This letter is in reply to Phyllis Manaher’s concern that school-sponsored trap shooting would be bad because some students might have an unhealthy obsession with guns and violence.

The law-abiding gun owner is not the problem. The people who have guns for hunting, competition or protection are not who are killing people. A very high number of shootings are street-gang and drug-related, and the mass shootings are by people with serious mental problems.

Some people are not able to grasp the fact that criminals do not obey laws, so governments continue to pass more. The person who suffers is the law-abiding gun owner who pays more fees for permits and more paperwork.

As far back as recorded history there was murder, rape, suicide and armed robbery. In the absence of firearms, almost any piece of hardware can be used as a weapon. If a person is inclined to be violent, that will not change if a firearm is present or not.

I have competed in many forms of marksmanship contests for years and safety is always the top priority. If you get on the Internet and check other sports, like football, basketball, swimming and running, you will see deaths and injuries, which does not occur in the shooting sports.

I have competed with students and adults of all ages and found them to be the most level-headed and pleasant to deal with of any group.

I believe the news media deserves more blame than guns. Any mass shooting is covered for days, planting ideas in the minds of other people with mental problems.

If you are anti-gun and believe the politicians who would like to disarm the people, I doubt I could ever change your mind. If the politicians accomplish the disarming of Americans, I hope I live long enough to see the results.

I think it would another disaster greater than Prohibition.

David Chisolm


Olean Rod & Gun Club