Again following a mass shooting, gun sales are on the rise. As a warning it should be noted that the death of Vincent Van Gogh, long thought to be a suicide, could be considered an accidental shooting, that he carried along a gun hoping to frighten away a group of children who were harassing him as he tried to paint in the fields around Arles, and that in a scuffle he was shot in the stomach, certainly not a likely target in suicide. In either case, the simple presence of a gun had a fatal consequence. This negative potential should never be underestimated. The tragedy of Van Gogh is that at the peak of his artistic powers, creating paintings that are still so vibrant and alive today, his life was ended by the power of a gun. The tragedy of America is that the power of the gun is so accepted as positive.
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