The Man With The Rifle

Letters to the Editor: Mike Davis wrote about dark subjects, but he was full of light. He reminded us that, on November 28 – the day after Thanksgiving – he published a letter to the editor, “To the Editor. We’re not supposed to question what is right or wrong. I want to.” At the time, I was one of many newspaper columnists, journalists, and media professionals who felt – and still feel – that questioning and criticizing what we believe is wrong, or even disagreeable is wrong. It’s not right.

Then, on this Thanksgiving Day after his letter had been published, Mike’s son, who was living in the Washington area, told him about an experience. He was in the car with his friend. The friend pointed. There was a man standing two blocks away. He was holding a rifle. He was about to shoot.

Mike asked his son if he thought the man could pull the trigger. His son said yes. Mike left the car and went to the man. When he approached, Mike’s son asked him what he was doing and the man said that they were just trying to be helpful. “He wasn’t after us,” Mike’s son told him. “He was after some homeless guy sleeping on the sidewalk near the train tracks. He was just trying to help.”

Mike’s son said, “That’s what scares me. How can we help?” Mike’s son told him about the letter that had been published that day. “That’s right. We’re not supposed to question what is right or wrong,” Mike said. “I want to.”

They went back to the car and Mike’s son opened the newspaper. Mike’s son turned the page. There they saw the article. There was a photo of the man with the rifle.

Mike’s son said, “Mom, you’ve got

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