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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view nothwestgirl's profile
    Posted July 24, 2012 by
    Kamiah, Idaho
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun ownership in America

    For me firearms are tools for survival


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Owning a total of 12 guns ranging from pistols, shotguns and rifles, nothwestgirl says she owns them because she hunts and participates in sports shooting. However, she reveals that she was vehemently anti-gun before becoming an owner five years ago. " I was afraid of guns, but after spending time with responsible gun owners, I discovered that guns are not something that people must fear," she says. "I learned they are vital tools for survival and have a special culture attached to their use. I overcame my fear of guns and learned that they can be a gateway to a wonderful sportsman lifestyle. When used responsibly, they are fun!"

    As the conversation surrounding gun control gains more momentum, nothwestgirl says the national dialogue needs to be elevated in such a way as to promote understanding, dispel incorrect conclusions and facilitate unity among Americans on both sides of the debate.

    "As gun owners, we have a right to help non-gun owners appreciate the legitimate uses for guns in this country. Most importantly, I want gun owners to understand that they must be kind and sensitive to folks who don't have exposure to firearms," she says. "There is so much fear surrounding this issue and I think mutual understanding and respect can replace this fear if people try. Violence can be carried out with any number of tools available. Violence, not guns, is the issue here. As Americans, we need to start reflecting about the socioeconomic, psychological, cultural and political factors. Passing new laws will not solve the problem. Morality and correct behavior cannot be legislated."
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    I probably would never use an AR-15 to kill a deer, but I would use my .245 to feed myself and my family. I also need my .44 mag for protection -- from bears when I am in the woods to gather mushrooms or berries. I know that urbanized America has long forgotten the wild west mentality that shaped our nation's stance on the second amendment. In spite of the fact this the US has many developed metropolitan areas, I encourage folks to remember that there is still vast territory in the united states that isn't developed and is still very wild. For residents of such places, firearms are a way of life and a vital means to survival. An outright ban on all firearms in the U.S. would be catastrophic to many families living in rural America. Please bear this in mind when making generalizations about gun owners in this country.
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