Time to dust this off again.

Written in 2015, made relevant over and over again.

I hate guns


Okay. I have nothing to lose, so I’m going to go all the way out to the edge on this gun issue.

In 2005 I watched as my friends at Red Lake were traumatized, killed, and besieged by reporters, then forgotten after a confused and alienated kid drove a car into the front of the school where I had worked, before pulling out an arsenal of guns and killing 7 people.

I am, as I write this, on a plane back to my home in Portland, 180 miles north of the mass murder site in the town of Roseburg, where I used to buy car parts when I lived in the Oregon woods many years ago, and where I have stopped and let my dog play in the dog park as we drove south through the magical Oregon country side.

I shop at the Clackamas mall where one more confused white kid brought out a gun and killed three people for no reason that any of us can fathom, or should have to fathom.

And all the politicians, no matter how pained and grieved, are dancing around the issue of guns with vague platitudes about the need for mental health services, background checks, the necessity of enlisting the support of responsible gun owners, and on and on.

But, let’s cut to the chase: it’s guns, pure and simple. Guns.

So, let’s go to it.

What is it about guns that so obsesses Americans? Yes, I know all about the second amendment and how it supposedly protects our rights. I know all about the perceived slippery slope into governmental control of our lives. I know about beard boys in Idaho wearing camouflage and facepaint and crawling through the woods to hold out against an upcoming takeover by a fascist and totalitarian government, and about frightened fathers and mothers keeping guns in their houses in cities and suburbs to protect against intruders. I know about all of this.

But forget all of that. Tell me about guns.

There are otherwise perfectly normal human beings in northern Minnesota where I lived who can barely feed their families but have 25 rifles, pistols, and semi-automatic weapons in their closets.

Why? You don’t have 25 refrigerators, or 25 pipe wrenches, or 25 anything other than perhaps baseball caps and pairs of shoes, and those things are questionable enough in themselves. So, what is it about a gun? Is it some feeling of power? Is there some crypto-sexual thrill in holding it? Shooting it? Stroking it?

I know I’m being a bit demeaning, but, damn it, I simply can’t understand. And, frankly, I don’t want to. I am sick of hearing arguments for these cruel and lethal objects. They scare me, they disgust me, and it makes me ashamed that such an adolescent and selfish obsession can be one of the few sacrosanct things in our country.

What drives it? Why are we like this?

Sometimes I think it is part of this culture of fear that comes with our out-of-control capitalist society where every advertisement is based on fear and perceived deficiency, and a gun is just the physical embodiment of a sense of control.

Sometimes I think it has a subterranean racism at its heart, where fear of the terrifying black man at your door drives white people to want to have the fantasy of a protective weapon at hand.

Sometimes I think it is the residual frontier ethic. But the Canadians have every bit as strong a frontier ethic, and they don’t share this cultural mental illness.

And, yes, that’s what it is — a cultural mental illness, fomented and fanned by an armament industry that needs, or, at least, wants, every man, woman, and child to be packing a weapon in the name of freedom or security or whatever abstraction they can sell us.

But, my God, children are dying, and they are dying from guns. No amount of counseling or monitoring or background checks is going to stop this. People will get guns like teenagers get beer, and no amount of laws will stop it.

Consider the sheriff in Roseburg. He stated quite forthrightly that he would not enforce any  federal gun laws, nor would he allow his deputies to do so. And now he is looking in the faces of the mothers and fathers and husbands and wives of the dead. How can he sleep at night? Is he at least a little conflicted?

Sadly, probably not. To him, it wasn’t a gun that killed all those people. It was a person. And the fact that it was a gun in the hand of that person, just as it was a gun in the hand of the killer at Red Lake and the killers at Columbine and the killer at the Aurora movie theater and the killer in every other mass murder in America doesn’t register with him or people like him. It is a mind-boggling disconnect that simply beggars the imagination.

So, what will stop it? One and only one thing: getting rid of guns on our streets. And this is no easy task. It cannot be done by fiat, it cannot be done in one legislative swoop. It can only be done by changing hearts and minds, and that takes time.

There needs to be incremental change – make it illegal to own handguns and semi-automatics for starters, then begin confiscating them as they come in contact with the legal system. Stop the manufacture, or, at least, the sale of them. Then get beneath this and start to educate our children to the reality that compassion will eventually trump fear, and there is nothing magical or mystical about a piece of metal (or, sadly, plastic) that can kill at a distance. In fact, it is simply sick to look at them as problem solvers.

