Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thirteen Questions


Thirteen Questions/Assignments
for my Thursday Thirteen Friends


1/25/06 from Alone on a Limb

Here's my own little Thursday Thirteen meme. I'll try to respond to it myself next Thursday. You, dear reader, are welcome to copy it at will and spread it far and wide as long as you include my link. I'd like to see what the blogoshere comes up with as a result -- especially for number 12 and number 13.

  1. What is your earliest memory?
  2. What was your longest hike?
  3. When were you most alone?
  4. Describe a carefree moment of your life:
  5. What has been your most daring moment?
  6. Describe what you admire about someone you consider a personal hero/heroine:
  7. What is your most interesting/outstanding talent?
  8. You have won a free seven day airfare to the destination of your choice. Where and why?
  9. Climb aboard my time/space machine. You get one turn and must return after the equivalent of a week's visit. Where, when, and why?
  10. You have been appointed executor of my $10,000,000 charitable bequest. How will you use it?
  11. What is your proudest accomplishment?
  12. What question/assignment would you add to this meme? (Let me know!)
  13. Write a seven line poem (diamante) about a person, place, or thing this meme has brought to mind. Use this form:


Diamante diagram taken from this website:
http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3341/mythicmirror/pattern.html

Please link your response to Alone on a Limb.
www.aloneonalimb.blogspot.com

These folks gave it a shot, check 'em out:
Cozy Reader
Alone On A Limb
The Median Sib
Daddy's Roses
Stop Fidgiting



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Twenty-seven Questions

Why not?
The Median Sib did not tag me with this meme, but why not? I’ll give it a whirl:
  • 1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what did you think? After several years of beard, I shaved yesterday (for my part as the rotten, racist prosecutor in To Kill A Mockingbird) so I thought: “Wow!! Look at that old, fat, face that’s been hiding under my beard!”
  • 2. How much cash do you have on you? $0... I am - shame on me- still in costume from rehearsal. Don’t tell my director. I think there are about eight bucks in my show bag.
  • 3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"? Carressed?
  • 4. Favorite planet? The Big Blue Marble
  • 5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? “Home.” That’s probably Lil.
  • 6. What is your favorite ring on your phone? One I can actually pick out of the everyday sounds and recognise as a phone ring.
  • 7. What shirt are you wearing? A long-sleeve, dress, white shirt with tie. The prosecuter, remember?
  • 8. Do you "label" yourself? Labeling is a pet peeve. I don’t believe I am easily labeled.
  • 9. Name the brand of shoes you're currently wearing now: I have no idea!! They are very plain, black, dress, lace-up shoes.
  • 10. Bright or Dark Room? I like a homey, somewhat cluttered mix.
  • 11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? She’s smart, talented, full of life and spunk, a loving mother and grandmother, and a great reading teacher. She’s also my sister.
  • 12. What were you doing at midnight last night? Trying to wind down from rehearsal and get to sleep so I could rise in less than six hours.
  • 13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten a personal text message. A few messages from Cingular. It’s not a feature I’m interested in using.
  • 14. Where is your nearest 7-11? A couple of city blocks-- a Sav-a-Ton convenience store/gas station.
  • 15. What's a saying(s) that you say a lot? “by cracky”, “I swanie!” “Yo soy un hombre sincero!”
  • 16.Who told you they loved you last? Brannon. (She called a few minutes ago.)
  • 17. Last furry thing you touched? Daisy, the blind, deaf Cocker Spaniel.
  • 18. How many days of school did you miss this week? None. I’ll miss one for school shows of To Kill A Mockingbird next week.
  • 19. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? I use a digital camera, mostly. There may be an old roll around, but I’m unaware of it.
  • 20. Favorite age you have been so far? College years. Early marriage years. My kids’ early years. Now. 51 (when I did Shenandoah!)
  • 21. Your worst enemy? Definitely Terrell Shaw, though I like him a lot better than some folks. The Shrub comes to mind.
  • 22. What is your current desktop picture? The MLK Day March down Broad Street.
  • 23. What was the last thing you said to someone? "Do you know where my bag is?”
  • 24. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, which would you choose? I ‘spect, should I manage to fly reliably, repeatedly, and unassisted, a mere million would seem chicken feed.
  • 25. Do you like someone? I like most folks. I have rarely been able to hold a grudge, other than a certain charlatan on Penn. Ave. who has spent the last five years dreaming up ways of dividing the nation and the world.
  • 26. The last song you listened to? The country song the director is playing at the curtain of TKAM. I don’t know the name.
  • 27. Carmen Electra or Pam Anderson? I probably shouldn’t admit my ignorance: Though these are familiar names, I have only a vague idea that they are both sposed to be sexy. I think they are probably singers or actors but I have no idea of anything they’ve been in. So I’ll say: Julie Christie. Ah, Lara...

