Today marks the 9th year since a 20-year old kid shot his mother to death one morning in Newtown, CT, then got in a car and drove across town to the Sandy Hook Elementary school where he gunned down 20 children and 6 adults before putting a bullet through his own head.

              The day of the massacre I was standing in my gun shop and around 1 PM or so the phone rang, and it was the town’s police chief who told me to turn on a TV or a radio to catch the news out of Connecticut, which was our neighboring state.

              I watched the broadcast for about 10 minutes, turned off the TV, left and closed the shop and went home. I didn’t turn on the TV again because I was simply too sick to do anything except sit on my living room couch and try my best to avoid thinking about what had occurred.

              Over the next week or so I appeared on various TV programs in my area, and when I asked one of the talk-show hosts why I was being called up and invited to talk multiple times he replied, “You’re the only gun dealer who’s willing to talk about Sandy Hook without ranting about his 2nd-Amendment rights.”

              Frankly, I didn’t think then and I don’t think now that what happened at Sandy Hook and what has happened at the high school in Parkland, Umpqua Community College The Pulse, and every other place where a bunch of people have been gunned down has anything to do with the 2nd Amendment at all.

              So, what if the Constitution allows you to keep a handgun in your home? What’s that got to do with shooting your way into an elementary school and blasting the place to smithereens? So what if the 2nd Amendment says we can ‘keep and bear arms?’ How can the families who lost children or mothers and fathers ever feel that their Constitutional ‘rights’ should somehow replace the presence of a child or an adult in their home?

              And by the way, for all the talk about how we should get a comprehensive background-check law passed so that only ‘responsible’ and ‘law-abiding’ people can own guns, the AR-15 that the kid used to massacre everyone he saw was not only legally purchased and owned by his mother, but there was no law in Connecticut which prevented the kid from borrowing the gun and committing mayhem across town.

              There is something really fuck*ed up when we take a gun designed only for military use and sell it on the open market as a ‘sporting’ gun. There is something even more fuc*ed up when we also let anyone who hasn’t been locked up for a felony walk around with a handgun designed for the military but sold on the open market as a ‘tool’ for self-defense.

              Incidentally, the Sandy Hook shooter not only had an AR-15 as his basic slaughter gun, he also had a Sig pistol which he used to pop a round into his own head. And guess what handgun the U.S. military has been issued this past year? It’s called a Sig.

And just in case you haven’t watched a good war movie lately like ‘Band of Brothers’ or ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ you might be interested to know that the military doesn’t issue troops any kind of ‘sporting’ gun.

I think it’s important to mark anniversaries, both for things that are good and things that are bad. We all need to spend some time thinking about both because as Hobbes once remarked, life is ‘nasty, brutish and short.’

But we don’t have to make life nastier or more brutish or shorter by doing something as stupid as believing that someone walking down the street with a Sig or a Glock in their pocket is helping to keep himself and the rest of us safe.

All he’s really doing is demonstrating that he suffers from a case of arrested mental development and there’s simply no reason to pretend that he represents anything else.