Page 5


._\\,r1 and Associates E 502 W. 15th Street Austin, Texas 78701 REALTOR Representing all types of properties in Austin and Central Texas Interesting & unusual property a specialty. 477-3651 .I CO ginnys ‘ COPYING SERVICE Copying Binding Printing Color Copying Graphics ‘Word Processing Austin Lubbock Son Marcos 1607 San Jacinto Closed Sundays 477-4171 A Texas Tradition Since 1866 No games, no gimmicks, no loud music. Just good conversation with the most interesting people in Austin. And the best of downhome cooking. Good books in every field JENKINS PUBLISHING CO. The Pemberton Press John H. Jenkins, Publisher Box 2085 ES Austin 78768 Simply the best record shop in the state of Texastry us first for hard-to-find, local and regional records, lowest prices 24th austin, texas 472-9459 22 JANUARY 16, 1981 Lennon, handguns, double binds I feel anger, frustration, hurt, loss, grief at the death of John Lennon. I am also caught in a double bind. The probability of that creep shooting Lennon would have been diminished substantially, perhaps to nearly zero, had he not been able to obtain a handgun. Possibly he would have found another way of committing the same crime. But possibility should not be confused with probability. Possible is a binary word; it either is or it ain’t. Probable is a continuum all the way from just this side of impossible to the limit of certainty. It is possible that he could have killed Lennon with a club, but not probable. He could have pushed a piano out of an upper story window but it’s not probable that he could kill Lennon in this fashion. He could have attacked Lennon with a knife, but it is not nearly so probable that he would have succeeded in killing him as it was with a .38 caliber revolver. They are so easily concealed and you get five more chances if you don’t do it right the first time. A handgun is a very specialized tool, that is why it works so well. There are no compromises. It has but one function, to poke holes in people. It has no other utilitarian value at all. It’s no good for hunting, it doesn’t have the range, power or accuracy. There is, as I well know, some marginal recreational value to be had in shooting at paper targets or bottles. I should know, I grew up going out to the range and shooting with my father. I even had some illusions about becoming an olympic class competitor as I became more proficient. But that value is more than offset by the destructive potential which the device has. It kills people! As a race we have been unable to effectively cope with this potential. The over 10,000 deaths effected by handguns in 1979 attest to the fact that there are thousands of people out there who cannot own a gun without using it to hurt someone else. Even if one discounts all of the premeditated, intentional homicides committed with handguns, there remain thousands of victims every year. The typical case involves a handgun, alcohol, a close friend or family member, an argument and, BOOM! “Oh My God, what have I done, I just wanted to scare him.” The N.R.A. may call me a pinko but I am against killing human beings and I am against anyone else, the government and “good, honest upstanding Americans” included, killing human beings. But that is only one-half of the double bind. The other is that I am a Jew. I live in Houston, Texas and I am told by a Nr.