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Uneasy grip on firearms views

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June 19, 2008

UNFORTUNATELY, JAMES Carroll took his own experience of growing up in America and projected it onto everyone living not only throughout America but throughout nonrecorded and recorded history (" 'Open carry' guns at our children's risk," Op-ed, June 16).

After moving from Watertown to the Adirondack Mountains and then to Tennessee, I was struck by the difference in attitudes toward firearms. Laws in rural states tend not to treat firearms as "forbidden objects" or things to be worshipped. Children learn how to hunt and how to treat firearms safely. In Port Henry, N.Y., I've seen hunters walking downtown carrying their rifles and shotguns without anyone batting an eye. The local video shop even raffled off a shotgun.

Perhaps by treating guns as "forbidden objects," anti-gun laws make them into those forbidden objects.

Further, Carroll's interpretation that shame at killing animals forms the basis of religion is merely one of several. Perhaps a more commonly accepted interpretation is that early peoples didn't create religion to shame themselves to "moderate the weapon's use," but to honor the animals they killed and to ensure successful future hunts.

DAN LUTTS
McDonald, Tenn.

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