---- — To the editor:
When I was younger, not a day would go by that there was not a gun strapped to my side. The ritual was finally broken when my first-grade nun Sister Julie St. Joseph pointed out, a classroom was no place to bring a gun. On that day I removed my Mattel authentic Range Rider six shooter with the greenie stickem caps and holster never to bring them back to my classroom again.
Approximately 10 years later, I acquired my first real gun — a .410 gauge bolt-action shotgun. The town of Methuen was mostly rural in the West End section back in the early 1960s and most of my friends had also obtained their first weapons. The novelty wore off on me by age 16. The driver in my decision was a local boy being accidently shot and killed on Pine Island directly across from Armory Street on the Merrimack River. My friends and I were shocked when we heard about incident as we personally knew the parties involved.
Today, some of my pals still are avid hunters, skeet and trap shooters, and some are also licensed to carry concealed weapons. They are the epitome of true responsible gun owners and to a man they believe the Tombstone mindset of the 1880s “stand your ground” is ridiculous, dangerous and outdated. The people even in the early 1890s realized bringing guns into saloons and courthouses was a stupid idea and passed appropriate laws to ban them.
When the average citizen thinks he or she is Wyatt Earp or Annie Oakley and it is their right to draw down on anyone they deem as a threat, we are all in trouble.