American Formulas for Fatal Failure

Subtitle: A personal opinion

Unenforced Gun Laws[1] + Increasing Gun Ownership[2] = Increasing Gun Violence

Increasing Gun Violence + Increasing Mass Fear = Increasing Gun Ownership


© 2023 PRA

[1] Gun laws, which include criminal background checks prior to sale.

[2] Approximately 300 million civilian-owned guns (Gallup, Inc.) in an American population of 333,287,557 (U.S. Census Bureau, 7/1/2022)

6 thoughts on “American Formulas for Fatal Failure

  1. You’ve captured it, Paul. Perhaps we should call it the Circle of Death, as opposed to what is called in “The Lion King” the Circle of Life.

    Having grown up in a family that owned guns and was also cursed with the plague of alcoholism, I recognize all too well the deadly impulse to grab a gun to deal immediately with a pesky problem that in the moment just seems way too complicated to solve any other way. The killings this week have been vivid examples of that kind of thinking, and yet the agony of those killings will never be extinguished in the lives of those who loved and cherished the victims. Query: is there a right to go on living? Does it apply to those of us who choose not to own guns? Where in our Constitution is that right protected?

    Thanks for speaking out, Paul. Thanks for leading with your heart and your soul.




  2. My dearest Karen, you and I, as we are on manifold subjects and issues, are in sync in heart and mind, soul and spirit. So, we are concerning guns and gun violence.

    At this past week’s congressional hearing of the Judiciary Committee on gun violence, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington state made precisely the point you so ardently, eloquently raise. Is there not a right to life, especially of those who have been killed, injured, or traumatized and the families of those who have been killed, injured, or traumatized? Her query, of course, was rhetorical. For the answer was and is obvious.

    And your “Circle of Death” is spot-on!



    1. Dear Karen & Paul,

      Well I can add very little to this powerful discussion but I’ll say that Karen’s description of circle of death gave me chills!! Wow!! My circle of fear is growing too!! Funny how now when I go the store or bank I question if I “really need to go”…. And I pray I don’t get lost in my car or RV and have to turn around in someone’s driveway!! So sad that these days so many things can get you killed in spite of the fact that these are minuscule things in our daily lives that should never come close to adding our names to the circle of death!!

      Love to you both!


  3. Yes, my dearest Loretta, I, too, oft consciously give thought to going out: “Do I need to go?” Especially, this, for me, is true if and when the event involves a crowd…

    On a related note, one thing has changed for me in the light of my awareness of the increasing incidents of indiscriminate gun violence. I now drive less aggressively. (This, too, could be a condition of my aging.) For I seek to do whatever I can to avoid the possibility of incurring the wrath of another driver who — as has proven true in all to many cases here in upstate SC — may possess a firearm and, in a fit of road rage, use it.



    1. Dear Paul & Loretta,

      I concur with both of you, in that my life has become more circumscribed these days. Probably the primary reason is that the deterioration of my hearing, as well as limited mobility because of back pain, does not permit me to enjoy large gatherings, concerts, plays, sporting events, etc. much anymore, but I am also quite conscious of the ever-increasing possibility of gun violence in spaces where large groups gather. And like both of you, I’m also very aware of the possibilities of incurring someone’s out-of-control rage when I am out in the car. A part of that is a conscious effort to model considerate, accommodating behavior in a society that seems to have concluded that “me first and fastest” is the law of the land. Perhaps a smile, a nod, a backing off, a giving way may demonstrate that there is another way for us all to get where we want to go. I keep hoping!

      I’m lucky enough to be retired and to mostly not have to rush to get much of anywhere, so it’s not much of a sacrifice to be patient and allow others to rush if they feel they must. In my younger days, such an attitude would have been hard for me to muster, but aging teaches me exceedingly valuable lessons every day, I’m finding. Not all without pain, but priceless nonetheless.

      And the two of you are priceless to me too. So glad to have you as friends and fellow-travelers in these fraught times and to share our lives, even mostly at a distance. Thank you both for being who you are in the world and to me personally. I love you both!!! 💕


  4. My dearest Karen, concerning my care for you and Loretta, I cannot say it better or finer: “…the two of you are priceless to me…So glad to have you as friends and fellow-travelers in these fraught times and to share our lives, even mostly at a distance. Thank you both for being who you are in the world and to me personally. I love you both!!! 💕”

    I think and feel and believe precisely the same. Thank you for the words.

    And, Karen, as you speak of aging, frequently do I ponder that reality. Oft I say to myself that aging is the experience of serial losses, leading to that greatest loss of living in this world. That said, in the light of what we are addressing here, these times of sudden violence, I pray that I, that we not lose our passion of hope of another way of being, which we seek to live. A way of love.

    Love you, each and both, always and in all ways,


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