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Guns & Madness

I’ve been busy finishing the book edits and haven’t posted in a while. However, the events of this past week have been on my mind, so I wanted to share my thoughts.

It may seem odd that a mystery writer who lives in an imaginary world where people are killed all the time is railing against gun violence. But … there’s a big difference in play worlds and real worlds. In my play world, I create and kill characters all the time. But they are not real. They don’t have real families and friends who will mourn their passing. I know the difference. Apparently, real killers do not.

Many of my right-wing acquaintances say “people don’t kill—guns kill.” I think that’s a poor excuse for not outlawing assault weapons that have no place in our society. Normal people should have no desire to own a weapon of mass destruction. Sorry if you disagree, but I feel pretty adamant about that position. In fact, I just unfriended a couple of people on Facebook whose views on gun rights were so foreign to mine that I couldn’t, in good conscious, call them “friend.”

Having said all that, you may think I’m anti-gun. I am not. In fact, I just completed a concealed weapon permit class a few weeks ago. I own a 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. I keep it for protection, and I pray to God I never have to use it. I wish no one owned a gun, but I agree we have a right to bear arms. Unfortunately, we are so far down this road of gun ownership that we will likely never get guns off the streets. The sad fact is that if bad guys have guns, the good guys have to defend against them. It’s madness.

I try to relate these posts to my book and its characters, so I’ll end with this comment. My editor questioned why I mentioned in one of the scenes that my protagonist had a concealed carry permit. She asked, “Why was that relevant?” I eliminated the sentence, but after thinking further about it, I added the sentence back in. Enid is a responsible person. Even though this is a fictitious story, it was important to me that my “hero” reflect my own values. I believe in responsible gun ownership, and so does Enid. Just like in real life, Madden is not immune to the craziness of the world or to the irresponsible actions of a few individuals. Yes, I’m afraid we live in a mad, mad world.

What’s happening in our country right now is truly madness. Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald columnist, said it best. If you haven’t read his recent article, please do:

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