Guns. A hot topic in South Dakota and most of the country.

Some personal history first. 

My dad owned at double barrel 12 gauge shotgun, a .22 rifle which used long bullets, and a German Luger, which he brought back from WWII.

As children, he taught us some of the basics of shooting and firearms safety. The strict rule was no guns unless he was around. He kept his guns in one place, ammunition in an undisclosed location.

During my time as Mayor, I had a Smith and Wesson .38 pistol. Only used it at the Police firing range when officers had to qualify. Enjoyed that experience, although I was not a great shot.

I hunted pheasants. Loved walking the fields with friends. Great to be outdoors. I was fortunate enough to participate in Governor Janklow’s and Round’s Annual Pheasant hunts. Met some great people, and most years the weather was perfect.

I’ve shot a Glock 9, the Dirty Harry .44 Magnum, and an AR-15.

Don’t have a firearm now, shotgun, pistol, or rifle.

A few years ago in Sioux Falls there were a series of car thefts. Doors not locked. In many of those thefts  un protected handguns were taken. One of those guns was used in a robbery in Des Moines a few weeks later. Not very responsible firearms owners.

Like many of you, the acts of carnage caused at schools, churches, concerts, and other places, is disturbing.

I’m not a fan of what are commonly called assault weapons. I have family members who own AR-15s.

The courts recently ruled, in California I think, that a law banning large capacity clips for rifles violates the Second Amendment. Not sure the founding fathers had visions of large capacity guns when they created the 2nd Amendment. It will be interesting to see if the case gets to the Supreme Court.

Bottom line for me, I’m not going to mess with your gun cabinet. As much as I want to stop gun deaths, many of which are suicides, as a society we need to find better and smarter ways to deal with the issue.

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