To the editor:
I am an Army veteran who proudly displays in my car window a decal of the 34th Infantry Division, where I served as a a medic in the 60s. I placed beside it a decal which says, "Meet My Family," and which depicts silhouettes of weapons as my family members. The Rick Hollinger column of March 8 related a similar decal he saw on the back of a pick-up truck and concluded, "Talk about a dysfunctional family." So, let's talk about a "dysfunctional family" … mine, because apparently Mr. Hollinger's viewpoint is an all encompassing opinion of anyone displaying such a decal.
I got my draft notice in 1964 while in law school. After my service, I entered business in Chicago and spent 37 years at a manufacturers' rep firm, eventually becoming president. I was selected for induction into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, and we were twice selected "Large Rep of the Year" by trade magazines. We raised four sons in St. Charles, they are all college graduates and men of integrity and character. I have taught my family to respect the flag, stand for the national anthem and defend our freedom.
I mention all of this because Mr. Hollinger's column infers that people like me and our families are "dysfunctional" because of that "Meet My Family" decal which I choose to display. The fact is I put it up there as an in-your-face rebuke to those who choose to stereotype and criticize those of us who own weapons. I am a lifelong member of the NRA who also supports background checks, research on gun violence, banning bump stocks, and the harshest of penalties on illegal gun sellers and buyers.
I am now going through training for a conceal and carry permit because lawlessness in America has forced me to do it. I challenge anyone to produce a criminal who has a firearm owners identification card, a conceal and carry license, who has obtained his weapons legally or doesn't have a lengthy rap sheet. I can also assure you unequivocally they are not members of the NRA. They are the true dysfunctionals in our society, and no matter what laws are passed to restrict and punish law abiding citizens who choose to arm themselves, those individuals will always find an illegal way to obtain guns and continue terrorizing society with their aberrant criminal behavior.