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

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, children, crime, culture, death, dishonesty, education, environment, ethics, family, freedoms, government, law, media, politics, rights, safety, society, violence )

- 1583 days ago -
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 [....]

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Patricia H. (440)
Friday January 24, 2014, 7:40 am

Kit B (276)
Friday January 24, 2014, 7:42 am
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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.

By: William Rivers Pitt | Op-Ed | Truth Out |

William Rivers Pitt is Truthout's senior editor and lead columnist. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know," "The Greatest Sedition Is Silence" and "House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation." He lives and works in New Hampshire.

+++Journalism with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. Truthout relies on reader donations - click here to make a tax-deductible contribution and support our work. - Any amount will help!


Arielle S (313)
Friday January 24, 2014, 7:53 am
WOW ~ what a writer.... thank you for this, Kit.

Well, I am "puking sick" of hearing about all these shootings all the time, too - and sadly, it seems barely an eyebrow gets raised any more. This is normal? We're gonna give machine guns to teachers, bullet proof vests to children and just go on? Just because some moron thinks the second amendment gives him the right to own any gun he wishes? no.... there are restrictions and licenses and common sense for just about everything - if anything needs restrictions and common sense, it's gun issues.

Brad H (21)
Friday January 24, 2014, 9:14 am

Kit B (276)
Friday January 24, 2014, 9:42 am

Will had written most of this last night and I didn't see the rest till this morning, but this is powerful. We have gun laws, many of them. We do not enforce the laws we have, making more laws to not enforce makes little sense.

There are people out there that can barely drive a car, but they have guns lots of guns. When I read about little ones that find a loaded gun lying about in reach of small fingers, I can not but think that responsible and gun in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

JL A (281)
Friday January 24, 2014, 12:25 pm
I share his disgust and he says it so well I have nothing more to add.

Angelika R (143)
Friday January 24, 2014, 4:46 pm
.neither have I...-thx Kit.

Susan Clay (0)
Friday January 24, 2014, 7:12 pm
Well said Mr. Pitt.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Friday January 24, 2014, 8:08 pm
Pitt gives voice to my rage and the insanity of gun violence. Our children and others will ocntinue to die daily because some people along our lawmakers value the second amendment rights of gun toting fools and the profits of corporations more. Our society is sick. Thank you for sharing this piece. (n, p, t)

Vivian B (169)
Friday January 24, 2014, 9:20 pm
This is so starkly real. I live close to Norman, Ok. It was a wild and wooly day with all the helicopters around and the TV was lit up like a Christmas tree!
Yeah, and Oklahoma is trying to pass another law about open carry of weapons! Just what we need! A bunch of wanna-be cowboys out, getting drunk and having a quick draw contest! It'll be Dodge City all over again!
So much disgust in everything!
Thank you, Mr. Pitt. You put it so eloquently!

Susanne R (235)
Friday January 24, 2014, 10:12 pm
Mr. Pitt is able to express so eloquently what so many of us can't find the words to say. If any gun-loving individuals actually read that piece, I hope they felt the punch in the gut that was obviously intended for them. I'm guessing that once they see the title of an anti-gun article, they don't bother to read it. Reading about the avoidable slaughter of innocents is never pleasant --even less so if you bear some modicum of responsibility.

Thanks for posting this, Kit! I wouldn't have seen it if you hadn't, and this was too powerful to miss.

Susanne R (235)
Friday January 24, 2014, 10:13 pm
Please flag the spammer (or scammer)!

Kit B (276)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 7:24 am

Flagged - but it may stay until Monday.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Saturday January 25, 2014, 12:09 pm
Another great post--thanks Kit.

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday January 26, 2014, 5:59 pm
Noted w/thanks for posting, Kit. I'm starting to worry that all these shootings are just going to begin making Americans numb to the violence....although I truly hope not! What I hope is that each time another is reported in the news, that people might actually begin to think of the possibilities that it could happen to them or a loved one and take action & get involved. We need a huge movement against the NRA.
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