Thursday letters: Guns can cause unintended harm

July 11, 2013 

— I respect the Second Amendment. People have the right to own guns, but our lack of responsibility for such deadly property is a mounting problem.

It may be that “people kill people” rather than the guns doing it — if you fixate on semantics — but people doing foolish things with their guns is scary. When most people purchase a gun, they are not just purchasing it for a feeling of protection; they are purchasing it to use to kill someone if threatened.

That killing tool can be stolen if the owner doesn’t store it with extreme care, if he or she leaves it in a car or some other tempting place. Would I leave my pocketbook in the car? Absolutely not. Why do people leave guns there?

As Cassie Cope reported in the June 30 State, almost 6,000 S.C. guns were stolen last year. Most go to criminals who know the stolen gun can’t be traced. Thieves in an SUV driving through the front of a S.C. gun store made ABC news earlier this year.

Nationally, an estimated 230,000 guns are stolen in home burglaries and property crimes. There is a real possibility that the gun could be used on the owner or a family member. Haven’t you heard someone tell how he or she thought a burglar was in the house, reached for the gun and realized it was the spouse? Troubled children use their parents’ guns to kill themselves.

The potential for tragedy sits beside your gun.

Emily Cooper


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