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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I handed coins and bills to a woman buying groceries tonight and noticed that her zipper pull was an inch-long plastic revolver, brown and tan at the neck of her blue windbreaker. She thanked me and left the store, the tiny handgun bobbing as she nodded. Perhaps it gave her a feeling of security. Maybe it was a political statement. A whimsical gift. Or just what happened to be there when she bought the coat. I didn't ask. But when I unfolded the newspaper tomorrow there was a short column relating the startling shooting of a local woman, 54. She was in a hurry to get out the door with the dog, was trying to zip up with mittens on. The dog whined and jumped at her knees. And a minuscule but persuasive seed fired into her shoulder as she triggered the power dangling at her throat.

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