Friday’s Odds and Ends

Just when you thought politics had sunk to the lowest possible point, there comes a new story. Last week the campaign manager for a Democrat challenging a Republican-held congressional seat in Russellville, Arkansas had his cat mutilated and the body left on his porch with the word “liberal” painted on the dead body.

Come on, folks. It’s bad enough you can’t be civil with each other, but do you have to use a poor innocent cat to make a point in such a horrific way?

This past week Leonard Pitts had a thoughtful column on gun laws, or the lack of effective ones in the United States. In reflecting on the retirement of Gabrielle Giffords, he wrote that the shooters who have brought down so many political figures and activists, have been people who should never have had access to guns. He pointed out that Giffords’ shooter was a man who legally obtained a gun despite the fact that he was mentally deranged who had been rejected by the army. “Which suggests that while Loughner (the shooter) may be unbalanced, American gun laws are insane.

“They are likely to stay insane as long as our politics remain a hatefully polarized affair where the two “sides” glower at one another like boxers in their respective corners and “compromise” is a dirty word.”

Lest the NRA and gun owners get alarmed, Pitts does not suggest that guns should be banned. He just believes that we should have stricter background checks so felons, potential terrorists, and mentally challenged people can no longer get a gun.

I wrote several books about gun violence and how it touches the lives of our young people, and this same debate was going on back then. That was 20 years ago or better. There was one group of people who were pushing for strict laws governing the purchase of guns, and another group who as Pitts puts it, ” still harbor the paranoid delusion that any talk of gun control is code for confiscation by jackbooted thugs riding black helicopters.”

I support our Second Amendment rights to own weapons, and I am a gun enthusiast. Out here in the country one comes in very handy for chasing off wild critters you don’t want eating your cats. But I still favor the idea of some kind of gun control that will keep the guns out of the hands of the kind of people who shot the Kennedys, Martin Luther King Jr.,Gabrielle Giffords, and so many others.

On another note, I just got the galleys for Stalking Season, the second book the the Seasons Mystery Series. The book has been under contract for over a year now and will come out in November. I don’t even have cover art yet to share. It takes a long time for a book to be published via a traditional publisher, but the wait is worth it. While I enjoy the ease of reading e-books, there is something special about having a hardback version of your book. Maybe that’s because I can still remember when paperbacks were considered the step-children of the publishing industry, and hardbacks were looked upon much more favorably. You were a real writer if you had a book in hardback. If you wrote for the paperback market you were considered a hack.

If you would like to leave a comment on any of these topics, please do. All opinions are welcome, and I am always open to hearing from the other side on issues.

3 thoughts on “Friday’s Odds and Ends”

  1. I think a physical book is still a treasure, and I do think hardcovers are special. I hope to have mine made into hardcover down the line. Initially it came out in paperback. Hack, I think, now refers to a certain quality of writing, or lack thereof, not so much to the physical form of the book. I hope that stigma of the paperback is gone now that there are many better quality books out there. I’ve sure read some pretty awful hardcover books 🙂

  2. You are so right, Melissa. The form the book takes doesn’t really guarantee quality any more. I have read some real good and real bad in hardback, paperback and now e-books.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. The sad thing is, I live in a country with strict gun laws.

    All it does is make the people who obey the law lose their licenses (and guns) while the criminals go on unhindered because they can’t be bothered. People are dying because of it while the government watches, not caring as long as the licenses aren’t issued too easily for those bothering to apply.

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