A substantial number of firearms probably were among gifts received by area residents during the holidays. That was to be expected, given the large number of outdoors recreation enthusiasts in our area.
No doubt those who received gifts of new rifles, shotguns or pistols are itching to try them out.
For heaven's sake, be careful.
Scores. perhaps hundreds of times down through the years, we have carried editorials urging gun owners to exercise extreme caution with their firearms. The vast majority of gun owners don't need to be told that. It is just common sense to them.
But a few don't seem to have that sort of intelligence - and the consequences of failing to use it can be awful.
Just a few weeks ago, a 15-year-old Amish girl traveling in a buggy in Wayne County, Ohio, was shot in the head and killed.
The bullet came from about 1 1/2 miles away. It was fired by a man who, either before or after cleaning his muzzle-loading rifle, shot into the air.
The tragedy was a reminder of how a single lapse in judgment can take a life.
Again, if you are trying out that new firearm during the next few weeks, be careful.