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April 29, 2013

CUMMINS: Two ways to protect yourself


How can we be protected from violence? One theory is that you fight fire with rapid fire. Since the Second Amendment permits you to protect yourself, buy an assault weapon and a dozen clips. Another theory is that we try to get some control over who can and cannot legally carry heat.  

Somebody please explain what common sense is. After Newtown and 20 children and six adults were massacred with an assault weapon, the president said they deserved a vote. They got one.  Fifty-four senators voted in favor of background checks.  Well, if over 94 percent of Americans and a majority of the four million NRA members support background checks, why does it take 60 votes to pass the legislation? Don’t you see that one senator can say, “I filibuster,” and that means it takes 60 votes. Oh, now I get it, a quirk in our democracy, which permits a senator without a conscience, even with the lives of children involved, to fear that a small but powerful minority can defeat him in the next election. Will he risk getting blood on his hands? Yes, but that’s not the issue; his Second Amendment rights are.

Our world will become more violent, or less, and we the people will decide. What is our obligation? Guns have one purpose, to kill, but “thou shalt not kill,” puts us in a bind. How do we form a more perfect union and lay the groundwork for its people, not to live perfectly, but to just live? We either reduce the chances of violence, or else turn our homes into fortresses.

Guns can protect life but take it, too. I learned to shoot one before I learned to read. I still own two, but don’t intend on using them, unless someone tries killing my family. Back on the farm, we shot wild dogs attacking our sheep, and hunted game for food. On hog butchering day, a boy came of age when he could shoot a hog between the eyes with a .22. One day when walking in the woods with my trusty 12 gauge, I heard a rustling in the top of a tall tree. When I fired, three baby raccoons fell to the ground. They lay there writhing and crying pitifully. What had I done? I cried with them, too, and it haunts me to this day.


— Contact Terry Cummins at

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