So, go ahead, unfriend me, refuse to buy my books, write me enraged emails filled with the tired old tropes.

But, for the love of Jesus and Mary and Buddha and things that go bump in the night, take a look in the mirror and ask why this piece of metal that is essentially a killing machine is so damn important to you.

Red Lake. Clackamas Mall. Columbine. Sandy Hook.  Roseburg. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

And you will be shocked and you will be surprised and you will say, “This was such a nice quiet community. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen here.”

Well, sorry. They aren’t supposed to happen in your particular “here,” but they will. And if you prevaricate and trot out tired old bromides and talk about abstractions while another child gets its face blown off by a gun, the blood is on your hands.

Guns are an American sickness, and it is a sickness that must be cured.

30 thoughts on “Time to dust this off again.”

  1. Thank God I live in England. where the police mainly still only carry nothing worse than a taser. ps Love your books

  2. No words. You hit the mark. Much to absorb, but so many are with you on this.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and your pain and your outrage.

    The blood IS on our hands!

  3. Dear Kent,
    I totally agree with your post. I want a t shirt that asks ” Who Will Be Our Jacinda?” Why can’t the United States have a leader like the Prime Minister of New Zealand? One can hope and pray.

  4. Tragically it appears that no amount of bloodshed will ever be enough for this country. TY for a well written piece. If only humans could learn compassion, caring and respect for this planet and all it’s creatures we might not be on such a straight trajectory of annihilation.

  5. I could not have said this better and thank you for not pulling any punches. The idea that a tool whose only purpose is to take life makes us safer is absurd in the extreme. The officer in Colorado was armed, he was responding to a shooting incident and he still was killed and this is someone trained in the proper use of firearms and proper protocols for responding to shootings. Now, deluded citizens with next to no training in most cases think that if they are armed, at the first sign of danger they are going to have the presence of mind to pull out that gun and take out the bad guy is beyond ludicrous, it is deranged.

  6. Kent,

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    I would add that there is a harsh selfishness and self centeredness to our culture and mythos that I think is also deeply involved with gun ownership and “freedom” generally. People want to be free to do whatever they want and nobody is going to tell them otherwise. One gets condemned, repudiated and labeled if they believe the “common good” has a place in the equations that make up our decisions in our individual lives and for the nation (it is a mortal sin to think beyond that).

    This selfishness also has a way of generating flat denials as to matters of race, gender, inequality, etc.–both as to the past and present.

    However, I don’t agree that we can take away people’s handguns, semi automatics, etc. I have never met a more fanatical group than gun owners and they will vote on that issue along and to hell with everything else. I think it would backfire. We must change hearts and minds, instead, as you said. We have to be like on of my favorites, Dr. Who, and uses brains over bullets to solve problems.

    We have to live together and we need each other, not just materially, but to be happy. We don’t want to acknowledge this and I don’t know why; culturally and individually, we seem to fight the notion; it hurts our pride. Much has been written to glorify the individual, which is fine, but it ain’t that simple. As John Donne said in 1623 or so,

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man
    is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
    is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
    well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
    own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
    because I am involved in mankind.
    And therefore never send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

  7. Dear Kent: Thank you for your straight forward words. The Congress (repubs)is holding back, as usual, talking nonsense about “the need for AK15’s”, etc. to be sold with or without background checks (many states don’t use those either).
    The NRA has a hold on politician’s getting elected. NRA is in financial trouble due to houses, cars,trips, etc.
    When will the government get off this merry go round?
    Our Democratic system is in jeopardy.
    Hope there’s a break through soon! We need to live in safety!
    That’s my rant.

  8. Kent, you wrote: “Sometimes I think it is part of this culture of fear that comes with our out-of-control capitalist society where every advertisement is based on fear and perceived deficiency, and a gun is just the physical embodiment of a sense of control.”

    I think there’s a lot of merit to this statement. I have thought that as Europeans colonized North America, expanded into an Empire, and saw the Empire contract after Vietnam, we had no one left to turn against but one another. We are, indeed, a fear-based society, at least at the margins. We’re afraid of one another, and we’re angry. Gun sales spiked through the ceiling this past year, and many new gun owners are female first-time buyers, purchasing small caliber semi-automatics for self defense. You cannot find ammunition these days. Sold out, and manufacturers cannot keep up with demand.

