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Its raining today in Sandwich where I live. Snowing some other places. I don’t know if its raining in Newtown Connecticut but it should be. It would befit the mood in a town that has had its gun culture turn on it in a horrific way. If that sounds harsh it is meant to. Newtown is emblematic of our country. A few people in most towns own guns that are designed to be effective killing machines. Designed to kill not rabid dogs or pheasants – designed to kill people. These guns must be taken out of the hands of anyone other than our military and police. No private citizen should have weapons of war. These weapons facilitate mass murder. Ownership of them must be controlled.

In Newtown attempts to control such weapons were blocked. A New York Times article, ran with this headline: “In Town at Ease With Its Firearms, Tightening Gun Rules Was Resisted.” The sound of rapid gunfire was heard in town causing concern. The mother of the mass murderer (shooter is far too delicate a term for this individual) collected high powered guns and took her kids to a shooting range. She was part of the town’s gun culture. The easy access to automatic, high powered guns facilitated this mass murder. Nothing that has that effect should be legal.

Those who advocate guns because they are protective miss the fact that guns in our towns and homes too often fall into the hands of the insane or malevolent. That is what happened in Newtown. Rather than give every school Principal a Bushmaster, we must work to get such weapons out of our homes and off the streets.

I have read arguments against control of automatic, high powered guns saying the second amendment is in place to ensure that the citizens of this country must be armed in case the government becomes tyrannical . As if an armed citizenry could over throw a government with the armaments at this one’s disposal. Not possible. Not the way to control tyranny anyway. A silly, frivolous argument.

In Newtown the police and town leadership has tried to institute regulations over guns. They have been blocked by gun advocates. The sound of gun fire – rapid gunfire is heard regularly in Newtown. People shoot propane tanks and cans of explosives to have the fun of blowing stuff up. This is not healthy behavior and must be outlawed and the weapons of war taken off the street. Any existing or new regulations must be enforced and enforced for real. Any weapon that has no use except to efficiently kill people by the dozens – these weapons must be taken out of the hands of citizens. Immediately.

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The human condition is a frail one. We have difficulty separating reality from the phantoms of dreams and nightmares. There is an article in today’s Boston Globe about a man who strangled his sweetheart and wife of 40 years while he dreamed that intruders were attacking the couple in their camper. He was found not guilty because  he was having a nightmare and was acting automatically, as if under a spell. Under the control  of something he could not resist. I past times he would have been thought to be possessed by the devil.

Tragic, ironic beyond what anyone on earth could possibly bear, this story highlights our fragile grasp of reality. You see they had camped in a strange place and their sleep was disturbed by cars racing nearby. They where fearful. Frightened. Sleeping uneasily, he had a nightmare of the worst kind — the kind that doesn’t feature unreality but reality — it was a dream that seemed real. They were being attacked. So he defended himself — by strangling his beloved wife. Sad beyond comprehension.

Of course maybe this fellow is a master of deception and murdered his wife purposefully covering it with a bizarre story and getting away with an atrocity. But I don’t believe that. I think this is human nature biting  once again.

I hope that we can guard against occurrences like this. How? By being aware of both our surroundings and our feelings. By thinking past the dark and the fear. By having faith in our destiny. This is my belief and hope but I’m not sure it will always work. In any case I continue to try not to be afraid of anything…..

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