If you like, consider yourself tagged, copy these questions, and there's a quick post.

Monday, January 23, 2006

35 Years

35 Years Ago Today

On January 23, 1971, beside a tiny stream splashing down the side of
Fort Mountain through huge pines, I asked Sheila Ann Matthews to marry me.

Best move of my life.


35 years later she is still the love of my life and my best friend.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why We Fight

What Do You Think?

I happened to see this article on AOL. I don't know anything about this guy, but the following responses struck a chord with my thoughts.

Moviefone: Do you consider yourself a pacifist?

Eugene Jarecki: Wouldn't everybody consider themselves (pacifists)? Wouldn't everybody prefer peaceful resolutions of problems to violent resolutions of problems?

MF: But if everyone considered themselves pacifists then maybe we wouldn't be engaged in war in Iraq.

EJ:I don't know that that's true. I think that puts blame at the foot of people who probably think they're doing the best they can. Many of the people we talked to up and down the chain of command, they don't think, "I kill people for a living." They think, "I wield force because without that wielding of force worse things will happen." Now whether they're right or wrong may be a subject of debate, and whether they were right or wrong to think that the Iraq War was a worthwhile gamble, or that kind of thinking, is worthy of debate. But that's what their inner thinking is telling them. They're not going through life thinking "I like war." They're actually going through life thinking, "If I drop two bombs on a Monday it might prevent other bombs from blowing up on a Tuesday." And there have been times in history where that was probably a defensible way of thinking. I would say obviously all of those people, in a world where it's possible to be so, would be pacifists. The problem is that the world we're living in is very much through the looking glass. We are past the point of no return on a lot of ways that the world is run, and it is increasingly run by a smaller and smaller handful of figures and elite corporations who are making those decisions about when it's necessary to use force without democratic consensus and without a democratic process.
I know enough of real people to know the "everybody" in his first response cannot really be "everybody", but, instead, "most folks". There is a small proportion of folks who enjoy making others suffer: that is why we must have very strict controls on the use of force by interrogators in wartime situations or some will end up doing more harm than good as they have in Iraq. Even my hero, Robert E. Lee, said:
“It is well that war is so terrible, or we should get too fond of it."

But he also said:

“I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself."

When I read the blogs of those, who at least in regards to the "war on terrorism," are on the radical right, I suspect they largely think themselves realistic "pacifists" forced by terrible circumstances to drop those preventive bombs. Put them at the sites of those bombs, many of these same people would be risking their own lives to save the bystanding babies and even grown babies maimed by their bombs. They are not evil people, just scared and mistaken people.

The evil is in those who manipulate the fear and who look on terrorist attacks, war, and recession as a "trifecta" for their political interests.

Dreaming Musical Theatre



Thirteen dream roles for this actor/singer

Last Thursday I started this list of some of the roles I would love or have loved to play. But rehearsal got in the way of completing it. So why not a Saturday/Sunday/Thursday Thirteen?

