By Hal Walter
I can distinctly remember the last time I fired a gun. Last summer we had a cow that had been sick for several months, and despite ongoing veterinary care, her condition was worsening. Finally, we made the decision to donate her carcass to the local wolf sanctuary, and I had to put her down.
A single gunshot was the most humane and effective method. Cattle are fearful of strangers, and a lethal injection would have rendered the meat inedible by the wolves.
Later in the fall I took my rifle out into the field in search of wild game but never fired a shot.
This is all to say that I am a gun owner and have been for many years. I received my first .22 caliber rifle at the age of 12 after completing a hunter safety course. Though not very versatile (there’s an old ranching joke that “if you cain’t do it with fencin’ pliers it probably don’t need doin’”), a firearm occupies that odd space between lethal tool and recreational equipment. Between rights and personal responsibilities.