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When will the shootings stop?


Last week, a gunman walked into a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and killed nine people in a horrific, terrifying ordeal. There were some similarities to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that took the lives of 20 children and six adults, insofar as both shooters were socially awkward loners whose mothers were gun enthusiasts. (The fathers were out of the home in both cases and did not seem to share the interest in guns.)

I found myself wondering when it would all stop. If Sandy Hook didn’t change anything, then what could? I decided to use the moment to interview A.J. Somerset about his new book, Arms: The Culture and the Credo of the Gun. Somerset, a former Canadian soldier turned writer, is also a gun enthusiast, but he describes himself as a moderate and takes issue with groups like the NRA.

We had a very interesting discussion, and a somewhat depressing one, as Somerset thinks little will change in the U.S. until the bloodshed becomes so extreme that the majority of Americans finally say enough. That’s not going to happen in my lifetime.

You can listen to our hour-long conversation over at The Province’s Book Rogues podcast. You can also read the article I wrote on the subject, which was one of the paper’s most-read stories all day long.