Cover Story
Published: November, l980

By Danielle Flood
Turn the gun over in your mind. It is cool. Steely. It is many-faceted, many-dimensional, the object of affection, of hate. But more than its physical appearance, it has a presence in itself.

This is not something that many hundreds who become new gun owners in Dade each week realize right away. For most, it takes a period of time -- sometimes days, sometimes months -- to adjust to their new possession and its hidden characteristics. 

The first: Would you use it to kill someone? Could you?

Could you, as gun instructor Steve Tomlin has, shoot someone dead? Have you considered looking at the body of the life you have taken, as Steve Tomlin has and urges his students not

 to do? Have you considered living every day with having killed, of having that memory come to mind again and again for no reason at all? 

Tomlin is the much-publicized instructor at the Tamiami Range and Gun Shop on Bird Road, one of the few who teaches killing skills here. He is 28 and does not know how many people has killed because he was in combat in the Vietnam War. But he has killed two people in this country since then in self-defense, while working under-cover for...


"Kids on Guns" (sidebar to cover story above)

Gun consciousness has come to the children in Dade.

In an informal survey of two sixth-grade classes from a South Dade school, two-thirds of 64 students, ranging in age from ten to 12, said they wanted to own guns when they grew up.

One unusual response was from 10-year-old John Hobson:

"Yes, I do. It will be a .22. I want to own a gun so I can take my dog Beanie hunting. We will hunt down deer, quail, and duck, no endangered species of course. My dog Beanie will be a good bird dog because he's a beagle. So that's why I want to own a gun."

A third of the student said they wanted guns for self-protection...

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