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Tuesday’s “Wolf’s Den” column by David Wolf is another example of the sad division this country has on guns — and it makes me despair that the two sides can ever talk together instead of past each other. The writer alleges that the most recent school killing has inflamed “an uneducated or biased public” to call for “punishing legal gun owners who have done nothing wrong.” On the other hand, what I hear from the “Wolf’s Den” is this:

Someone who is not listening to a call for sensible gun controls. As a youngster, I shot pheasant from the back of my uncle’s pickup truck; I know and love gun owners and, in fact, own a gun myself. But, I’ve yet to hear that someone needs a gun and ammunition clips like the ones that soldiers in Afghanistan have to take down a deer or an elk. And, I’m told by those with experience in the military, that if hunters are such poor shots that they do need such firepower, they couldn’t stock their freezer with the result.

I hear a recently developed laser focus on increasing security in our schools when in the last 10 years we’ve had mass shootings in movie theatres, churches, offices, and open-air concerts. I do not want to live in a society where every venue is patrolled by armed guards, where checking into a hotel involves something like an airport security check, and where we spend tax dollars on needless security — or pay more for goods and services to cover the cost of private security efforts. And, I doubt that most hunters want those things, either.

I hear someone legitimately concerned about the safety of his sister refusing to listen to the fact that she could keep her handgun while we re-enact an assault weapons ban like the one that existed in this country for a decade.

I hear someone who refuses to listen to the facts about how that assault weapons ban worked and how similar bans are working in every other developed nation in the world.

We must have the will to oppose the NRA’s call to militarize our society with “security” forces to protect against random killers. Let’s be sensible. There is a middle ground and, yes, that ground does involve restrictions on civilian access to weapons of war — a position desired by 70 percent of Americans.

ANN HEITLAND

Flagstaff

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