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June 26, the Missoulian published an opinion I submitted on the ominous prevalence of the death-drive in our country. Many detractors negatively commented online.

As if to add more “meat” to my argument, upon returning from a trip to Europe, where deaths caused by guns are still relatively rare (for how long?), media reports of continuous shootings across America and our state sadly welcomed me back to (ab)normality! The deadly joyride waltzes across social classes, like a 14th century “Danse Macabre,” a late-medieval allegory on the omnipresence of death.

Killings in theaters, on reservations, in the streets, in military camps, in private homes. Spontaneous terrorists, trespassers shooting at cops, cops killings transgressors, minor offenders dying in jail, a Hamilton rancher shooting at rabbits and hitting a horse; rich American dentists, doctors and a professional hunter (defended by a white South African huntress arguing for big-game hunting) killing lions, tigers and black rhinos to cover up the emptiness of their walls (and lives) with heads and pelts.

Who would want to receive medical care from such “defenders" of wildlife? Has killing become a national pastime in lieu of cultivating the arts, one’s body, one’s deep sense of self, or love-making?

The death-list looks like the wish-list of a sadistic sociopath bent on demoralizing American society, or a fascistic alien who wants to spread panic among the people. It becomes a tragic litany and not one day passes without a sad tribute paid to a death-drive out of control.

Who wins this game of death versus life? The makers and sellers of guns and ammo, the National Rifle Association and, I forgot, the Grim Reaper, i.e., death, generally represented as a hooded, old, skeletal woman (not politically correct).

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I repeat my previous question. When will it stop? 

Michel Valentin,

Missoula

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