who will be the first one to support meaningful reform?
More to come. As always, smithc at gmail to contact me.