If there is a dispute in my home in the morning, it comes from my daughters. They rush to be the first to read the funnies. The trouble is, this past Sunday a Dunham's Sports flier was folded across the funnies, and above the fold was its "special" for a rifle that looks awfully like the assault weapon used to kill children in Newtown, Conn. Dunham's calls it "American Tactical."
I read there's a run on assault weapons now that some are talking about a ban. Rational voices ask, "Why do Americans need military weapons with high-capacity clips?" Despite years of horrid bloodshed, some in our country feel unfree if they can't own weapons like our troops use in war zones. The deer hunters among us don't use such weapons. But the American tactical frame of mind, like the one heading the National Rifle Association, dominates our lives these days. Our sanity and children suffer for it.
But why does the Post-Gazette suffer from it? Who at my newspaper decided it would be a good idea to attach a gun ad to the funnies? The rifle is only a "semi auto 22," not the Bushmaster. Yet Dunham's sale rifle looks like the Newtown rifle. Why should it? And why should my daughters have to see something that smacks of school murders when they want to get to Charlie Brown?
Dunham's doesn't have the sense of Dick's. I would like to believe that the Post-Gazette does. I would like to believe that while the Post-Gazette runs photos of the children who were each shot multiple times, it might occur to someone there that ads such as Dunham's are obscene.