    My sense is that unless we restore some sense of “Us”, rather than “Us vs Them”, we will spiral downward as a culture. The pandemic has demonstrated, to me, that there is a deep well of goodness in us. Our health care teams, first responders, and people who keep the grocery stores open, etc., all have shown remarkable goodness. It’s there. So while I agree with you that we need some form of gun control (start with military-style rifles and universal background checks), we must find a way to restore trust and reduce fear of the other…….guns are the vehicle of death, but fear and disillusionment are the key drivers…My thanks for your writing over all these many years!

  9. The celebration of the individual is in our national character. My hope is that we find a way not to justify selfishness under the guise of individual freedom and rights. That’s one of the reasons I love the Native traditions — they have found ways to offer individual freedom in the context of collective responsibility. We, as a nation, simply need to grow up.

  10. Coincidentally I am discussing this topic with 3-4 others right now. Slow day at work. This world we live in needs help. I live 1-2 miles from the chabod that someone shot up 2 years ago, killing, maiming, wounding, and traumatizing a whole lot of us in the San Diego area. They caught him on the freeway on-ramp I use! More and more of us are seeing random danger as imminent, like California brush fires. I get what you are saying about just being sick of it.

    I shared a Twitter thread by a gun owner who does not buy guns that are just for killing people. The distinction is crucial, and not hard to grasp. His name is Mark Sumner if anyone is interested. That led me into conversation with an outdoorsman you must know in Bemidji, Mark Morrissey, who shared this little video about assessing gunshot wounds (same for chainsaw wounds and so on). https://youtu.be/Zp9GnYZBwLU

    I realized that I, too, should keep such a med kit in the car. I live a reckless life – going to grocery stores on a regular basis, sometimes picking up coffee or to go food from shops and restaurants. Just asking for trouble, I know. Yet if I have hemostatic bandages and a tourniquet close to hand, I might be able to enter danger zones thinking of myself as one of Mr. Rogers’ Helpers rather than Potential Victim, Age 66.

  11. W. Wynne Zaugg

    guns offer a delusion of protection from evil. In reality,they very seldom do, if ever. The person who intends to do you harm is ready to do so before you have a chance. The government has tens of thousands to your few.

  12. I agree How about a size-able yearly tax placed on these guns that would include a yearly in home inspection of how the firearm is kept and a mental evaluation on the firearm owner, also done in person. Also tax the ammo clips higher rates for higher capacity. $$$ This would also create many new jobs. Of course there would also be a buy back program for those who wouldn’t justify the high yearly price to own.

  13. Individual rights is a myth that only the arrogant and ignorant believe. None of us got here all on our own, all by ourself. It is as you said: individual freedom can only be had through collective responsibility. We exist and thrive only through relationship and dependence on one another. I agree with your stance on guns, but when you have folks who do violence when simply asked to wear a mask, because nobody’s gonna tell them what to do, well we have our work cut out for us to change a lot of minds and a lot of hearts. But what’s at stake is worth the effort and time. Thanks for your message.

  14. The right to bear arms is written into founding government documents, so it’s not going away anytime soon. It, of course, was written in a time when a new nation feared tyrannical leadership that they had witnessed in Europe and around the world historically, and wanted a free citizenry to be able to defend themselves from such a takeover.
    Guns are only a tool, like a machete, a bow and arrow, a spear – they only kill people a whole lot faster. Hitler wanted even more efficiency, so he went to gas and large shower rooms.
    I totally hear and feel your pain, Kent, and I agree with several responders, that it is hearts and minds that need changing. Every single one of us, even the “bad” people, have been created in the image of God (however you picture Him or Her, take your pick… God has no gender). We have a true identity crisis the minute we forget that one fact. It is not us and them, as someone already started, it’s all of us. Those who continue to stoke division, from elected leaders, pastors in pulpits, the news media, and any other system of control (high tech included), are complicit in this problem because they pit one against another on purpose. It is not a simple problem, nor is there a simple solution – but it begins in the heart.

  15. Every point you made I have thought myself! Thank you for speaking these words on your platform! The most important point you made was “compassion”. It’s so important and powerful.

    On the brighter side, I’m so happy about how good people are talking about how things need to be changed in this country. I hear it all the time. People are talking about things that were tabu all my life. It’s time to rock the boat and speak the truth. So many things are being revealed. I love it!

