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Think Out Loud

The Reality of Guns

Pete Springer/OPB

For the last couple of days we’ve discussed issues with one main thing in common — guns. We were in Waldport on Friday talking about the Lincoln City police officer Steven Dodds who was shot and critically wounded during a traffic stop — and the continuing search for the suspect David Durham. Then on Monday we talked about the one year anniversary of the death of Aaron Campbell, who was shot and killed by Portland police.

These stories follow so many others. There was the mass shooting in Arizona early in January, when  six people were killed and 12 others, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, were injured. That’s led to this news today:

New York City sent undercover investigators to an Arizona gun show and found instances in which private sellers sold semiautomatic pistols even after buyers said they probably could not pass background checks, city officials said.

Then there’s this story from over the weekend, closer to home:

A middle-school aged boy who was accidentally shot by his friend Sunday remains hospitalized this morning, Oregon City police said.
The victim’s condition and exact age were unavailable this morning. Oregon City police Lt. Jim Band said the victim’s friend was playing with a 12-gauge shotgun that he thought was unloaded when it fired, critically wounding his friend.
The mother of the boy who fired the gun was in the home at the time but in another room. The boy, whose age was not available this morning, and his father had been duck hunting the day before, Band said. “The kid messed around with a gun he think is unloaded but it’s not,” Band said.

A 2005 Gallup poll found that about 40% of Americans have guns in their home. All of these stories, and so many more, have lead us to wonder: who owns guns, and why?

Do you own a gun? For what purpose? Where did you get it? If you have it for protection do you keep it at your bedside, or locked in a safe? Have you ever pulled it out? Have you ever fired it? If you have kids, what do you tell them about your gun?



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