It’s the guns, it’s the guns, it’s the guns, it’s the guns, it’s the guns, it’s the guns, it’s the guns

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I ran out of runway in this piece — newspaper columns can only be so long — but there’s more.

A month ago, on Feb. 24, I was at a sandwich shop in Lawrenceburg, talking to a woman I canvassed with for Amy McGrath. She is what my dad would call “a real spark plug!” Full of energy and joy.

She has been politically active for decades, so I asked her what she’s been working on. “Nothing,” she said, smile fading. “I’m done. I just stay home now.” She told me about being in a local store during the pandemic. A large, tall, young man standing next to her was not wearing a mask. She told him several times that he should be wearing a mask. He ignored her. As she was walking out of the store, he caught up with her, pulled up his shirt, showed her his gun and said something like, “I’ll do whatever the f**k I want.”

My friend is done with this place, done with politics, done with the constant presence of guns. Talking to her was like watching the lights go out.

The day before I ran into my friend, police were called to a residence in town. This was reported by Ricky Sayer of LEX18.

I was later told the gunman’s girlfriend had, w/o his knowledge, ordered Walmart click-list to be delivered. The delivery woman left the package on their doorstep and the man, allegedly on drugs, came out with a gun and chased her, using the butt of his gun damage her car. Local police, the sheriff’s dept, and state troopers all responded. You can tell by the photos that it took almost a dozen officers to subdue him.

This is how we live.

And lest you think this is unique to Lawrenceburg, where I live, it is not. I hear stories like this all the time, from people who live in counties all around me, but I do not report them because they are always off-the-record. People are scared.

And finally, note the care I’ve taken in these stories to use no names, no descriptions, no places. The work I’ve done to disguise everyone because we are all, ALL OF US, scared of the guys with the guns.

This is how we live, too.