posttrib
DISRUPTIVE 
Weather Updates

Commentary: Smith: I’d get rid of the guns, if I were you

Updated: December 24, 2012 11:38AM



I’ve always felt that one of the things that isn’t immediately obvious about my job is that you work alone. When you leave your co-workers at the office, you are by yourself. Almost the time. All the way. It’s just the way it is.

I added it up one time a few years ago and with some other jobs I have had which required me to travel to places big and small, I’ve driven well over one million miles throughout the state. I sometimes joke that if something ever happened to me, no one would know for weeks because no one really knows exactly where I am the vast majority of the time.

Last Saturday, I was rolling through southern Fulton County on the way to Caston High School, where Lowell was playing basketball. Caston is a place you most definitely have to be looking for to find. In all my years of following the boys and girls, I had never even accidentally driven by Caston High School. It’s nice but even the folks there admit it’s in the middle of nowhere.

Lowell was relegated to the Caston Elemetary School gym for a couple of their holiday tournament games and when you walked the halls between the two schools you walked by the little kids’ classrooms. The signs in the halway read: “Mrs. Johnson’s room,” “Mrs O’Leary’s Room,” “Mrs. Rodriguez’ room.” Very cute.

But they reminded me of the photos of the faces of the little kid victims at the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that have been published in many papers this month. It’s going to be a long time before I think about any elementary school and not think of the little kid and teacher killings. To me, when I think “kids,” obviously I think of the older boys and girls you see on these pages. No less important. No less vulnerable.

I’m very intersted in the gun control debate but I admit it’s a dead end. We live in a society filled with people who love their guns. It is an obsession. Men especially see gun ownership as manhood. Hot lead has been the ultimate avenger. The “righter” of all wrongs since back in the cowboy days. The next female school shooter will be the first. If you asked some men if they’d rather give up all their guns forever or give up the wife, they’d have to think about it.

There’s no talking people out of shooting things. Every gun you have will shoot something eventually. That’s why you have it. We see shooting something or someone as strength and entertainment. From James Bond to Jack Reacher. All our male action heroes for 50 years have been mass killers. I’m a big Clint Eastwood fan. I’m as guilty as you are.

So, if you need to own a gun for the sake of your manhood and your patriot tradition or just for fun, you are not alone. But if you feel you need a handgun to be safe because you sincerly think you are in danger from strangers, just look at me.

I’ve driven througout the state of Indiana for 20 years by myself. Mostly at night. To far away counties full of towns like Caston. I leave after everyone else is gone and I walk around towns where I know no one. Other than when I was rooting for the wrong team, nothing in anyway threatening has ever happened to me. Not anything. In almost 20 years. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that bad out there. If I don’t need guns because I’m afraid, you don’t either. I’d get them out of my home, if I were you.

Before someone gets shot with them.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.