I have lived since the age of 2 with the damage inflicted by a gun death. This gives me an intense interest in mass shootings and the Supreme Court.
I have lived since the age of 2 with the damage inflicted by a gun death.
My father was killed while serving in the U.S. military in late 1945 by another soldier test firing his souvenir Luger in a barracks. I can still feel the powerful reverberations of that shot. It immediately threw the life of what remained of my family onto a much more difficult trajectory – less upwardly mobile, much less happy – than it had been on before.
My mother, though she remarried for a time and bore additional children, never knew sustained contentment and took her own life at the age of 60, three decades later. I struggled through an emotionally fraught childhood into a prickly young adulthood. Only years of psychological therapy and finally finding love in my 30s made it possible for me to break with my anger and melancholy.
This personal background gives me an unusually intense interest in the current rash of American mass shootings and its relation to our Constitution, as interpreted by a conservative Supreme Court. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 609 mass shootings (those with four or more victims) by Thanksgiving this year, though last year’s record of 690 looks safe.