Thursday, April 4, 2013

Guns Don't Kill People

Once again, my silent writing self has been pulled from lethargy to respond to a Facebook post I have been receiving from numerous sources.  Many of the posters are people I love and respect and I refuse to engage in FB political conversations as I have seen too many of them deteriorate into nasty exchanges.  Here is the picture that has been posted:
Okay, this is a clever piece, meant to point out the ridiculous assumption that a gun could actually kill someone without a person involved.  In other words, the point that I DO get is that a gun, in and of itself, should not be blamed for the mayhem we have in our current society.  And right, spoons don't make people fat.  But here is another example of misplaced blame:
Yesterday I placed my car in the driveway, full of gas, key in the ignition, ready to go!  While I was gone, many other cars had passed and children had played in the street and even pedestrians were not killed or hurt. 
I think my drift here is obvious, so I won't belabor the comparison. Yet who among us argues about the need for licenses to drive, an age limit, driver's ed classes, speed limits, traffic lights, safer cars, airbags, drunk driving laws, road signs, insurance, laws about uninsured motorists, jail terms for those who, even unwittingly, kill or maim innocent bystanders.  Just this last week, we here in Seattle were heartbroken by a family being mowed down by a drunk driver while crossing the street. And today we have another example.  There is a hue and cry to make and enforce tougher laws, requiring ignition locks on cars to keep the impaired from driving, harsher sentencing in DUI cases, better signage and crosswalks on the busy street.  And how do we justify a law that requires us to wear seat belts?  Aren't my civil liberties being attacked by that law?  Is it enough that a seat belt law saves lives and saves taxpayer dollars in medical costs?  NO ONE suggests taking cars out of the equation, just as many sane and rational people do not suggest removing all of society's guns. But we are a society that makes laws when one person's liberties impact the life and liberty of others!

What continues to baffle me is that we are unable to bring that same rational thinking and conversation to the issue of guns.  Why do I have to read stories like the one in today's Seattle Times? Here's a quote:
Each year, lawmakers quietly tuck language into spending bills that restricts the ability of the federal government to regulate the firearms industry and combat gun crime.
It’s the reason the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can’t research gun violence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can’t use data to detect firearms traffickers, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) can’t require background checks on older guns.
Since the late 1970s, more than a dozen provisions have been added to must-pass spending bills with no hearings, no debate and no vote, in a way that’s designed to circumvent the usual legislative process. . . .
Congress has approved stand-alone bills on firearms before, but as Capitol Hill becomes more acrimonious, lawmakers have attached measures to other bills. A provision allowing owners to bring guns into national parks, for example, was tacked onto a bill outlining restrictions for credit-card companies.
What will it take for our country to wake up to the fact that the rules around gun ownership and use could stand some tweaking and still allow gun owners to co-exist with the rest of us?  I'm not ready to give up my car, but I will respect the laws of the land and do whatever I can to protect the lives and liberties of everyone else while using my car!  Is it too much to ask gun owners for the same respect?

Saturday, February 16, 2013


After a long silence, the last thing I want to write about is something extremely controversial.  However, I have just finished listening to Guns, a 49-minute essay by Stephen King, sold on Amazon for $.99 in the Kindle edition or $.69 for the audio version.  I believe you have to be a member of to download the audio version.  Either way, it is a must read/hear for everyone. Except for the expletives, I can heartily recommend this to everyone. 

As I said, I hesitate to start a bitter conversation with anyone about the 2nd Amendment.  I do not believe that guns should be outlawed and unfortunately there is very little room in the conversation for a middle ground.  I think this author has found such a middle ground and I am happy to hear it put forth so eloquently.  Following is a summary, copied from the Amazon website, that describes the book:

In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.
King's earnings from the sale of this essay will go to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Stephen King is the author of 11/22/63, Under the Dome, Carrie, The Shining, and many other best-selling works.
"The overwhelming response from readers of the Kindle Single edition of Guns underscores the great need for thoughtful discourse on the issue of guns in America. I'm thrilled Audible is bringing Guns to the quickly growing audience of audiobook listeners." (Stephen King)
Please consider taking the time to listen to or read this well-thought-out call for discussion. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


As the New Year begins, I am resolving to write more on my blog.  Not because I need people to read it -- just because I need to write.  I have been uninspired for quite some time but continue to write blog posts in my head so alas, it is time.  I'm going to use the many folders of "quotations" and funny bits and pieces that I have saved for years and years.  And then, perhaps, I can toss the primary source and let those folders full of trivia go!

So the first bit of trivia is a quote from William Blake:  "He who would do good to another, must do it in Minute Particulars.  General Good is the plea of the scoundrel hypocrite & flatterer...."

My resolve for the year 2013, along with writing more, is to try to do good in minute particulars.  What have you resolved?