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I’m fed up

By Ralph Hood

People are being shot to death in this country every day.

Up front, let me say that I was hunting with guns when I was still in elementary school. I never shot a person.

I believe that no person should be able to operate a gun without prior gun training.

During my lifetime I have been an insurance agent. I had to have a license, so I studied and passed the test.

I did NOT have to study for a license to shoot guns.

I had to train to get a driver’s license.

But I was NOT required to earn a gun license.

I also earned a flying license which required a lot of training. I wanted – and needed – to earn the right to fly in less-than-perfect weather and to fly paying passengers.

NO such training was required to shoot guns.

On the other hand, I learned a lot about guns when I hunted with my father and others of his age and experience. If any hunter was prone to let his gun point at other hunters, he was NOT invited back.

I wanted to be invited again, so I learned quickly.

Wife Gail and I had a Sunday school class and a young friend – let’s call him Joe – was a member of our class. He wanted to learn to fly.

I got him a job at the airport and he started flying lessons. He did well and began to fly solo. His girlfriend – also in our class – told me that Joe was buzzing their house at a low altitude. I immediately told our chief pilot and he gave Joe pure hell.

Joe straightened up and “flew” right, and learned a lot. Years later, I helped him get one of the best charter flying jobs in the state, even flying to England and back. He did a great job.

Folks, I think we need to earn – repeat, earn – the right to use guns. I think we should be required to study and earn a gun license.

I sincerely believe we should require this.

Let’s do it.

Please send comments to [email protected]


Ralph Hood is a member of the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame. His latest ebook can be found at His column, “Hood’s Winks,” appears monthly in The Erwin Record and at