• Winona, Missouri

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Amen to Ivor Paul’s letter “Living with the fear of being shot.” Filmmaker Michael Moore said it all in “Bowling for Columbine” (2002), but few Americans seem to have heeded the very clear message against gun mayhem.

This is the United States of Amnesia, where last week’s random gun crime or massacre is soon forgotten until the next such violent incident. One of the many reasons I moved to Japan in 1984 was to escape the fear I felt toward gun violence in America.

I was nearly shot and killed in the summer of 1979 while working at a summer camp in rural Indiana. A retired alcoholic psychologist pointed his gun at me on a bright summer afternoon. He had awoken from a drunken stupor when I entered his cabin to ask for some maintenance tools. He thought I was an intruder and pointed his .38-caliber revolver at the nose on my face from a distance of two meters!

You never really recover from such an experience. I should have reported the incident to the police. I wonder now if the old bastard even had a permit for the gun. He was also a former minister! Americans worship Jesus, but they love their guns. America, the land of the free but often fearful.

robert mckinney

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