Monday, December 24, 2012

Guest Blog

This week I am yielding this space for my weekly blog to my wife, Barbara Renton. Here is a letter she sent to a local paper, which is unlikely to publish it: In the late 1950s, I was living with my children in Ann Arbor, Michigan. One day I walked out of the front of our house and was greeted by our next door neighbor. She said “Barbara, I feel so much safer now that Harold has gotten me a gun for when he is gone.” My immediate reply, aware of my young children and her baby and two year old daughter was “Marge, don’t have a gun around the house!” She became angry and went into her home. I was sorry that I had spoken so forcefully. Six months later, Marge, her nine month old baby and her two and a half year old daughter were shot by her husband. Harold then phoned the police, and told them what he had done. Two and a half months later, he committed suicide in prison. Previously, I had learned when I lived briefly in Texas that a police officer’s teenage son was killed because he had shown his friend his father’s gun, and his friend had shot him accidentally. At that time, I made the decision never to have a gun around the house. There have been a couple of times in our long marriage when I’ve gotten angry with my husband that I’ve wondered, if I kept a gun in the house would I use it? We’re both very thankful that I don’t own a gun. The Sandy Hook tragedy brings to light how imperative is the need for gun control. These tragedies happen every day. We cannot let more time pass. The time is now.


  1. Thanks Barbara -- most shootings occur because the gun is there. You are so right.

  2. Thanks for posting Barbara's letter, Nigel! Have you thought about posting this on your Facebook page?

    1. Good suggestion! The letter has now been posted there.