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Tag: gun violence

No Country for Children

No Country for Children

Yesterday as I watched the news about yet another school shooting, I tried to feel something other than anger. I know that anger is not the healthiest emotion. It raises the heart rate, spikes the stress hormones, produces a flood of negative reactions from brain to gut, but anger is my default with these shootings now. What else am I supposed to feel? I’m angry with the shooter, sure, because I wish he’d found some other way to express his…

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Our American Values are Killing Us

Our American Values are Killing Us

On Wednesday evening, a man shot and killed three people inside a Wal-Mart in Thornton, Colorado. The victims were ordinary Americans doing the most American thing of all—shopping at a big box store in the suburbs. We don’t know if they were there to buy clothes for their children or groceries for their next meal. Maybe they were getting started on their Christmas shopping. The suspect in the shooting is also an ordinary American—a middle-aged white man with a string…

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There Is No Such Thing as a Lone Wolf

There Is No Such Thing as a Lone Wolf

I was raised in a home with guns. My father had hunting rifles, the kind you might use to shoot a deer or a squirrel. He used his to shoot both, though he hunted less and less as I grew older. In later years he used one of those rifles to shoot a snake that was threatening a neighborhood dog. Daddy never owned the sort of gun meant for killing people—no handguns or military style assault weapons. He didn’t shoot…

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The Bad Guys Next Door

The Bad Guys Next Door

In 1997 in Pearl, Mississippi, a teenager opened fire on his high school classmates, killing two and injuring many more. I watched the news footage from my job at the public television station in Austin, Texas. I’d grown up just a few miles from where the shooting took place. I had cousins in Pearl and I spent time there as a child. The news of the shooting shocked me and it shocked my coworkers. Someone asked, “Where would he get the gun?”…

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