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Guns: As American As Mass Slaughter

Posted 4/22/2009

Brian Morton ("Guns of Spring," Political Animal, April 15) forgot one important mid-April date: April 19th, 1775. That was the day a bunch of Americans he calls "loons, the macho, the aggrieved, and the paranoid" went on a "gun-fueled massacre" in the cities of Lexington and Concord and began setting themselves free from the yoke of tyranny and oppression. A little more gun control back then and the United States would not exist today. The Japanese later declined to follow up their Pearl Harbor attack with a full-scale invasion because, in the words of Admiral Yamamoto, "There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."

Today, with our Department of Defense tied down overseas doing everything but defending the homeland, it might be time to rethink the practical value of private gun ownership. Cars still kill more people than guns every year in this country and nobody is screaming for more "car control." And it isn't fair of Brian to wave the red herring of school massacres, when the perpetrators (Harris, Klebold, Cho, etc.) are invariably under-diagnosed and overmedicated mentally ill sociopaths bent on revenge. Andrew Kehoe was just one such person. He slaughtered 45 innocent men, women, and (mostly) children at a school in Bath Township, Michigan in 1927. His weapon? High explosives he legally purchased from a hardware store. It's understandable that Brian would overlook Kehoe and his record-setting school massacre. For one, he didn't use guns to kill his victims. Plus, he apparently picked the wrong month (May). My advice to Brian: Get a gun and find another "problem" to crow about. Preferably one about which he has a clue.

Kirk Olson

Brian Morton responds: Nowhere in the column do I mention banning all guns, and nobody "screams for more car control" because cars are registered and their owners are tested and licensed, which is something the gun lobby has fought against for decades. One cannot buy high explosives in hardware stores anymore, and, lastly, Mr. Olson is the one making the allusion that the Founding Fathers are loons, not me.

Correction: A Now Hear This pick in last week's Baltimore Weekly calendar (April 15) mistakenly touted a recent Black Pus show as a benefit for local record shop the True Vine, although supporting the True Vine is always a good thing. City Paper regrets the error.

Editor's note: You only have until 5 p.m. this Friday, April 24, to enter Shoot. Score. Baltimore., City Paper's first short film contest; visit for details. HURRY. And mark your calendar for the contest screening: Wednesday, May 6, at the Windup Space

In two weeks, it's time for Film Fest Frenzy, our annual guide to Maryland Film Fest 2009.

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