Since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, I have heard this statement at least 100 times, "the world would be better off if guns had never been invented."
Well now, the same thing could also be said for knives, bows and arrows, automobiles and nuclear weapons. The hard fact is that these items are now a part of modern society and there is no known way to turn the water back across the falls.
Since the beginning of time, man has strived to make weapons that would give him power and be able to defend himself against unfriendly forces.
A human being is relatively weak in nature when compared to the brute strength of the large beasts that are on this planet. This is the primary reason why man has wanted to increase the power of his blows and the distance in which he could strike them.
At the same time, he wanted the weapons to be simple and as fool-proof as possible.
On Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of innocent people of all ages were murdered by a small group of fanatics who were willing to forfeit their own lives to kill as many civilians as they could.
The nation's gun ban lobby saw this as an opportunity to launch a new wave of strict gun laws against law-abiding gun owners. Fortunately, their argument and objectives fell on deaf ears. Many of the nation's citizens responded to assume responsibility for their own personal protection, their families and property.
The people at large began to stand up for their constitutional freedoms that have made this nation different and great from all other nations in the world.
In West Virginia, I have often said the number of privately owned firearms far exceeds the state's population.
Having a gun in the home is just as common as a piece of furniture or refrigerator.
Sport hunting is an excellent reason to own a gun or several guns. Different kinds of game animals call for different types of firearms. While many white-tail deer are taken with bows and arrows in this state, the fast majority are taken with firearms.
We all know that close to a quarter of a million hunters will be in the woods and forests during the traditional two-week buck gun season in our state.
The statewide squirrel season is now two weeks away. The leaves will still be heavy at that time. Most hunters will likely be using scatter or shot guns loaded with small shot (No. 4 or smaller). I doubt if I will be in the woods on Sept. 10.
I will most likely be watching or listening to the West Virginia University Football game and hoping that West Virginia University will be cleaning up on Norfolk State University.
Many gun enthusiasts enjoy the challenge of punching holes in paper targets at various distances. Shooting accurately or target shooting is a challenging sport. Many people enjoy the sense of achievement at being able to place their shots at exactly where they want them to go.
Self-defense is by far the best reason for anyone to own a gun. The police cannot and do not have the obligation to protect all citizens every minute of the day or night. Therefore, it is up to the individual to provide his or her own protection.
To deny anyone the constitutional right to defend himself or herself from physical harm has to be a serious crime against humanity.
Owning a firearm for self-defense has to be one of the most basic of all human rights.