You decide after you read friend Bathsheba Monk’s essay “My New Gun” in the March 1, 2009 edition of the New York Times Magazine —
yes, indeed, Bathsheba makes her second appearance on the back page with an essay in the “Lives” series in which she talks about deciding to buy a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum — partly in response to a rash of break-ins in her neck of the Pennsylvania woods but also out of  fear that the financial apocalypse, the continuing series of calamities that makes it feel like Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve might actually have changed his name from Ben Beelzebub and that any minute now a pale rider on a pale horse will be spotted galloping down Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill.

Me, I’d never buy a gun. Ever. I’d run. I’d hide. I’d give them all my money. There’s no way in the world that I could ever shoot someone.

But Bathsheba’s an intelligent, articulate, reasonable person  – -her essay’s not going to send me running to the nearest gun shop but it certainly got me thinking about what kind of world this must be if  B. Monk, who I’d wager subscribes to the theory that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, neverthless feel compelled to choose both the pen and the sword — or, more specifically, both a computer keyboard and  a .357 Magnum.

Here’s a link to Bathsheba’s essay in Sunday’s Times:

Here’s a link to her earlier “Lives” essay, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” —

And here’s a link to her great blog, Bathsheba Monk Explains Everything:


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