Posts Tagged ‘gun regulation’

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets shot: My very short, very upsetting attempt to play pinball early one Wednesday morning

March 19, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
March 19, 2020

Author’s note: Although this post is not graphic, it involves violence. It also includes some foul language and refers to drug usage. As such, it may not be appropriate for sensitive readers.

Worth noting, perhaps, is that I started writing this blog post several days ago but put it on hold as concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic surged. I apologize for the delay. MEM

Around 10 minutes after midnight on the morning of Wednesday, March 11, I walked into a Durham establishment that I will refer to as Pinball Oasis. Pretty much right away I noticed that something was off.

A strange grouping of people was arrayed near the high-top tables on the far side of the pinball cluster. Two men were facing each other; behind each, a few people were fanned out. After I showed my identification to a staffer at the front desk, I took a moment to study this formation.

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Cheeps and Chirps for May 11, 2019

May 11, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken
May 11, 2019

Let’s fire up the old tweeting machine.

• Politics

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One Wondrous Sentence: The upside and downside of gun safety measures

January 7, 2013

This one wondrous sentence notes both the difficulty in stopping mass murder and the unintended benefits such measures can bring.

The irony is that some of the proposed gun control measures that would have been useless for preventing either Columbine or the other mass school shootings of the late 1990s might be perfectly reasonable measures for preventing ordinary gun violence.

Source: Gary Kleck, “Mass Shootings in Schools: The Worst Possible Case for Gun Control,” American Behavioral Scientist, as quoted by Tom Jacobs, “School Shootings and Gun Control,” Pacific Standard, Dec. 14, 2012.

On the murder of innocents

December 17, 2012

There was another mass killing in the country on Friday. Having shot his mother to death at the home they shared in Newtown, Conn., a 20-year-old man drove to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School. He fired at least one bullet through a pane of glass and began shooting adults and children. Twenty youngsters and six adults were slaughtered at the school.

The Sandy Hook slaughter commanded the nation’s attention for what seemed like most of Friday. For me personally, it was the second Friday in a row dominated by news of murder. (On Dec. 6, I learned that a friendly man who owned a restaurant near my house had been shot to death.)

On both Friday afternoons, I found my life warped by pain and horror. And as hard it was to come to grips with the murder of the man I had known (although not well), it’s been even harder to dissipate the awful feelings provoked by the slayings of complete strangers in faraway Connecticut.

Part of the problem, of course, is that the Sandy Hook slaughter, while tragic, is not nearly as much of an aberration as one would hope. Already this year, according to this Mother Jones timeline, there have been seven deadly mass shootings. Seventy-nine people were killed; a similar number were injured. (MoJo defines as a mass shooting as one in which at least four people were killed by gunfire.) Read the rest of this entry »

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