In December 2012 — 2 days before Sandy Hook — I wrote the following essay.  Since then, 74 school shootings have taken place.

This morning I’m taking your pulse:  Do you feel the same, or has your opinion changed, in the last 18 months?


A friend came over this evening. We talked about guns. We talked about the NFL and guns. We talked about the father who accidentally shot his 7 yr old son while getting in his truck. We talked about Bob Costas talking about guns and all the flak he’s taking for talking. No talking!

When I was little, a kid in my class killed his baby brother. Shot that baby in the chest. They were just playing. The kid tried to come back to school, but he peed his pants on the bus and the next thing we knew we never saw that kid again.

Politicians can’t talk about guns. Political suicide. Interesting term.

When we were in Prague this fall, this sculpture was, well, fucking unnerving.


Last night, the Oregon mall shooting. A young man who feared for his life in that mall said, “It was like being in a video game.” When did we start saying things like “it was like a video game,” or “it was like a movie”?

When I was little we had BB guns. (I had to think, just now, about how to spell BB guns: BB, BeBe, BeeBee) My brother shot his gun off in the kitchen and the BB’s went through the washing machine. Those BB’s grazed Dad’s pants leg. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Hahahahaha!

My brother was 4 years old when he did that.


When my son was a teenager, he wanted a paintball gun. I said No Way, but I soon gave in to peer pressure —- come on, all the kids have them!!! —- and I said there were 3 rules. If the dogs get hit, the gun’s gone. If the house gets hit, the gun’s gone. I never want to see that gun, so keep it in a bag. What a big shot rule-maker I was.

My son came home with the worst bruises. I worried myself sick and said nothing. You like me, you really really like me!

My brother was in the Marines and now he’s in the National Guard. His profile picture on Facebook shows him in his gear and helmet, holding an AK47, surrounded on the ground by a group of AK47s. The title of the photo is: ME & MY BITCHES


When my dad was about 30, he found out his dad wasn’t his real dad. He’d grown up thinking his stepfather —- who married his mother when he was a baby — was his dad. But really? His real dad shot himself while cleaning his gun. Or so they say.

When I was little, I refused to learn to load my BB gun. Wouldn’t even touch the thing. Everybody made fun of me, including my mother and my aunts and my uncles. Awwww, Big Sissy!!! At the time I was riding the bus with that kid who killed his brother, shot that baby in the chest while they were just having fun, the kid who peed his pants. I kept this to myself.


Tell me a story about guns.