Thursday, March 14, 2013

Loose Ends

A couple of posts back I wrote about the gun debate and reprinted an opinion piece I’d written for a newspaper while living in Utah.  Click here to read the post.  At the time, I said I’d share some of the reaction to my column.  Part of the agreement with writing op-eds is that you were not allowed to write letters to the editor and direct response in columns to letters to the editor were discouraged.  We were only allowed to write on the same topic twice a year.  So, I had to take my licks for the piece I wrote, which was fine.

The first volley came from the mayor of the town of Virgin (yes, Utah has a town named Virgin and, supposedly, Johnny Carson once showed a copy of the same newspaper for whom I was writing with the headlines reading “Virgin Plans a Big Night on the Town.”  I am sure this was an incredible boost to the town’s tourism, but is another story).  Mr. Lee, the town’s mayor began by saying I did not understand Utah gun laws concerning schools, for that students under 21 years of age would not be allowed to possess firearms (he was responding to my sarcasm about it being good thing I wasn’t allowed to have a gun in school when a professor mistakenly gave me an F instead of the A I’d earned).  Obviously, Mr. Lee didn’t catch my sarcasm, nor did he realize that I was old enough at the time to have a concealed weapon permit.  He went on to write about how, after a mass shooting in Australia, all the guns from the good guys were rounded up and destroyed and how the continent had since been rocked by a violent crime wave (he made it sound more like Somalia than Australian).   He also cited a suspicious report from the ATF that suggests between 650,000 and 1 million lives are saved every year by those carrying guns.  I shook my head and slugged it off, but a week or two later I was vindicated.  An Australian citizen had been visiting our fine corner of the world and was shocked at Mr. Lee’s figures and refuted them, citing his sources and giving websites where readers could look them up.   Then, another guy, who identified himself as an 18 year old, took me seriously in my comments about wanting to shoot  a professor and said I wasn’t fit to own a firearm and should sell my guns to someone who does.  He went on to say that I am in favor of victim disarmament.   Obviously, I had touched a nerve and learned that my humor wasn’t appreciated by some.

Two years later, right before moving from Utah, I tried my best not to smirk when I read that Major Lee from the town of Virgin was being indicted for the misappropriation of funds.   

On another topic, I recently wrote about a dream with snakes.  I had a second such dream the other night and this one is more puzzling.  I was at a house where a guy was milking a snake (but doing it in a way that it’s not done with a needle through the snake’s head).  After he finished collecting the venom, he laid the snake out on a table and was showing how tame it was and suggested I come over and pet it.  As I stepped over, the snake saw his chance to escape and slide down the table and under a couch and we tried our best but couldn’t find him.  I decided that I didn’t hang around a room with a poisonous snake who had good reason to be upset was lurking. 

On a final note, although I am not Roman Catholic, I must say that I like what I hear about the new pope.


  1. I'm excited about the new pope so far too. One plus is that he is named after my patron saint. I also like that he is a simple man is already shaking things up a bit among the old guard. Just what our faith needs.

  2. sarcasm is not easy to figure at times. A lot of people are very literal minded. I'm not always quickest to catch on to sarcasm myself, I will admit.

  3. The snake theme is interesting. Some years ago I had a dream sequence featuring ancient fish. Sometimes I wish that sequence would return, as it was very, very interesting.

    I don't get the Pope thing, at all, though I do think this fellow seems like a better leader than the last.

  4. I've found that the best way to deal with people who've made up their minds to disagree with you is to say, "You could be right."

  5. What sort of dowsing rod would you use to get the ATF numbers for those 'saved' by guns.
    Pshaw, you can't get over the feeling that some people in possession of weaponry would benefit from a month of two of a good multi-vitamin + minerals.

    I seen to remember that is how you get venom from young dead snakes when they want the makin's for anti-venom.

    On the new Pope. His place of origin wouldn't matter but that he is a Jesuit may.
    I think a lot of people went 'Wow there, that really is new' when he asked that the plaza to pray for him before he gave the blessing.

  6. People tend to skim articles and comment with such passion over something that wasn't even said or meant. It can be amusing though if you're the writer, it can also be frustrating, I'm sure. And a vacancy where a sense of humour should be is always a little scary to me.

    I also like what I'm hearing so far about Francis.

  7. That mayor sounds like a loon. :)

    "The snake is the symbol of the great wisdom of Nature, for the too direct way is not the best way; the crooked way, the detour, is the shorter way."

    - Carl Jung

  8. I think from what I've seen this will be a good Pope, for sure. My daughter's best friend from grade school, as well as fellow Girl Scout pal, has turned her life over to that of being a nun, and it's an ever changing world that they are experiencing in so many ways today. But as for your gun issue, I think you know I'm in the same "boat" ha ha with you! I may not carry or use, my family does and remember my daughter recently got her license to carry- so onward- with more luck than the Irish! :) we'll carry luck on our sides hopefully!