  16. I own some guns. I don’t think of myself as a gun nut. I use my guns in deer and grouse seasons. That being said, I also live in Roseau County, a Second Amendment Sanctuary; A Second Amendment Sanctuary refers to counties, townships, cities, or other localities in Minnesota that have adopted resolutions or ordinances to prohibit or impede the enforcement of unconstitutional gun control legislation such as universal background checks, red flag laws, “assault weapon” bans, magazine restrictions, or other Metro-DFL driven anti-gun policies at the state legislature.

    I am not a gun nut. I do not agree with the ‘sanctuary’ movement; I am not a member. I could move out of this county, but I’d be giving up a lot after 40 years. Prior to the last presidential election, my neighbor (1.5 miles away) erected a huge 4′ x 8′ commercially made sign out by his mailbox that read, in part: GOD-GUNS-COUNTRY. Now he may be a gun nut.

    I presume that over 90% of the people living in Roseau County and Marshall County, on its south, own guns. In fact, I remember a story in the TRF newspaper a few years ago, when the Sheriff there commented, during a search for someone who had vandalized a hunting cabin and stolen some firearms, that everybody in the county owned guns. I don’t think he was being facetious.

    Guns are, as Nerburn suggests, commonplace in rural Minnesota communities where a person is likely to find a gun safe; a firearm within a home, a trophy deer head or two, and antlers, or photos of family tradition deer, goose, and grouse hunting hung on a wall. Not all of them are gun nuts; not all of them…

    Rural youth who hunt in Minnesota have all gone through Gun Safety classes in order to get their licenses. Likely they’ve grown up with guns in their homes and were taught what a gun is used for and what it isn’t. Not all of them are gun nuts.

    Then again, some of them are. Just as Nerburn states, some of them have vast armaments including ammunition, survival gear and food for when the hordes come up here from The Cities looking for — whatever it is they want from us… And you know, we obviously have something up here they want so badly — that I’m completely in the dark about — and I’ll be soulfully regretting that day, that I hadn’t built up my arsenal when I could have. You know, the day when the government sweeps in here to take our guns…

    A good friend of mine is in his eighties. He carries a loaded gun, 24/7; even to church in his vest pocket. “What good is a gun if it ain’t loaded?” I’ve often heard him say. Likewise, every gun in every room, including those laying on his kitchen table as we visit for coffee in the morning, him living by himself out in the country and all …

    He shoots everyday; has taught each one of his four kids and all his grand kids to safely shoot, and even gifted them his old guns (they’re hardly ‘old’ in reality). He is a gun nut; just not a psycho gun nut.

    I am not a gun nut though I’m related to gun nuts, I admit. My dad wasn’t a hunter, but my mom was, to a degree. She was born in Roseau County in 1909 and was raised on wild game; she never lost her love of it, and so encouraged me to hunt and supply her with some of it. None of the rest of my family hunt (four sisters)

    One of my uncles was a gunsmith and sold new and used guns; his brother, an avid hunter, was in WWII and survived being behind enemy lines for two weeks by himself after his company was wiped out. He prided himself, not on the number of enemy he shot, but all of those he didn’t; he used explosives. He was a combat engineer.

    There are those gun nuts out there who never learned the basic tenets of live and let live. They weren’t schooled in families with and without guns that using a gun to get their way isn’t the way to resolve problems. Families are the basis of learning and the quality of families, at least in the United States, have deteriorated greatly; they’ve spiraled out of control because of total lack of societal support; there’s no one home when both parents have to work to earn a living; no guidance through the tough times of adolescence, of addiction, of racial divide, no assistance nor modeling of wisdom, patience, faith; no look out for predatory beings who wile their way into people’s lives — then take them without a second thought.

    It starts at home. It all starts in the home.

  17. All well put and thoughtful.

    I was too harsh, overall Americans are a generous people. But, something big has been lost, people are different than my grandparents and parents, something is missing. It’s complex. Maybe, 75 years ago, there was a far better sense of individual rights within collective responsibility, as Nerburn said above. I know that is how I was raised and it is exactly how my grandparents were.

    I am discouraged. There seems to be no middle ground, rule of reason, compromise, or communication. I hunt and own a few guns, but I never thought it meant much anything except that I felt proud to know how to handle a gun and proud of what I have learned from hunting. A good friend of mine tells me he used to hunt as a young teen in upstate NY, in the 70’s, buy ammunition as little local stores, walk the woods and country roads with a rifle, without a care. We are now so worried those same youth could never be trusted to behave responsibility. We have deeply changed.

