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William Rivers Pitt | An Open Letter to Lovers of the Gun

William Rivers Pitt: “I am puking sick of reading every single day about how your baby, your toddler, your brother, your sister, your cousin, your niece, your nephew, blew their brains into their lap with a gun you left lying around, because freedom, or something.”

(Image: via Shutterstock)

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Wakefield Elementary School in Turlock, California, was put on temporary lockdown on Tuesday – amazing, isn’t it, how terms like “temporary lockdown” have snuggled up next to terms like “elementary school” in our common-usage lexicon without anyone batting an eye – because a man was shot across the street.

Two students were shot by a student at the Delaware Valley Charter School in Philadelphia on Monday. According to reports, an 18-year-old graduate of the school gave a 17-year-old student the gun that was used.

A 16-year-old student at Albany High School in Georgia was shot at approximately the same time as the student at Delaware Valley Charter was shot. The victim is expected to survive.

A student at Widener University was shot on Tuesday while sitting in his car. As of this writing, he is in critical but stable condition.

A student at Berrendo Middle School in New Mexico opened fire in a crowded gymnasium with a sawed-off shotgun several days ago, seriously injuring two students. Parents are frightened to let their children go back.

A student at Liberty Technology Magnet High School in Tennessee was shot the week before last. He was 17 years old. A police dog found the gun, and the shooter is in custody.

A student was shot and killed on the campus of Purdue University on Tuesday. The killer surrendered immediately.

A piece of construction equipment on the campus of the University of Oklahoma backfired twice on Wednesday, sending the student body into a “shelter in place” panic before the police determined there was no threat.

Seven school shootings in 24 days? I can’t imagine what they were worried about.

I said this on New Year’s Day: “In 2010, by comparison, there were nine school shootings in America that killed seven people. In 2011, there were eleven school shootings that killed nine people. In 2012, there were fourteen school shootings – including the massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary and Oikos University – that killed 43 people. In 2013, there were twenty-three school shootings that killed nineteen people. Nine, then eleven, then fourteen, then twenty-three. If the trend holds, we can look forward to maybe thirty or forty school shootings in 2014.”

I was wrong. Seven school shootings in the first month of the year means we are on pace, if this keeps up, to have no less than 84 school shootings by the end of December.


Yes, you, who love your guns.


I would ask what is wrong with you, but I already know: you love your guns more than you love your child, or his child, or her child, or my child. You love your guns, period.

Prove me wrong, because you haven’t yet.


I am puking sick of reading every single day about how your baby, your toddler, your brother, your sister, your cousin, your niece, your nephew, blew their brains into their lap with a gun you left lying around, because freedom, or something.

I am sick of mourning the gun dead day after day, every day, because every day someone wins the Someone Gets To Be Dead Today lottery, because of you, and a whole lot of those winners are children.

I am sick of how you hide behind gun money, gobs and gobs of political gun money, while complaining about the influence of money in politics. If any other item in common use in America – like aspirin, or a car – was wasting people with the dreary regularity of guns, that item would be banned by congressional fiat…but it’s guns, so the slaughter slogs on, even as you tell your friends you hate the influence of “special interests” in politics, because you’re a fraud in Technicolor.

I see you. And I am sick and tired of you.

I hope – I pray – that you are sick of yourself as you watch the bodies pile up around you like cordwood, as you see the shootings at this school, and that school, and this school, and that school, and someday your school, which will be on the TV news from a helicopter’s view, with a voice guessing at the latest body count, while you are waiting for the word.

I would spare you that experience. Please spare me that experience.

It is not the anti-gun people who are going to make this right. It is the pro-gun people who know better, who see this slaughter for what it is, who will make this right.

Seven school shootings in 24 days.

See. Be disgusted. Do something.

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