Dear Editor,

I worry about the children playing in their yards...especially this time of year!

It is early December, and that brings about deer season in Kansas. I hear the high-powered rifle shots all year, but I hear more this time of year. I know that the great majority of hunters and shooters are experienced, trained and safety conscious, but anyone can have an accident.

I grew up in a hunting and fishing home. My father worked at an ammunition plant and knew about ballistics. I was taught to “treat every gun as if it were loaded, never point a gun at anyone and an errant bullet cannot be retrieved.” I was also taught that a .22 has killing power within a mile and a 30.30 or 30.06 has a killing power within three miles.

I have hunted most of my life, and I spent years as an official gunner at pointing dog field trials. I like to think I am a safe gun handler. I know, however, that even the most careful of us can have an accident.

I could shoot on my property, but I do not. I feel I live too close to other homes. Instead, I shoot at a range or in an area designated for shooting or a farm a distance away. I do not want to take even a small chance of firing a shot that might ricochet or glance off a hard object and travel to an area I cannot see.

I worry about those little children in our residential neighborhood playing in their yards. I worry any one of them at any time could be struck at any time by an errant shot...and many lives would be tragically changed forever.

It is convenient to shoot near our homes, and there are deer nearby, but I urge everyone to think about the children in the yards. For me, it is worth the drive to a range or public hunting area or a farm to minimize the risk of a tragic accident.

Jim Cox


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