How Do You Get Gun Owners To Give Up Their Guns During A Crisis? Ask.

How Do You Get Gun Owners To Give Up Their Guns During A Crisis? Ask.

With his dog Hercules sitting on his lap, Damon Hatfield talks about the night his wife died by firearm suicide. Hours later, he agreed to allow a family member to hold onto his guns. The small town of Craig, Colorado, sits on a winding river in a wide valley in the rural northwest corner of the state. Wild horses roam the wide open landscape, as do herds of elk. The area is a sportsman’s paradise. “Craig, Colorado, is one of the elk hunting capitals of the country and the world. Most people have a lot of hunting rifles,” explains Damon Hatfield, who lives in Craig and works at the local coal mine. “I think almost every home in Craig would have a gun in it of some sort.” Damon has many guns himself: sporting rifles, antiques — and a handgun for self-defense that he keeps by his bed. But last summer, Damon gave his firearms away. With his tiny dog Hercules sitting on his lap, he describes the night he made that choice. “It was about 10 o’clock and I went to bed and she had started drinking,” Damon said, describing his wife, who had been struggling with a terminal illness as well as depression. On top of that, they were worried about money; this was a rough patch. When Damon woke up in the middle of the night, his wife wasn’t in bed or anywhere else in the house. Damon found her on the porch, sitting in a […]

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