What a hoot to get to be a part (Matthew Brady(?)/Joshua Chamberlain) of The Civil War (The Musical) this weekend! This role would have to fit in here somewhere... but excluding my current role, the following are tops on my current list.

1. Jean Valjean. Time will run out for me before too terribly much longer on this one. I have hopes that Sam Baltzer and Brian Sikes will decide to do at least a concert version of this. The fear is that some younger or better singer will get the role. Please, before I die, I want to sing this role!

2. Charlie Anderson. In 1998 I was thrilled to play this wonderful role. Charlie gets 6 solos in Shenandoah. They run the gamut: the joyous “It’ a Boy” , a wistful ballad about his daughter’s coming of age, raging anti-war songs, and a lullaby for the new grandchild. I really hope I get another shot at this one soon!

3. Tevye. I think it was 2000 when I got to play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. It was especially nice that one of Tevye’s daughters was played by Brannon!

4. Archibald Craven. I played this tortured man in The Secret Garden in 2004. Both Brannon and Lillian had nice roles in it as well. I especially love the duet, Lily’s Eyes.

5. Phantom. I really am not that fond of the story, but I love the music. It might be the most demanding of all vocally.

6. Javert. But only after I’ve done Jean Valjean!

7. Thernardier. But only after I’ve done Valjean and Javert!

8. The Cowardly Lion. One of the great comedic solos in the literature.

9. The Wizard of Oz. I’ve done this one twice. If he just had a nice solo or two he could move up a spot or two.

10. The Wizard of Oz in Wicked.

11. The Bill Pullman character in Newsies. Someone needs to put this on the stage.

12. Captain Hook. Deliciously evil!

13. Maurice in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I enjoyed this little role just last year. last year.


Do you notice that I have actually managed to play three of my four top dream roles!! Do you suppose I might actually get a shot at Jean Valjean before my voice goes?


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, maybe I'll get a round tuit at some point and list you here! My good intentions have my road well-paved, I'm sad to say.)


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Osama Bin Laden cannot defeat America.

Osama Bin Laden cannot defeat America.

The angry (and often foul-mouthed*) ranters of the right cry the old cry: "Love America, or leave it!" (That's the sanitized gist.)

The issue is not in loving America: there is no doubt that that we all love our vision of America. Ann Coulter, George W. Bush, John McCain, Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, and Michael Moore all "love America". The issue is in knowing what America is. I think that some of the ranters on the right think that America is physical things: our cities, our farms, our mountains, our factories, or our even our current population. No!

America, boiled down, is our Bill of Rights.

We heard again from Osama this week. We can expect Bush's approval ratings to rise again.

As Abraham Lincoln said:
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
We are a “nation of freemen” (and freewomen). When we allow our fear of a madman (OBL), a cult (Al Qaeda), or even a great religion (Islam), to scare us into giving dictatorial power to any person, even one the majority “trusts”, eventually that trust will be broken and the suicide will be finished.



---------

* I am sure the extremists on the other end of the political spectrum also include foul-mouthed, name-calling, armchair-soldier, ranting bloggers, but I don't read those.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Meaningful Mile



Today I marched in the 19th Annual MLK Day Freedom March up Broad Sreet in Rome, Georgia. It gives me an opportunity to stand up in my community and publically declare, by my presence, that I support the brotherhood of all. And this year the bonus of moving my Monthly Marathon meter along a little. Getting there, marching up Broad and then walking briskly back to my car got me a total of 3633 steps, 1.5 miles. The march itself was a little slow but I deliberately walked briskly to and from.

Walking for Peace, Justice, and Brotherhood


We Shall Overcome

This morning at 11, I'll do what I have done the last several years on this special January Monday: I'll walk up Broad Street from First Avenue in Rome, Georgia to the City Auditorium with a hundred or two kindred spirits singing "We Shall Overcome" and "Oh, Freedom" and celebrating our solidarity with Martin Luther King in the quest for peace, justice and brotherhood in America. I hope Lillian will walk with me as she has a couple of times.

