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March 2, 2009

The Shimmering Mirage

As I sit here and watch the snow that threatens to blanket much of the entire east coast of the country, my thoughts run to the words of the noted philosopher Howard Thurman from his book of meditations, Deep is the Hunger:

“All travelers somewhere along the way, find it necessary to check their course, to see how they are doing. We wait until we are sick, or shocked into stillness, before we do the commonplace thing of getting our bearings.”

This Sunday, the New York Times Magazine ran an article by Bathsheba Monk titled “My New Gun.” Ms. Monk, a writer and resident of Allentown, Pennsylvania, described how—due to “the worsening financial news”—she has purchased a gun for “protection.” “You might as well get used to a .38 [caliber handgun]” a friend and gun enthusiast told her. “You want it to make a nice big hole.”

Ms. Monk wrote that a clerk at the gun store where she made her purchase told her that many handguns were out of stock. Background check records indicate that arms sales around the country have been increasing “in inverse proportion to the collapsing economy and in response to the unsubstantiated buzz that the new administration is going to tighten gun control.”

This chilling story brought to mind a poem by Australian poet/theologian, Bruce D. Prewer entitled “Thoughts in the Desert”:

“Those who dare to test their wits
In dry inhospitable territory,
Where no one is waiting
To receive them,
Return with
a word;

The dire danger to the adventurer
is not demoralizing gibber plains
nor ridge after ridge of sand,
but the distracting lure
of the shimmering mirage.

To distinguish reality from the illusion
And to keep one’s bearings and course
In spite of the mink’s treachery—
This is the ultimate test for the pilgrims
and prophets.

City prophets have a variation on this word:
Deserts take victims swiftly, savagely,
But urban mirages work slowly,
Day by day diverting prey
And destroying souls
still smiling.”


  1. I would hardly call the belief that the Obama administration is going to tighten gun control "unsubstantiated".

    Just days ago, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the administration plans to bring back the defunct 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban.


    This was on the Obama website even before he won the election.

    Regardless of whether or not you support this policy, it is clear that this proves fears of Obama tightening gun restrictions are very well founded.

  2. Thanks for your comment, thestaplegunkid9. You are indeed right that the Obama Administration has publicly announced its support for some new gun control measures (albeit ones that are supported by large majorities of Americans in national polls).

    The other factor here, of course, is whether such measures would be approved by Congress, and recent action by the House and Senate leads one to believe that the buzz about new gun restrictions coming down the pike is indeed unsubstantiated. - CSGV

  3. Funny how a "large majority of Americans in national polls" number less than 2000 people polled.

    The 2nd Amendment was written so that "the People" will NOT be "outgunned" by ANY military/police force, foreign or domestic. The restrictions in place now violate the 2nd Amendment.

    Military and police have access to weapons civilians are "forbidden" to own i.e. machine guns etc.. How is a civilian with a bolt action rifle or revolver or semi-auto handgun with a magazine restriction supposed to combat against someone else with better weapons and a larger magazine capacity?????