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'Now It's Buy a Gun, Go to Florida'

November 28, 1987

We are living in absurd times. Driving to work one day recently, I observed something that demonstrated this complete absurdity in all its radiant fullness.

While waiting at a red light, I noticed the car in front of me had a couple of those yellow plastic signs hanging in the rear window. That in itself was not unusual; the car was a late-model station wagon, driven by a young mother with two children riding in the back seat.

My whole morning was virtually ruined by the two signs that dangled in the window of that car. The top one was the standard "Kids on Board"--no problem there. It was the one below it that got me: "Protected by a .357 Magnum." The message was all too clear: "I love my kids so please drive safely and if you come near my car I'll blow you away."

At first, I felt great anger toward that woman. Doesn't she know how many children are killed each year by handguns owned by their parents?

Gradually, though, my anger faded and I began to feel sorry for her and those like her. How sad that her genuine concern for the safety of her children had to compete with such mindless macho nonsense. Sort of a "mother's love meets Rambo" syndrome.

J. SANDY WARREN

San Gabriel

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