As we walk along we'll pass the old J.C. Penney building (now an antique mall) where I performed small acts of civil disobedience in the sixties: I used to make a point of drinking from the "colored" water fountain when I was there. I'm afraid that was about the extent of my stepping out for equal rights in the sixties. Occasionally I'd "argue civil rights" with a relative or a classmate or in MYF. It did cost me one girlfriend once. She was appalled to find I actually admired Martin Luther King.





(Others folks, of course, actually put their bodies on the line in those days. We'll march past the old sites of the Busy Bee Cafe, and several other former lunch counters. Rome was not a hotbed of public discord during the period, but there were a few "sit-ins" at luch counters on Broad Street.)

We'll pass the DeSoto Theater (now home to Rome Little Theater) where I interviewed wise old Silas McComb, the janitor there and at our church, about race relations at the time (1966). He was working several menial jobs and putting his children through college.

I'll think of those things and Roy Knowles and the swimming pool he closed rather than let black kids swim; and the Klan rally behind the levee where they temporarily confiscated my camera when I was stupid enough to think I could go film the idiots; and that one brave little eighth grade girl who integrated West Rome Junior High when I was a senior at the high school; and Sam Burrell, the Main "Colored" High principal who patiently helped a naive college kid who wanted to try to make a little difference in his home town; and a few "nigger-lover" taunts from a couple of cretins at West Rome. I'll think about the careless way a few of my own relatives threw around the term "nigger"; and the day my friend's Dad rolled down the window in Summerville to ask directions of a middle-aged black man and addressed him as "boy".

When we sing "We Shall Overcome", I'll think of Dr. King's funeral and I may fight tears again for this brave, wise, and very young man who made such a difference for America. And I'll fight those tears again when we get to the auditorium and the thousand or so voices there join to "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (Another clip)

I'll think of how far we've come, but I'll also think of how far we have yet to go before we fulfill that famous dream.

Martin Luther King was no wimp. He fought non-violently, but hard. He fought for civil rights. And he fought against a war that was killing thousands, diverting and draining our national resources, and sullying our national reputation. What would Martin Luther King be saying in 2006?

Hear his words from earlier days here.
Here are tributes to Dr. King from my sisters: Beth. Joan.

Another nice cool walk


I got out after all sensible folk were in bed tonight and walked to the all night pharmacy about a mile away to pick up a prescription and wandered the city streets and the levee for another couple of miles to get home. The air was so nice and cool and I had my soundtrack to "The Civil War" on the CD player, so it served as rehearsal time too.
I'd love to give a little more time to blogging, but ....

I'll crosspost this on Monthly Marathon.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Halfway!



At least I passed the halfway point in the Monthly Marathon before the halfway point in the month. Even my less than a mile a day average is making me feel better.


Here's a guy who puts all us Monthly Marathoners to shame!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


13 Links to Enjoy before Triskaidekaphobia Day - Tomorrow!


1)
…I know what it was like to be 14 and think 30 is old. I know what it is like to be 30 and think 50 is old. I know what it is like to be 50 and think 75 is old. I know what it is like to be 75 and know that 75 and even 100 is just a number and I know it is a number nearer the end of the counting .
But at the end of the counting, a new day will dawn and the counting will start over for the Christian.… (Read more at Ruthlace.)

2)
…The last US President not born in a hospital was Lyndon B. Johnson. He was born in a farmhouse in Texas in 1908.…(Read more about the Last Presidents at Daddy's Roses. )

3) What To Do When Your Co-Worker Is On Vacation?
Here’s one of several creative ideas from the Median Sib.…

4)…The weather here is fantastic, I've been wandering around in a T-shirt all week. Flying south for the winter birds have a good thing going.…(Read more at Brannon's Florida Adventure.)

