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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Leave No Tragedy Unexploited

Culture, Firearms

After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.

-William S. Burroughs

It was pouring rain today so there was no way in the world I was going to take my bow and sit in a deer stand.  So I cleaned firearms instead.  It’s an annual rite at the close of the hunting season.  Every weapon that was used is disassembled, stripped-clean, oiled, reassembled, checked to make sure everything operates smoothly and locked in the safe.

This also left me with some solitary time to be alone with my thoughts.  I’m a firearm enthusiast and the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown has left me numb and sick to my stomach.  How else can anybody feel about such depravity? 

Time has compiled a list of the worst mass shootings of the past fifty years.  If you include Friday’s murders three-fifths of the mass shootings occurred in the United States.  You'd think something has gone terribly wrong.  What's a society to do about it?

Do we repeal the Second Amendment and confiscate everyone’s firearms?  Mike Huckabee seems to think that if we didn’t kick God out of the classroom such carnage wouldn't occur.  Maybe we restrict firearms ownership only from those who have never - ever - been treated for depression, anxiety, despair, anguish, stress, angst or any other mental or nervous disorder.  Sadly enough since no tragedy ever goes unexploited I expect I'll hear more of the same in the days and weeks to come. 

I watched news footage last night of a very emotional President comment on Friday’s killings and promise ‘meaningful action’ in the wake of this hideous occurrence.  I suggest he give my internet pal Karen Waldkirch a call.  Culturally-speaking perhaps we have a screw loose.  And I think she might be on to something.  

Nevertheless, There are a couple of universal truths that we all need to be mindful-of.  Violence in the United States is actually on the decline.  Sure, I know that is hard to believe if you believe the headlines.  But we are a less violent nation today than we have been in more than forty years.  Furthermore, you'd think we are awash in firearms.  Not so.  The ownership of firearms in the United States is at - or near - an all time low.  Driving the decline are reduced numbers of handguns and shotguns in American households - the very sort of firearms most likely to be used in committing a violent crime.

Learn more about it here.

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