I have hesitated to weigh in on the gun control issue, not because I am afraid to express my thoughts, but because I wanted to see what my thoughts really are.

I grew up around guns and have owned a few in my life and hunted and target shot off and on for years. Hunting and target shooting are not just sports, but a skill when conducted respectfully and humanely.

Wanton killing is another matter altogether and represents a loss of moral integrity or mental instability.

Controlling the weapon of choice is dependent upon the values of the individual wielding that weapon, and their mental state at the time. We can’t legislate what people do with their lives and within the confines of their own homes.

Responsible control of any weapon starts with the core values of the individual and that comes from proper teaching of respect for life and liberty. That teaching generally comes from and through various religions and needs solid reinforcing, not through laws but through example.

Our nation and the peoples of the world have lost track of those teachings and have become mired down in being politically correct and not wanting to offend anyone. Whatever became of live and let live and living in harmony with each other?

The world’s people need to get back to being less offended by others’ beliefs and allow diversity to happen. Then, within our own religions, we all can focus on their good solid moral teachings.

Then it will be less of an issue who owns a gun or who wields a knife or slings a rock because the value of life would be respected.

It isn’t about controlling the weapon but about the values of the wielder.

Ed Wheaton, Pittston

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