5)…Pat Robertson is at it again. I am appalled at the things that come from his mouth.… (Read more at Cozy Reader.)

6) What should be the theme song of the Abramoff/Scanlon/Reed scandal? The New Donkey has a suggestion.

7) Take a hike! Join the Monthly Marathon!

8) Listen to samples of the Nashville studio recording of The Civil War, a musical by Frank Wildhorn. Then come hear and see it for yourself. (See below.)

9) Listen to (or read) one of the great speeches of the Twentieth Century.

10)
Find the perfect brainy quotes to support your latest post.

11) Answer some trivia at my Grand Trivia blog.

12) Check out some of the current interviews or peruse the archives of National Public Radio.

13) This link is a pity link. Or maybe an EEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!! Link. For my little sis, please visit and link. Save her from the rodents. But please, disregard her politics :-)



Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wow!!!

Whatever you do reserve January 20 or 21
on your calendarfor a night in Rome, Georgia.
Rome's Own Musical Ensemble and the
Rome Area Council for the Arts will present

A Musical by Frank Wildhorn
under the direction of Brian Sikes and conducted by Sam Baltzer

This may be the most outstanding group of musicians with whom I have ever performed. Some of these artists will bring tears to your eyes! We are doing the show with minimal staging. It might be considered more concert than musical play. The songs are moving, rousing, agonizing, plaintive, and the readings are authentic, thought-provoking and all that the songs are, as well. Dr. Clementine Slack performs the famous Sojourner Truth monologue, Ain't I a Woman; Justin McGough will break your heart as a dying Union Soldier singing Tell My Father; Dan Biggers will perform several Lincoln monologues; Dan Bishop, Detrick Redding, Jason Fordham, Marvin Williams, Jason Whitfield, Janeal Johnson, Angela Flanagan, Shawn McDougal, Jim Powell, Gussie Lee Knox and the Rome Gospel Choir led by Priscilla Jones, and lots more...

All I can say is "Wow!"
I am thrilled to sing with these folks and to add my little solo: Brother, My Brother.
If you miss this show, you'll really miss something really good.

Rome City Auditorium
January 20-21, 2006
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 (adults) $5 (students)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Justice Louis Brandeis quotes

Beth, whose political views often differ from mine, has a great quote by Brandeis on her Blue Star Chronicles today. Here's another of my favorites from this great American.

"Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. "
-Louis D. Brandeis

And another:

Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
-Louis D. Brandeis

And one more:

Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent.
-Louis D. Brandeis

To see more Brandeis quotes click here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gun Control? What about Blog Control!

Second Amendment? Yes. Gun Anarchy? No.
But How About A Blog Amendment?

What we really need is Blog Control. This national scourge is evidenced by the following confessions:
"Even though I have been married for over 40 years to the least critical man you can imagine who wouldn't care if I spent 15 hours a day blogging, I try to hide the fact that I spend so much time at the computer. ...When I hear the garage door going up, I get up from the computer and go to meet him from a different room of the house to look as if I have been washing clothes or dishes or someother useful chore. Anybody observing this guilty-looking ritual would assume I had been surfing porn sites or something instead of reading and/or writing blogs..."
- from Daddy's Roses

Blogging! I don't have time to blog. I am not doing other things I need to be doing and blogging instead. I wasn't gonna blog, but my sister said, 'Start a blog.' and I did and now I can't stop.
- from Blue Star Chronicles

Every morning I tell myself that I will spend only a few minutes checking email and blogging and then I'll get dressed and started on whatever I need to do. Almost invariably, those few minutes stretch to unbelievably long amounts of time. On school days (I'm a teacher) I barely make it to school on time sometimes because I push my computer/blogging time to the limit.
- from The Median Sib

It sounds to me as if my sisters and I need to organize Bloggers Anonymous. "Hello, my name is Terrell and I'm a Blogger." I've got to cut down on my blog time! I've got a more-than-full-time job and I'm committed to participating in two plays in January and I have a wife and two daughters who seem to think I should spend some time doing things instead of just writing about things.

