Gun owner finds editorial offensive


(Editor’s note: The following is a guest editorial written by Mobridge resident Tom Forbes.)

A response to “Gun owners should speak for themselves” by Katie Zerr.

I am not a so-called “Sandy Hook Truther,” nor am I a white supremacist. I am a gun owner who is more than capable like, most gun owners, of speaking for myself and will do so now.

I am a gun owner and I am a Life Member of the NRA.

And the last thing I need is someone telling me what my purpose should be. Least of all a person who has failed to adequately research the topic that they are attempting to tell me what my purpose should be in relation to that topic.

Automatic weapons have been restricted since the 1934 National Firearms Act was signed. This act restricts and regulates the possession of automatic firearms requiring a special application process and $200 tax for individuals wishing to own automatic weapons, short rifles, suppressors (silencers) and such. An additional 1986 law makes it illegal to manufacture automatic weapons for anything other than direct military or law enforcement sales. Glocks and AR-15s (with exception to those previously mentioned) are not automatic weapons and they are not assault rifles. They are semi-automatic firearms. It may be a matter of semantics, but as we all know the devil is in the details.

As I stated earlier, I am a life member of the NRA. This does not mean that I get my water from the fountain of the NRA. It means that I am a member of an organization whose views about the Second Amendment are largely similar to mine, not totally. There have been times in which I did not agree with the position of the NRA, but there are times that I disagree with the views of family and friends; but as long as the majority of the time we are on the same page, these relationships stay intact. It is my general belief and that of many of my fellow NRA members and other Americans, that if it were not for the NRA, the Second Amendment would be little more than a footnote to history.

I do find it curious that once again you make specific references to the NRA as if it where the black plague. I might remind you that the NRA is responsible for training more law enforcement, military and private security in this country than any other organization. And this does not include the thousands of new hunters that it educates through hunt safe programs and other shooting programs such as Women On Target.

As you attempt to lay the evils of society at the feet of the NRA I ask that you remember that in a nation that had over 32,000 traffic deaths in 2011, we still manufacture and sell cars capable of traveling at over 120 miles per hour. And with over 9000 of those traffic deaths related to alcohol, we have lowered the blood alcohol level to .08 percent for the enforcement of OUls in hopes of making the roads safer. However, we can still purchase alcohol from a drive-up window.

Giving print or other media attention to those who wish to do harm to Mr. Rosen does nothing to help Mr. Rosen, it merely sells newspapers and as written places gun owners and NRA members all on the same level with “truthers” and “white supremacists.” We or at least I do not care what these people say. There has been and always will be those who will, to paraphrase Rahm Emanuel, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” I would hope that no one is so narrow minded as to believe that these people represent the majority of gun owners. To think such is foolish, to state such is offensive.


Tom Forbes




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