Books or guns?

Here’s your choice: Attend the Tucson Festival of Books on the UA campus the weekend of March 12-13, or the gun show at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

Remember the saying, guns or butter? Fight or eat. Anger or compassion. Dominance or cooperation. You get the picture.

But guns or books? No question for me, that’s obvious. Others don’t feel the same.

Guns: Be active, outdoors; aim at targets and watch them fall.

Books: Delve into stories, take a trip, use your imagination.

I’m sure there’s a more nuanced view of the differences between the two activities. Both take us out of ourselves. We all need an escape hatch once in awhile.

I’m trying to cross a line and understand why many Arizonans believe we need weapons on campus, so that the good guys can protect themselves.

How can this possibly make sense when there’s no gun safety class requirement in the state? Law enforcement officials are trained to use guns — what a concept! Now the strange powers that be in Phoenix really expect young guys (let’s face it that’s who will arm themselves) to responsibly tote guns?

Consider macho, or wanting to be cool, possibly drunk young men with guns wandering among college students, anytime day or night.

Ron Barber, one of the victims of the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson said in an interview, appearing in this week’s Tucson Weekly, “Nothing in my whole life even remotely prepared me for something like this. It was just horrific: And I know I’ll be dealing with it forever.”

So don’t go to the Tucson Festival of Books. Read books on campus. That’s what you’re there for, not to go looking for bad guys.

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2 Responses to Books or guns?

  1. When people run out of ideas, they turn to violence. What they need to do is turn off the boob tube. It saps imagination, and turns people into zombies. People with guns think they have control, but this is an illusion. People without an imagination (or an original thought or argument) seek guns and expletives to make up for that.

  2. sheilawill says:

    Turning off tv would help (See Jerry Mander’s “What to do after you turn off the TV,” an old book but still has a lot to day). It’s also about lack of connection — tell me, how did the shooter’s parents not have any idea how bizarre/mentally ill their son was? Last year, there was a delightful photo of Loughner as a volunteer at the Tucson Festival of Books. He was a reader.

    I’m not saying that childhood difficulties, or miscommunication with his parents or worse should let him off the hook, but he’s clearly mentally ill and needed treatment, which may have helped. Maybe not. Sad anyway you look at it.

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