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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:08 AM

the dark presence of guns

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/the-dark-presence-of-guns.html

***SNIP

I donít think there is any mystery to understanding the passionate feelings people have for guns. Nobody really believes itís about maintaining a militia. Itís about having possession of a tool that makes a person feel powerful nearly to the point of exaltation. What argument can meet this, I am not sure, especially since the topic isnít openly discussed. To people who support owning guns, the issue is treated as a right and a matter of democracy, not a complicated subject also involving elements of personal mental health. I am not saying that people who love guns inordinately are unstable; I am saying that a gun is the most powerful device there is to accessorize the ego.

As for the assertion that someone with a gun might have prevented one of these recent catastrophes, I can think of two things to say. One is that the idea of a solitary figure with a hand gun dispatching a man in combat gear with an assault rifle is not a sensible one. I knew only one cop who had fired his gun at someone, and he had missed the man completely. I asked what had happened, and he said, ďI got a sudden case of shaky hands.Ē The second is that some years ago I wrote a book called ďA Violent Act,Ē which appeared in two issues of this magazine. The book concerns the permanent shadow cast across the lives of a woman and her two little boys when a man on a rampage killed her husband with a sawed-off shotgun. This happened one morning in Indianapolis. The husband had been a probation officer who came to the manís house for an interview. The killer shot him as he walked toward the front door, then left in a car. He drove to a convenience store where he shot the clerk when the man didnít hand over the money from the cash register fast enough. Over the next few hours he killed a few more people and kidnapped others in Indiana and Missourióby the end of the day he was the most sought after criminal at large in Americaó-and then he crashed his car beside a highway and ran into some woods and disappeared. In reconstructing the day, I sought out as many witnesses as I could find, and one was a man who had been in the store when the shotgun went off. He had had a handgun in his coat pocket. I asked why he hadnít used it. ďIt just all happened too fast,Ē he said,Ē and by the time I might have got to it, he had the jump on me.Ē


Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/the-dark-presence-of-guns.html#ixzz2GFWpIEzl

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xchrom Dec 2012 OP
DrDan Dec 2012 #1
Pholus Dec 2012 #2

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:44 AM

1. great read - thanks for posting

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:43 AM

2. "I am saying that a gun is the most powerful device there is to accessorize the ego."

Wow, that is the most succinct expression of what this is *truly* all about I've read. Thanks!

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