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    Posted June 11, 2014 by
    Buna, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Guns and children

    'I am adamantly against toy guns'


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Alan Martin said, "I believe the right to own guns is absolutely tied to the responsibility that owning a firearm brings. You have to keep them secure. You have to maintain them in proper working order. You have to abide by laws in place, and you have to make sure anyone having access to your guns is capable of handling them safely." Martin, a father and gun owner from Texas, doesn't allow his son to play with toy guns and would never allow him to visit a home in which guns were not secured at all times.

    "I am adamantly against toy guns. We taught my son, and those in our 'circle' that guns simply aren’t toys, and never ever ever point any gun at anything you do not intend to destroy. From an incredibly early age, our son was taught that touching a gun without dad’s permission was an incredibly bad thing, and if he were to see a gun without Dad being around … run," he explained.
    - taliaday, CNN iReport producer

    Grew up around guns, and my son was raised around them as well. My grandchildren will be taught to respect guns too.
    From an early age my son was taught, as I was, to safely shoot a gun, to never touch a gun without me being present, and to run as hard and fast as he could if he saw someone with a gun. The rule was always no guns, not ever, without dad.
    We were strict on this. Toy guns had to be treated as if they were real, or they were removed. Never point a gun, real or toy, loaded or not, at anything that wasn't intended to be destroyed.
    Further to that, we secure our guns carefully. All guns reside in a safe that is locked until ready for use. When not in use, they go in the safe. Guns retained for defense purposes are secured in other quick-access yet safe manners.
    We are a family that hunts, and we are a family that see's a firearm for its utility. We consider guns nothing more than tools, albeit tools that require extra care and respect for the damage that can potentially bring.
    I am not a member of the NRA, I own more than 40 different firearms, and count myself among the large population of legal, law-abiding folks who have never killed a person and never been involved in any other activity that would preclude me the freedom to exercise all rights afforded to me.
    I live in a rural environment. I think that gun laws must be regionalized to be effective. What works here might not work for inner-city New York, and so nationwide sweeping laws are never going to effect change. What would be effective is a nationwide debate that steers towards FACTS and away from stale rhetoric that is simple untrue.
    Politicians screaming for "background checks" show their level of incompetence since background checks are already mandatory for all transactions through a licensed dealer. Gun shows transactions are no exception. Only private transfers of gun ownership misses the background check. The process is costly, as well. Make it free, make it accessible to anyone selling a gun, and then prosecute those who go outside the lines.
    If you want to make a real dent in gun violence, prosecute those who allow their guns to exists in un-secure manners of storage. Parents who allow their kids unfettered access to guns and ammunition should be prosecuted. Parents are responsible for the actions of their kids, and that should include criminal actions.


    Current HIPPA laws prevent access to individual medical records. To keep mentally unstable folks from getting guns, America will have to give up a little privacy. Most folks aren't willing to go down that path. Currently the only way mental issues show up to stop a gun purchase is when a judge issues an order of commitment that shows up on a criminal record.


    The appearance of a gun has nothing to do with the operation of the gun. An AR looks mean, but it has no discerning function from that of a Browning BAR hunting rifle.....they do the exact same thing. Focus placed on "assault weapons" tends to win votes but change very little. Ammunition capacity seems to be a big topic, and is equally distracting from the real issue.


    Kids with guns is in and of itself a problem. Kids with guns are almost always found to be problem children, on various medications and with a long history of trouble. Parents of these kids must be required to take extra precautions if guns are kept in the home.


    Absent parents continue to be a problem nobody is willing to discuss in order to avoid hurting any feelings or losing any votes, but the reality is that it is a part of the problem. Kids from broken families are another common denominator since Columbine. A culture that offers to glorify violence in its entertainment products doesn't help, either. Our son wasn't ever allowed access to that sort of stuff....he grew up to serve two tours in Iraq, graduate from college, buy a home, and is doing quite well.


    Our cultural insistence to migrate further away from traditional family conditions has clearly been a part of the spawn of violence. A single mother relies on TV and an XBOX to help her raise her kids since the father removed himself from the scene....the kids learn unabated violence from daily exposure, and see no remorse on the part of fictional characters performing the acts....

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