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Take Off Your Shoes

At an Earth Day celebration in 1992, I volunteered to hand out information about the upcoming Brady Bill, which would mandate federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States, and impose a five-day waiting period on purchases.  It was named after Jim Brady, who was shot in the head during an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1991.  He spent the rest of his life paralyzed from the waist down.

In the Spring of 1996, I was sightseeing in London and my cab driver, a red-faced man with a sweet Irish brogue, told me about the Dunblane school massacre, in which a former scout leader entered an elementary school, shooting 32 students and teachers, 16 of whom died.  It had happened two months earlier, and he still couldn’t talk about it without crying.

Still angry and frustrated, he asked me, “Has the whole world gone MOD, de…

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