From the country, like it that way

IUS Horizon

Education, responsibility crucial for gun safety

I am a country girl.

I was raised out in the country of Orange County, Ind., by two very strong-willed, strict and traditional parents.

But I would not have changed that for the world.

See, I was taught responsibility and respect from a very early age . I was taught how to tell the difference between right and wrong, to always be honest and not lie, not to disrespect my elders, to put work —chores and homework— first and fun second, and to work hard and do my best etc.

I was also taught how to be responsible with a gun.

Guns have been a hot topic in the news over the last month, and honestly, all of this talk offends and irritates me.

I get so tired of hearing people’s opinions on who is to blame and why guns are so dangerous.

Does our country need stricter laws regarding who can purchase a gun? Yes, but even with more in-depth background checks people always seem to slip through the cracks.

The National Rifle Association got so much heat after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary last month.

Do we honestly believe that it was NRA’s fault for the deaths of 20 children and six teachers?

Sheesh. We seriously need to stop pointing blame at everyone and everything. Just step back and look at the root of the problem. We need to see it for what it is as a whole.

Even by saying that, I’m going to point blame just like the next person. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

In my eyes, technology and the way our society is today are truly to blame.
Kids today are growing up with no sense of reality and easy access to any information that is out there.

You can find anything you want on the Internet or YouTube.

Anyone else see that as a problem?

Not only that, but there is a lack of proper gun education in schools across the country and parents should rethink their parenting methods.

Our youth today are growing up in unstable households, where parents have unintentionally put so much distance between themselves and their children that they honestly do not know what is going on in their children’s life.

And as a result of that disconnection, these teenagers act out—sadly at times resulting in the loss of life.

All they needed was someone to care about them and listen. Something as simple as that could have prevented the loss of so many lives.

You could say I am a daddy’s girl. I am also his little girl, being the younger of his two daughters. I have always looked up to my dad, and when I was younger I wanted to spend as much time as I could with him — when he was not constantly working.

So combine that with living in the country and being surrounded by woods. The result was being taught how to safely handle and shoot a gun from a young age.

I loved spending that time bonding with my dad. My sister and I grew up with guns around us. My dad, uncles, grandparents and neighbors all have guns in their houses.

It was only natural for us to know how to use them if the chance ever arose.

Instead of playing video games and relying on technology to entertain me like the generations of today, I was constantly playing games outside, exploring our woods or learning how to shoot different types of guns with my dad.

My dad believes guns are essential when it comes to protecting one’s family and territory in the country. My family has over 100 acres of land, with livestock on parts of that land.

We occasionally see and hear unwelcome visitors, like the usual coyote or bobcat.

Two animals you do not want to meet without a gun in your hands.

And because of that, I honestly can not think of a time when my dad did not leave the house without a gun or knife within his reach.

In my dad’s eyes, it was important for his daughters to grow up in the country and to know the ins and outs about guns.

He also wanted us to understand that once a gun was fired, the results were permanent.

I was raised to take responsibility for my own actions. Period.

Today’s youth find it easier to point the blame at anything or anyone else besides themselves.

I say: the gun is not to blame.

The gun is simply just a small piece of a much bigger puzzle.

My parents were old-fashioned with their methods, but I am very thankful for that.
I am grateful I grew up in a stable and loving household with parents who were always protective and supportive.

With parents, who taught me right from wrong, hard work and how to use a gun.

I’m very glad I was raised the way I was—out in the country with guns.

By KIM KERBY

Profiles Editor

kdkerby@ius.edu