During my teens and early twenties, I fired weapons at people, who were often shooting back.
It was not a pleasant experience but, after V-E Day in Germany, when most of our food was being sold in British and French black markets, I was persuaded to go deer-hunting not so much for sport as out of hunger. In early morning, sighting a brown hide and preparing to fire, I realized I was about to bag a cow.
That ended my hunting career, but I brought home as a souvenir a pistol I had taken from a German officer. Years later, when my teen-age son found it in a closet, I disassembled the gun and walked a mile in Manhattan dropping parts in trash bins to make sure it would never be put together again.
In the half-century since then, the Second Amendment has been of only academic interest, but a flurry of activity post-Tucson reawakens the sense of wonder at how bearing arms against targets that don’t shoot back has become a sacred right in America.
There are such stirrings after every American massacre, but the NRA has no need to worry. In Arizona, instead of a public recoiling from the bloodshed, there is a surge in sales of the semi-automatic Glock pistols used in the shootings. (Having to fire one shot at a time into a crowd is so inconvenient.)