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Everything I begin to write tonight feels wrong. I want to write about the ache in my heart for those families touched by the events early Friday morning in Aurora, Colo. Words seem banal, not enough as I type, delete and type again.
I think of the man who climbed a tower on a Texas college campus, taking his rifle and killing 16. I think of the deranged student who roamed the campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 and wounding 16 others. I think of the surely crazy individual who lay in wait at a Tucson supermarket parking lot and shot 18 people, killing six. And of course, I think of the pair who walked the halls of Columbine High, also in Colorado, with their weapons under their trench coats, killing 13 and wounding 24. Now we have 72 wounded and as of today, 12 dead.
These mass murders were not acts of terror committed by men from the Middle East. These murders were carried out by privileged, middle class home-grown killers with easy access to guns and ammunition of all kinds. There really isn’t any such thing as gun control in this country, despite what some would have us believe. If there were, could this 24-year-old in Colorado amass his arsenal of two handguns, a tactical shotgun, an assault rifle, and 6,000 rounds of ammunition? Why does any ordinary citizen need an assault rifle?
I think Pogo was right, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
But on to another subject, though I’m late with this, I would like to thank Mayor McMurry and the city council for the great Fourth of July celebration at Point Park. Carrollton’s own John Renschler and his partner planned and executed a wonderful fireworks display. The traffic flow out of the park area went smoothly and, except for the stifling heat, a good time was had by all. I hear that next year, the celebration will be one day, with a bit more money spent on the fireworks display. I look forward to it.
What will make the next year’s party even better will be the completion of the Splash Park at the Point. I know we all hope those plans are brought to fruition. With the splash park, we can all be a bit cooler.
The Backyard Concert Series continues. This past weekend, we were entertained by a charming young singer from Gallatin County, Brittany Gilstrap, who writes much of her own material, and our own Steven Grant Smith, a most talented troubadour. Steve has had a rough summer, having been bitten by a tick and developing Lyme Disease and then Bell’s Palsy. Having had the latter several years ago, I know what he is going through. He gave a terrific performance in spite of it, especially of my favorite “Joseph Cross.”
Dan Hardin and the Sweet Nothings will perform on August 18 at 7 p.m. at the Butler-Turpin House. Sweet-voiced Dan leads the group that delivers a smooth blend of jazzy tempos.
The Friends of Butler provides a golf cart for easy access to the concert area from the parking lot.
Jarrett Boyd is the retired director of Carroll County Public Library and resides in Carrollton, Ky.