Sometime in the late 1980’s, I happened to walk into the living room of my parents’ house toting a Ruger Mini-14 rifle. My father, who was napping on the couch, opened his eyes for a second, saw the Ruger and said, “That’s the gun I trained on during the war,” then promptly fell back asleep.

              Dad took part in the first amphibious assault in the Pacific, which occurred in early 1944 on a little atoll in the Marshall Islands known as Kwajalein. He didn’t go ashore with a Ruger Mini-14 because that gun wasn’t manufactured until 1973. Bill Ruger designed the Mini-14 to look like the M-1 carbine, the short-barreled, lightweight version of the standard M-1. The M-1 carbine was my father’s battle gun, which is why he thought I was carrying the same weapon into his living room.

              If you were drafted into the United States Army, right now you would be around 70 years old. The draft ended in 1973, so as Bill Clinton would say, do the math. My Dad was drafted in 1943, he was born in 1921.

              I don’t believe there was a single man living in the United States born between 1920 and 1950 who wasn’t called up to serve, which meant that an entire generation of male residents of the United States learned how to clean, aim, fire, and then clean their guns again.

              The United States is the only country in the entire world which requires military service of all male residents, but then gives these same residents legal authority to buy and own the guns they used in the military after they return home.  The only restriction is that the military guns sold to civilians has to be chambered for semi-automatic fire unless the purchaser goes through an elaborate and costly process to buy and own a full-auto gun.

              The point is that if today you are seventy-year old man or older (I am 78 years old and was drafted in 1968) you really don’t need anyone telling you that guns are dangerous and must be handled with care. You learned that in the Army and if you didn’t follow the relevant instructions out on the shooting range, you didn’t get chow.

              The problem, of course, is that the over-70 generation is quickly fading away, and the ‘youngsters’ who were born after 1950 get everything they know about guns from movies, video shooting games and TV.

              I once asked my son, who was born in 1980 and always played with toy guns to tell me how often he had seen someone shot by the time he was twelve years old. He thought for a minute then replied, “thousands of times” and he meant it.

              If the people who belong to gun-control advocacy groups or conduct gun-control research honestly believe their messaging about ‘safe’ gun behavior can somehow become the way in which Americans growing up in today’s culture will behave with guns and therefore reduce gun violence, I suggest they either watch a John Wick movie or check out some of the hip-hop shooting websites which are all over the place.

              Back in 2015, the man who owned the Gifted Hands barber shop in Tulsa was killed when two shitheads burst into the shop. One of the shitheads started spraying an AK-47 in an effort to kill a member of a rival gang who was waiting to get his hair cut, but instead a round from the rifle went through the barber’s head and he was dead.

              I asked one of the Tulsa cops why the shithead with the AK-47 had to shoot his assault rifle countless times when the alleged target of their attack was sitting maybe ten feet away from the front door.

              The cop, who had been on the homicide and street crime squad for more than ten years said this: “They always shoot every round. They never stop pulling the trigger until there’s no more ammo in the gun.”

              And we’re going to reduce gun violence by promoting the idea that guns are okay if they’re used in a safe way?

              Oh – I forgot! We also have to keep guns out of the ‘wrong’ hands. That’s tomorrow’s comment.