“What a wonder is a gun!
What a versatile invention!
First of all, when you’ve a gun—
Everybody pays attention.”
—Stephen Sondheim, Assassins
Last year I had the opportunity to review Candice Millard’s excellent history of the Garfield assassination, Destiny of the Republic. President Garfield’s killer, Charles J. Guiteau, has generally been characterized as “a disgruntled office-seeker,” but as Millard makes clear, he was barking mad. His own family was terrified of him and had been for years, but it proved impossible to find him any effective mental health care.
Finding a cheap handgun in the nation’s capital, on the other hand, proved very easy. One murdered president later, attention was paid.
That was 131 years ago. Little has changed. Getting effective, affordable mental health care is nearly as difficult for many Americans as it was in Garfield’s time, while guns are more ubiquitous and deadly than ever.
Thorns With Occasional Roses
The other day, driving to the local home center for some mulch and fertilizer, I absolutely solved the problem of gun proliferation in America once and for all. This was the morning after the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., and so I guess the subject was on my mind. When the traffic light turned green, I stepped on the gas and was nearly broadsided by a speeding Cockasaurus, running the red light going the other way.
It seems in poor taste to run a fashion item about designers who cater to gun-concealing chinos and jackets while the Trayvon Martin case is still on the forefront of everyone’s minds, but you know what they say: Fashion trends (and bullets) stops for no man. Just like the skirt stories before them, a new ridiculous piece in The New York Times claims “Fashion Statement in Clear,” only to add “…the Gun Isn’t.”
Mayor Bloomberg has it exactly right. Those federal officials who refuse to crack down on the plague of illegal guns in New York City and elsewhere should get calls from the victims of gun violence at all hours of the night. The mayor and his colleagues elsewhere are all too familiar with late-night calls placed to the loved ones of police officers wounded or killed by sociopaths armed with assault weapons and other weapons of mass carnage.
Long Island congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy announced today that her campaign to ban high capacity ammunition magazines is gaining steam.
“The nation is recognizing that these devices facilitate mass carnage and their availability is a threat to public safety,” said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy. “We can save lives and reduce injuries by restricting access to high-capacity magazines Read More
There is little question that political discourse in the United States in the early 21st century will never be confused with the Lincoln-Douglas debate. Political combatants take an unseemly delight in characterizing opponents as enemies of the state, and reasonably decent public servants can expect to be labeled as pinheads and traitors, puppets of capital Read More
It seems like a no-brainer: Why not use modern technology to virtually stamp bullet casings, which often are the sole pieces of evidence left behind at a shooting scene? If those casings can be traced to the gun’s owner, wouldn’t it be easier to catch and jail assailants and murderers?
Dozens of police departments Read More
Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood at a waste-transfer station on Staten Island, surrounded by garbage, to unveil the first step in his new-and-improved plan to cart trash out of the city.
It had been more than 24 hours since a South Korean student went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech, killing 32 students and then Read More