Happiness is a Warm Gun

John Lennon wrote the song in 1968; twelve years later he was murdered. His killer was a man, a young man armed with a crazed fantasy and a warm gun.


You’d be a little creeped out upon finding that your Uncle Joe or the neighbor two houses down had a penchant for child pornography, wouldn’t you?  You’d know, or at least suspect, what was on his mind if you caught his eyes lingering for more than a second on your kid.  Even if it was your heretofore favorite and “harmless” Uncle Joe, you’d be forever fearful and distrusting; you’d know he had dangerous proclivities, and your child would never be left alone in his presence.

What if instead of a child fetish, you learned your neighbor (or Uncle Joe) had a fascination for guns?  It’s not so scary or repugnant, right?  Actually, you’d have already known because Joe or your neighbor would likely have shared the fascination long ago.  It’s socially acceptable after all; you might walk away with a bit of angst, but it would dissipate and you’d probably not dwell on it for long.

What if instead of guns, your neighbor collected knives: suppose he had a prototype of every slicing and stabbing tool invented by man; examples of every weapon or instrument used to cut or mutilate the human body.  Would that creep you out a little more?  Why?  Both collectors are fascinated with killing instruments.  Guns are clearly the more dangerous and lethal, so shouldn’t you feel more jitters…

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