    All of the gun owners I personally know, gun rights fanatics or not, are responsible and safe gun owners. I do believe the vast, vast majority of owners are responsible. Maybe we have come to infer way too much from the issue of gun rights and taken it too far in both directions. Yet, what are we to think and do in the face of the repeated tragedies…and with absolutely no end in sight of it happening again and again in the future. I know of no other way than to do our best to think it thru and come to reasonable compromises. I know we can’t please everybody all of the time and it won’t be easy. But, doing nothing, seems a far worse alternative. This goes for the many thorny and gut wrenching issues we must face in our time. It also brings us back to the serious divisions across our land which have reached all the way down to our personal families and friends. We need to talk about this, young, old and in the middle. It’s real and it’s not going away. There is no “virtual” solution, no algorithm, nobody can do it for us, but we are better than this. As Nerburn as reminded us in his writings, the heartfelt words of Sitting Bull come to mind.

  18. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!! “If I refuse to listen to the voice of fear, would the voice of courage whisper in my ear? What steps would I take today if I were brave?” From the song “If I Were Brave” by Jana Stanfield
    Thank you for your wonderful words of courage and for all your good work and wisdom words. Always.

  19. Your piece is taken to heart. But what if the gun issue was under control. Would the deranged person out there use a car to mow down people he or she does not even know which has recently happened or devise other ways to “get back ” at people for some real or imaged wrongdoing ? Most of these murders are caused by people with mental disorders and I agree much more stringent gun laws are needed to come to terms with the problem. The problem seems lies with people and their perceptions. Why has the Republican legislation in Georgia recently passed laws to stop/ restrict some people from voting ? This is wrong and anyone should know completely unconstitutional. Power and their frame of perception seems to justify this, at least in their minds. By the way, I am completely against the hunting of animals for “sport”.
    It would be “sport ” if the animals could shoot back. I know about the thinning of overpopulation of some animals and killing for food if this is the only way to eat. But I find this sport activity sickening. Sport fishing could fall into this category too. Some of us just get a thrill out of killing ! Maybe this is the real underlying problem. Perhaps it is in our genes and one day we all will have evolved into something better.

  20. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!!t “What steps would I take today if I were brave?” Thank you for your voice of courage! May courage calm and inspire the fearful heart and mind.

  21. Himanshu Tiwari

    Dear Kent,

    In a recent missive Dr. Berman addresses the root cause (for the millionth time) for problems facing the US:

    “Many of you have probably read the Carlos Castaneda series about his apprenticeship to a Yaqui Indian shaman, “Don Juan.” Although Carlos’ critics attacked the books for being fictional, I personally know from an inside source that the first two in the series were real, although Don Juan was actually living on the outskirts of LA, and that Carlos would visit him on weekends while he was a student at UCLA. That notwithstanding, many of us were taken by the epistemological challenge posed by the first book (late sixties), The Teachings of Don Juan. Carlos began with a quote from DJ:

    “Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path.”

    As I demonstrate in “Why America Failed”,settlers on the American continent, several centuries ago, came to Robert Frost’s “Road Not Taken,” and sad to say, they, and what became the United States, took the path without a heart. And so we are witnessing the results today; the chickens are coming home to roost. Not only are we killing each other off with a vengeance that is breathtaking, and imposing this violent way of life on other nations (or trying to); it is also the case that every day seems to turn up another murder that is gruesome. We stuff babies into garbage cans, or snuff out innocent animals, or the cops gun down unarmed civilians and then lie about it. The list goes on and on. Meanwhile, as Ronald Dworkin and Paul Fussell pointed out years ago, we are wallowing in corruption: literally every institution is riddled with fraud, and the sabotaging of those institutions for personal gain.

    Our path without a heart is hustling, competition, and personal advantage. You can even see this in popular sitcoms, or in the way high school students relate to one another. There was no interest in the Yaqui path, or any Native American path; instead, we just butchered all of those people and stuck them in reservations, out of sight, so we could get on with ‘progress’. That, as a few dissident voices tried to tell us, was a path with a heart; we weren’t interested. And thus, as Don Juan told Carlos, the path is ready to kill us; is killing us, to be more precise. You don’t destroy the sacred and get off scot-free; that’s not how the world works. America is just now discovering how the world works, and it is hardly working in its favor. Our time, and our way of life, are fast running out.”

