Elderhaven Men’s Group on Gun and Violence

In today’s meeting of the men in the Elderhaven Adult Day Program, one of the had read a recent article from the University of Texas student newspaper about the possibility of the Texas Legislature passing a law which would make it legal for those with a concealed handgun permit to bring weapons on campus.

I asked the group why it might be useful to allow students or teachers or visitors to bring guns to school. A few answered that it might be useful if you were being robbed late at night or to shoot back at somebody who might have started one of those shooting sprees that we hear about every now and then. One of the men had been a farmer and been around guns all his life and said that, in his opinion, as it stands today, too many Americans already have easy access to guns.

I was a little surprised to hear that statement since I’m sure I’ve seen him wear a cap emblazoned with the National Rifle Association logo on it. He believes that only trained people in their right mind should be allowed to own guns but that, with our current system, it’s way too easy for any “nit-wit” to purchase a gun at one of those weekend gun shows and then use it later to shoot someone if they get drunk and get in an argument. I looked around and most of the men were nodding their heads in agreement.

I asked the remaining men what they thought about gun control laws and all of them said that we needed more controls, not less. Perhaps there might have been peer pressure to give the same answer, but I do believe the majority of the men did sincerely think that we need tighter gun control laws. If I had been asked before hearing these answers, I would have guessed that most of the men wanted less government laws and fewer controls on guns, not more. And I would have been wrong. Today was just another reminder that it’s not always correct to assume that seniors have a certain opinion on any particular issue. If in doubt, ask them!

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