View Full Version : Change from how I knew it till now

Robert A Whit
02-16-2013, 08:39 PM
Don and I go way back to when Clinton was president and he sends me his articles he posted in Florida.

I assure you, as a young lad, I had my toy guns and played plenty of cowboys and Indians.

Anyway Don sent me a fine article.




Feb 15 (1 day ago)https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif


to dgill000



This article appeared in Florida Today this morning.



A different AmericaGun violence of today unthinkable 60 years ago

Violence in the United States has increased so dramatically during the last five or six decades it is difficult to know how or why our society changed so much so quickly. Today, news reports are full of gun violence. That would have been unthinkable in most small American towns six decades ago.

As a child growing up in southern Illinois during the 1940s and 1950s, I never dreamed the day would come when we might not feel safe in our own home.

Our family lived in the same house on a residential street in a small town for more than 30 years, and in all that time, we never locked our house or our cars or anything else. It never occurred to us someone might steal our car or break into our house. Today, that would be unthinkable. Not only do we have to lock our house, many of us have a security system, and you dare not leave your unlocked car sitting outside even in your driveway. It would be an invitation for mischief at best and theft at worse.

As for guns, 60 years ago, almost everyone I knew owned a shotgun or two. They used them to hunt squirrels, rabbits, quail and other animals. Even as a young lad, I had what was called a .22/410 “over and under.” It had two barrels, one to shoot .22-caliber shells and one to shoot 410 shotgun shells. Guns were not associated with violence, except in the movies and criminal organizations such as the Mafia.

During the past 60 years, we have become a much more violent country. Back then, almost every small boy had toy guns so he could pretend to be a cowboy or a G-man (slang for government agent).

Today, toy guns are not as prevalent. Even if kids have toy guns, parents often discipline them if they are caught pointing it at someone else.

Except for professional criminals, gun violence was fairly rare 60 years ago, at least in small-town America. Now, gun violence in the U.S. tends to be expected, largely because it is pervasive in our movies, television programs and video games.

Since December’s Newtown, Conn., massacre in which 20 schoolchildren were killed, gun shops can’t keep guns and ammunition on their shelves. The owner of a local gun shop told me recently “people are buying guns and ammunition faster than manufacturers can make them.”

Between government purchases and private gun owners buying up ammunition, it is increasingly difficult to find ammunition anywhere in Brevard County.

It’s a shame young folks growing up today will never know the kind of peaceful security citizens in small-town America took for granted in the 1950s.

What a shame!

Gilleland was corporate director of public affairs for General Dynamics Corporation before his retirement. He lives in Suntree.