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A Quick History Lesson on Gun Violence

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Seriously? With the guns? ENOUGH!

I am not a topical comedian nor is my comedy politically driven, but I just have to say that this recent rash of psycho-rampage gunmen has really gotten under my skin. Last week I finished a temp job assignment ( guess where?) near the Empire State Building; only days and street blocks apart from today's shooting. Yesterday on the subway, I saw the craziest-looking mo'fo and my first thought when I saw him reach his hand into his inner coat pocket was, "Please don't pull a gun." And why was that my first thought? Because insanity is pervading our everyday goings-on and it's not letting up!

I've had more encounters with guns in my life than I'd like to have experienced. I think ONE encounter with a gun is too much. A couple years ago I was in a Laundromat hold-up. Just last year, a crazy-ass woman pulled a gun in my building's hallway as I was on my way to a birthday party. A BIRTHDAY PARTY! When you can't even leave your house for fear that blowing out your birthday candles may result in someone blowing you away, there's a problem.

Sure, guns have made an appearance throughout history. Hell, the Wild West was littered with them. There have always been wars, feuds, fights, and disagreements between nations and people. But shouldn't we have evolved a little by now? Shouldn't we have learned how to deal with disagreements in a more productive, less violent way? Shouldn't vigilantism be on the decline, rather than on the rise? What aren't we learning here?!

I had a high school history teacher who once asked our class, "Why do we study history?" The students' first response was, "So we can learn from our past mistakes." And he very calmly said, "Unfortunately, we don't." I remember being angry at him for saying that. Of course we learn from our mistakes! That's absurd! Why would you say that? I'm thinking now that he had a lot more insight than I gave him credit for.

This is not a post to elucidate all of the solutions to gun violence. I would never be so presumptuous to claim I had the answers. I don't. I make fart jokes into a microphone in the basements of grimy bars. But what I do hope is that one day, we can learn from our mistakes. That maybe one day we can ride in the subway without worrying if that ride is our last. That maybe one day, we can genuinely choose love over hate. I'd like to prove my history teacher wrong.