There is an instant reaction to gun law discussions: “You are not gonna take my guns away!” This is certainly not what is being proposed or even discussed in Augusta. There is discussion about making assault-style weapons unavailable. This is not taking our guns away. No one is talking about taking my 12-gauge away.

Let’s have an honest discussion and leave the gut-level emotional stuff out of it. Let’s not make up silly arguments that resonate emotionally but are not rational. A responsible, honest person has nothing to fear from stricter yellow flag laws, longer waiting periods or more thorough background checks. And certainly no one needs a military assault rifle to defend his home or family. They are designed to kill the maximum number of human beings in the shortest period of time. They are not a defensive weapon.

I get it. We are a nation of gun owners and I’d be lying if I said guns are not fun to shoot, but a .22, a shotgun or a 30-06 are as much fun as anyone needs. Ripping off hundreds of rounds from an assault rifle in a short period of time is a childish desire that I think we can satisfy in other ways.

Joe Bates

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