Letter: Gun use requires proper training and oversight

To the Editor:

There has been a large amount of discussion on youths getting guns, especially the automatic, semi automatic rifles.

In your March 1 issue, you mention a comment made by Rep. Jim Himes about receiving a gun was a “rite of passage” for kids growing up in rural Pennsylvania.

It should be remembered that at least back in the 1950s and 60s, the Boy Scouts had a “Marksmanship” Merit Badge, learning how to shoot a rifle was an activity at the Boy Scout summer camps. The Scout “Handbook for Boys” even contained an advertisement from the Remington Company.

But it also needs to be emphasized the scouts were trained in how to use a 22 caliber rifle, typically bolt action single shot-five bullet magazine rifle. They learned how to handle it, and learned gun safety. The single shot rifles were primarily for target shooting and “plinking” empty beer and Coke cans. And the lucky ones could also go hunting with their fathers.

With proper training and oversight, there’s no reason boys can’t have rifles, but the right ones. They have to be trained and overseen. There’s no violation of the 2nd Amendment, just training and oversight, like when kids start driving a car.

Bob Leavitt

Olcott Way, March 5