I don't normally enter the Debate Room, and don't start threads here. But I was thinking the other day, reading all the hee haw surrounding the gun control (in the USA) offerings on Facebook and elsewhere. And thinking 'what has changed?' I grew up in a small town in northern Michigan (born in 1949) where most families had guns for hunting purposes, including mine. My dad had a deer rifle (deer hunting once a year was a sport he looked forward to) and various small arms for bird and small game hunting. He did not have a handgun of any kind, nor did anybody else I knew outside of the police. We were taught that guns were dangerous. I was taught to shoot clay pigeons and used to accompany my dad on his small game hunting trips ...duck, rabbit, etc. We ate the meat. My dad had two sayings about guns that stuck with me. One: a gun is always loaded. Two: never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot. He was incredibly safety conscious. He did not keep his guns locked up, however, because it would never have entered our heads to go and fool around with them. We played cowboys with play guns. We all wanted a cowboy/girl suit to play in, that included a set of 'six shooters.' We had a target with a gun that shot rubber-tipped bolts, and played with that. We had squirt guns, cap guns, etc. We understood that these were make-believe items. The same as a plastic sword was a make-believe item. We didn't want real ones when we grew up. TV shows and movies routinely showed characters with guns and shooting other characters with guns. However, we seemed to be able to separate reality from make-believe when we watched these shows. Criminals had guns, of course. Violent criminals always arm themselves with something—and always have done. The Mafia had/has guns. Robbers had/have guns. Bad guys had/have guns. And yet ...our town was quite peaceful. I only remember one gun murder the 24 years I lived there, and it was never solved. There were hunting accidents I'd heard about, and some people became really stupid during hunting season ...getting drunk and making 'noise shots' at underbrush, etc. But this was a huge exception, and was down to carelessness, not intention. We played in the streets, even after dark, left our doors unlocked unless we were away from the house overnight, we kept our windows open at night during the summer. The biggest threat to our safety was getting hit by a car on busy streets. We never had a school shooting, nor did any other town I ever remember hearing about. The worst danger at school would have been fire, for which we had numerous drills so we'd know what to do. So ...what has changed? Why is it suddenly 'necessary' for people to have handguns and carry them everywhere? Why do people need to own weapons that can shoot umpteen bullets in a matter of seconds? Why are people entering schools with weapons designed for modern warfare, and mowing down teachers and pupils? And what's more ...why is such a large segment of the population determined to allow this to keep happening? What/when did this happen? I left the USA for Scotland in 1986, and I don't remember this mentality at all. It seems to have happened since I left—including the incident last month that ended up closing my old primary school for the day, and the guy with the gun escaping down my old street in town. (Thankfully nobody was injured, but the guy is still at large, and still probably a threat.) I'm just curious. What has changed? Whatever it is, it's certainly changed fast.