But before I reform, just a little more blogging: ;-)

The Median Sib has asked for comments on gun control. She was spurred by Blue Star Chronicles' homage to the strap-a-gun-to-your-belt-or-leave-town cowboys in Kennesaw, Georgia. These two sources say the areas of the country with stricter controls actually have greater gun violence. I'd like to see some scientific studies of how gun violence is affected by various regulations. Perhaps we live in a society that needs a more universal policy. I doubt that islands of regulation would work well. President Carter's references (below) to the relative incidence of gun deaths in America compared to other countries is very disturbing.

I've just finished reading Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter. The part of his book that deals with the issue of gun violence happens to be part of the excerpt available online, so I thought I'd let President Carter speak for me on this issue for now:
"Concerning gun control, an overwhelming majority believe in the right to own weapons, but four of five Americans prefer modest restraints on handguns, including a background check, mandatory registration, and a brief waiting period before one is purchased.

A disturbing change in government policy has involved the firearms industry. Supported by succeeding Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, legislation was passed by Congress in 1994 that for ten years prohibited the manufacture, transfer, and possession of nineteen specific semiautomatic assault weapons, including AK-47s, AR-15s, and UZIs. None of these are used for hunting -- only for killing other humans. More than eleven hundred police chiefs and sheriffs from around the nation called on Congress and President Bush to renew and strengthen the federal assault weapons ban in 2004, but with a wink from the White House, the gun lobby prevailed and the ban expired.

This is not a controversy that involves homeowners, hunters, or outdoorsmen. I have owned and used weapons since I was big enough to carry one, and now own a handgun, four shotguns, and two rifles. I use them carefully, for harvesting game from our woods and fields and during an occasional foray to hunt with my family and friends in other places. We cherish these rights, and some of my companions like to collect rare weapons.

But many of us who participate in outdoor sports are dismayed by some of the more extreme policies of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and by the timidity of public officials who yield to their unreasonable demands. Heavily influenced and supported by the firearms industry, their primary client, the NRA, has been able to mislead many gullible people into believing that our weapons are going to be taken away from us, and that homeowners will be deprived of the right to protect ourselves and our families. There are no real threats to our "right to bear arms," as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. If so, the NRA efforts would certainly be justified.

In addition to assault weapons, the gun lobby protects the ability of criminals and gang members to use ammunition that can penetrate protective clothing worn by police officers on duty, and assures that a known or suspected terrorist is not barred from buying or owning a firearm -- including an assault weapon. The only criteria that the NRA has reluctantly accepted are proof of a previous felony, mental derangement, or being an illegal immigrant. Deeply concerned when thirty-five out of forty-four men on the terrorist watch list were able to buy guns during a recent five-month period, the director of the FBI began to reexamine the existing law and asked some U.S. senators to consider amendments. The response of top officials in the NRA was to criticize the watch lists -- not the terrorists -- and to announce support for legislation that protects gun manufacturers and dealers from liability if a buyer uses an AK-47 in a terrorist attack. They also insist that background information on gun buyers be discarded within twenty-four hours, precluding the long-term retention of data that might reveal those who are plotting against our nation's security.

What are the results of this profligate ownership and use of guns designed to kill people? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American children are sixteen times more likely than children in other industrialized nations to be murdered with a gun, eleven times more likely to commit suicide with a gun, and nine times more likely to die from firearms accidents.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research reports that the rate of firearm homicide in the United States is nineteen times higher than that of 35 other high-income countries combined. In the most recent year for which data are available, handguns killed 334 people in Australia, 197 in Great Britain, 183 in Sweden, 83 in Japan, 54 in Ireland, 1,034 in Canada, and 30,419 in the United States. The National Rifle Association, the firearms industry, and compliant politicians should reassess their policies concerning safety and accountability."

excerpted from Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis by Jimmy Carter