Autumn is coming. I can feel it in the early morning air that frames the day’s heat, a crisp tingle that chills the sunrise. I can see it in the leaves beginning to fall from the trees in our yard.
This time of year always brings a very old memory I would like to forget of a boy on the cusp of beginning. A boy with an easiness to his smile, a boy racing toward adventures which await a boy of nearly 13. His photograph shows the sweetness of his smile looking out at a world that waited with who knew how many wonders.
He had worked so hard to be ready for his Bar Mitzvah, and to be as good as his older brother had been two years before at his coming of age.
He and his friend and classmate at Oakland Technical High School, Frank Oznowicz, were involved in puppeteering, making their own puppets and writing scripts for them. Frank would later be associated with Jim Henson of the Muppets, doing the voice of Miss Piggy and others.
The boy stayed home from school that morning with a cold, and his mother ran a quick errand to the corner grocery. Exactly what happened that morning we’ll never know. There was a gun in the house and the boy alone. He probably thought it was unloaded. It wasn’t. By the time his mother arrived back home, he was dead.
That death caused not even the smallest disruption in the rhythm of the days that structured our lives. One small boy disappearing from the face of the earth did not create a large emptiness in space.
I won’t belabor the statistics of gun deaths. You’ve heard them all and so have I. And by hearing them too often they become yet another accepted peril. We have to end the tragedies that the click of a trigger can create.
I realize that I may hear from those whose advocacy of firearms is a rationalization rooted in antiquated constitutional rights and the need for self protection.
When morning comes the weapons of their survival are slipped back into drawers or stuck up on closets, maybe loaded, maybe not, until the night comes again—or until a child’s hand reaches out.
The truth is sad, simple and undebatable: An entire family died that morning and a gun did it.
12 thoughts on “REQUIEM FOR A DREAM”
Such a tragic story, and you’re right–there are far too many stories like this. I’m with you–we need to do something about it. This inaction in the name of constitutional rights cannot continue.
I know the families of these lost children agree. I’m sick of the argument that “Guns don’t kill—people do.” But children who have no idea of the consequences don’t understand that reasoning. This boy and his brother apparently had been practicing “fast-draw” seen on some of the TV programs in the 50’s. The gun and bullets were hidden in two different places by caring parents. We have no idea what kids are up to when playing alone. He would have been 71 years old now as his friend Frank is.
So very sad.
Thank you for sharing this story. Can we become stronger than the NRA and gun lobbyist?
Thank you Pat. I think we have to. As long as the money keeps flowing into the NRA it seems like a losing battle. People have to start at home.
Thanks Gerard. Trump hasn’t revealed what his views are on the NRA. I carried a gun when traveling alone in Indian country. Too much alcohol on the roads at night. Dr. A gave me a good refresher course.
It is so sad and the answer so obvious. Yet, common sense seems to be rooted in the Donald Trumps of the US. So sad but brilliantly told, Kayti.
A tragic story. A tragic world where people believe they need guns to protect themselves.
The more people try to protect themselves, the crooks find ways to commit crimes. But keeping guns in a house with children seems a dangerous choice. I always have wondered if a burglar would wait a minute while I got my gun out to shoot him. I don’t think so.
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Terrible. So sorry for the boy and his family and you xx
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It’s a terrible thing to forget. Both parents are gone now.
People outside the United States have a hard time understanding the attachment to firearms. Yes, the right to bear arms is part of the Constitution, although an amendment (and a second one, at that), but the situation is so very different today than it was in 1791.
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