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Nationwide return to higher standards needed

Published: February 24, 2013

When something as terrible as a school shooting happens, many rush to prevent a similar occurrence. That's understandable. Sometimes emotions override productive actions such as gun legislation attempts. I'm not a member of the NRA. I haven't attended a gun show or competed in a shooting match. However, I used to hunt game birds. Therefore, I own a firearm and I've instructed archery and rifle range at Boy Scout camp. I agree that no one needs a so-called assault rifle, but I learned the only real difference between a 30-06 deer rifle and a Bushmaster .223 is cosmetic. They're both semi-automatic, requiring a trigger pull to fire each bullet, and the 30-06 is more powerful. The majority of murders and crimes are committed with hand guns.

Gun regulation has failed and will fail, short of collecting and melting down every gun in the world. Guns aren't the problem. It's the decline in character and morality. We kill thousands of babies every year. We lose our temper over some insignificant thing and feel justified to shoot someone. We train our children to enjoy killing with violent, gory movies and video games.

The solution is more complicated than gun control. A nationwide return to higher standards is what would slow the killing, stealing, white-collar crime, government corruption and having children out of wedlock. I can see the solution, but we can't legislate morality.

Ken Coates, Ponca City