Since moving back to Pittsburgh in 1993, I’ve probably done the drive between Western Pennsylvania and Central Massachusetts 50 times. I take 22 to 220 to 80 to 81 to 84 to the Mass Pike, meaning I drive across the very rural parts of Pennsylvania and New York, and near many cities/suburbs in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
So I’ve driven through many small towns in these areas many times without giving them a second thought…until this month.
Just off of Route 22, Holidaysburg was the site of gun-nuttery last Friday (just before Wayne LaPierre’s infamous diatribe/non-press conference), when a man took a gun, shot into a church, murdered a woman, murdered two men out walking and shot three police officers who killed him.
A few hours later, we drove by the familiar sign for Newtown/Sandy Hook in Connecticut on Route 84. Someone had put a large wreath on it. I couldn’t stop on 84 to take a photo of the sign due to traffic. The incident is now so well known that I don’t need to say anything about it.
Except now I’ll always think of my drive from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts as just another tour of gun-related mass murder.
When you live in Pennsylvania, you know people like their guns. Pennsylvania is full of hunters. Since moving to a more rural area of Pennsylvania a few years back, we hear target shooters and hunters in the woods behind our house much of the fall. While I would never own a gun myself, I have no issue with game hunters owning guns…except when they want to own people-hunting semis. That’s got to stop.