Those of us who subscribe to The New Yorker spend our lives catching up with the magazine. In the Sept. 30 Talk of the Town, I found a brief profile of Shaina Harrison, a young woman who lives in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. She is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and her job is helping prevent gun violence among New York City kids, though the author, Ian Frazier, doesn't say who pays her.
But here's the quote that got me: "See my nails? The person who does my nails has to have a license to do nails. You have to have a license to cut hair, a license to be a plumber. I went to buy a goldfish and the pet-store person wanted proof that I owned a fish tank before he would sell me a goldfish. Many people do not know how easy it can be to purchase a gun without a license. I teach after-school classes in high schools and middle schools and sometimes I show the kids pictures of gun shows and I ask them, 'Who do you see in this picture that looks like you? The guns are coming to your community from places where almost nobody looks like you, and you are using these guns to kill each other.'
"If I ask a room of kids at a high school in Crown Heights if they could get a gun if they wanted to, every hand goes up. These kids can get a gun more easily than a MetroCard. There are guns nobody owns, guns you can borrow -- community guns."
Now there's a quote for meditation as we pray this season for the coming of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.