Re: “America should look within to change gun culture” (TNT, 12-27).
I would like to offer my experience as an example of why there is a wide difference in attitudes toward firearms in our country.
When I was 3 years old, my parents moved from New York to my grandfather’s 78-acre farm in New England. My father took with him a rifle given to him by his uncle. It was a Winchester model 90. My father showed me how to use it and clean it by the time I was 8 years old. I shot rabbits, squirrels, woodchuck and fenceposts. I just loved that rifle.
My father decided to move back to New York in 1948 when I was 13 years old. I had no use for the rifle there but would point the empty gun at objects out our rear window. We got a phone call from someone across the way asking us not to point the gun at them.
As I got older I could see that guns in the city were only used to shoot people. Mafia hits, gang fights and robberies were where guns were used. City dwellers see guns as a source of tragedy while country folk find guns useful. It will take a long time to change that.
Wikipedia lists the rate of firearms deaths of 75 countries. The United States ranks 10th. We need to do better.