Some years back, the gabbai in shul announced a ban on cap guns at Megillah reading. The noise and the smell created a disturbance. As a public service, I put up an old sign I found:
“Cowboys, Leave Your Guns at the Bar for the Safety of Our Patrons.”
I’m not a gun owner. Nor am I an NRA supporter. Long ago, I said I regret that I have but 10 toes to give for my security. (Although, back in the ’80s, in Far Rockaway, N.Y., I did put an NRA sticker on my door. It was cheaper — and safer — than a gun.) I remember a friend of mine who stopped carrying a weapon after he nearly plugged his neighbor, who surprised him one night while he was taking out the garbage.
Banning assault weapons should be a no-brainer. Wyatt Earp managed to keep the peace in Dodge City, Kansas, and Tombstone, Arizona, with a Colt .45 single-action revolver, aka “the Peacemaker.” Which reminds me of when former NYC Mayor David Dinkins answered a reporter who had the effrontery to ask about violence in New York: The mayor snarled, “This is not Dodge City.”
No, it’s not. In 1878, three people were shot dead in Dodge City. That was including Bat Masterson’s brother, Ed, also a U.S. marshal. Bat Masterson, himself, eventually became sports editor for the New York Morning Telegraph. There, in 1921, he slumped over his typewriter and died of a heart attack. (And you wonder why I shy away from sports!)
The administrative blunder that allowed for Devin Kelley to buy an arsenal and slaughter churchgoers in Texas was not because of weak gun laws. It was a failure to report crucial information. Yes, a ban on all semi-automatic weapons might have impeded his carnage, but it wouldn’t necessarily have prevented it.
As cogent as the arguments for better gun control are, it’s far too easy to slip into the simplistic knee-jerk response of blaming all violence on guns.
This was brought home to me recently, when a commentator called for stronger gun laws — in response to the terrorist Sayfullo Saipov driving a truck into cyclists and pedestrians in downtown Manhattan.
Some terrorists don’t have no truck with guns.
Mordechai Schiller, Brooklyn, N.Y.