    Best Wishes,

  22. Bobbie bouvier

    Dear Kent,

    By way of introduction, my father’s family has had property near your former Minnesota home on and around Big Lake, east of Bemidji. It was acquired through tax forfeiture by the bootlegging former owner. He had been caught for the third time and fled to parts unknown. I spent much of my childhood there and when I was very small I was convince that I was an Indian – the green eyes and orange hair did little to change my mind. We met briefly when you signed my copy of “A Haunting Reverence” at Transitions in Chicago in the late 90’s.

    I know you said you didn’t understand the gun obsession, but you got it exactly right a few paragraphs later:

    “And, yes, that’s what it is — a cultural mental illness, fomented and fanned by an armament industry that needs, or, at least, wants, every man, woman, and child to be packing a weapon in the name of freedom or security or whatever abstraction they can sell us.”

    Back in the 70’s I was doing some graduate work in history at the U of C in Boulder. At that time the KKK was on the move to “rise again” in the state of Colorado and elsewhere. I was actually working on their ‘second coming’ in the early 20th c., but decided to get some background from the post-Civil War period. In a collection of essays and articles covering that period I came across an essay I will never forget. I have no citations, since it wasn’t something I would use. More than 40 years later, I remember more of its content than yesterday’s ‘to do’ list.

    Following the Civil War a multitude of factors were converging to change the face of American society at an unprecedented rate. Two of these were adversely impacting the sale of all of those guns stockpiled after the hostilities were – finally – over. According to the author among those with the most negative impact on gun sales that the vast majority of Americans were sickened and disgusted by the incredible carnage of that war. The second was that they were leaving rural areas for cities and town all across the country. Many municipalities prohibited weapons within their city limits. Perhaps, the most significant of all: nobody paid any attention to the ‘right to bear arms’.

    Arms manufacturers needed to diminish their stockpiles and launched one of the most devastating ad campaigns in history with the simple message that it is your SACRED DUTY to own a gun. This shift in public opinion was not incremental, within months the NRA was born to take up the cause.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the armament industry that brought about cultural mental illness. The scope of mental problems among Americans is much deeper and broader.
    I recently blurted out to my primary doc, “You know the real pandemic is mental illness.”
    She not only agreed with me, but shared some horrifying stories from her practice.

    About a year or so ago, a dear friend recommended a 4-part documentary, “The Century of the Self” to my attention. It was doubtful that I was going to spend around 8 hours wallowing in the minutiae of the birth of ‘consumerism’ – later re-branded as ‘neo-liberalism during the 90’s – via the weaponization of Freud’s insights by his nephew. However, I did check out a Wikipedia article about it.

    Tucked in the middle I noticed a quote from a Lehman Bros. banker from the early 1920’s. I don’t have the exact wording in front of me, but the gist of it was ‘we need to train people to need what they want, when they want it’. We used to call that stage of human development “the terrible two’s”. The last time I checked – per an article in “The Guardian” – researchers have found that the average age for the full development of the human brain continues to increase. They noted that for males it is now 42…

    I appreciate the opportunity to share some of my ‘dot-connecting’ on the root causes of the peculiarly American mind set that ‘reality’ is defined by what can be successfully messaged.


  23. I love this and learned from it. I hope some folks take the time to read it. You are thoughtful, intelligent, and spot-on. Thank you for writing.

  24. I wanted to read your blog again, to be sure that I am not the only one who thinks that way. I am Swiss, moved here in 1999 and I am an US citizen. As you might know every Swiss household has at least one gun at home. Most of the time it is a machine gun. Then we have a sealed can with 24 bullets, a gas mask with filters, a Swiss Army knife and a bayonet which you can carry in your hand or mount it onto the machine gun. A household, let’s say has 3 children being in the army, has everything multiply by 3 and most probably the father as well. Every Swiss has to serve in the army at the age of 20 and then every year is a 2 to 3 week long course in the army.
    How many shootings does Switzerland has? None.
    As a child you get educated about guns and then trained. There is respect and you know it is a deadly weapon.

    What is happening in this country is just unbelievable. I am so upset that nobody, mainly politicians, is doing nothing. The 2nd amendment was written at a time when you had to fill in the gun powder and then shoot one bullet.

    I don’t think that anybody wants to take away the gun for hunting purposes. Real hunters try to kill the animal with one precise shot. They will never use a semi automative weapon.

    It is way to easy to get a gun, have a gun and use it. Even here in Santa Fe I read in the paper this weekend of somebody killed a woman and a man. The argument was about a haircut. The shooter got angry, went to the car, came back and killed 2 people. What nation are we?

    So yes, I agree with you completely.

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