I surfaced from a busy week to read details of the latest school shooting in Oregon—how embarrassing (and tragic and infuriating and all that). You can read my thoughts on gun control here and here. I'm too distracted with battling cancer at the moment to be saying much more on the topic of mass shootings.
But I was in a local sportsman's shop a few weekends ago while my friend Jeff was buying a seasonal fishing license. We were planning to spend a few hours out on the Willamette River in a borrowed boat, and I was just going along for the ride, a potential accessory to fish murder. Fortunately, nobody caught anything other than an old anchor. But even more impressive to me that day than the sunny, tree-lined river were the store's glass cases of handguns, racks of rifles, and boxes of ammo stacked up on the shelves opposite, the heads of diverse forest animals lining the walls, their black glass eyes blank. The store was an ode to death, and watching customers—mostly men—trying out guns looked more than a little like women shopping for handbags.
P.S. Now go watch Australian comic Jim Jefferies' standup routine on gun control from his 2014 Netflix special Bare, about the best argument I've seen against the American impulse for more guns.