Showing posts from February, 2018

Good Guys With Guns

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun,” quoth Wayne LaPierre, “is a good guy with a gun.” When he and his acolytes say that—and they say it a fucking lot—they're not talking about trained law enforcement officials, but armed civilians. LaPierre is the executive vice president—and, oftentimes, the public face—of the National Rifle Association, so it’s safe to say that he’s got skin in the game. His words have become a rallying cry for gun rights advocates, and it’s easy to see why. They’re simple, unfussy, and direct. They’ve got a nice ring to them. The problem is, they’re utter horseshit—a pop-culture-fueled wish-fulfillment fantasy with no basis in reality. I should know. As a thriller writer, I make my living peddling that fantasy. And as a scientist, I know a thing or two about analyzing data. LaPierre’s axiom is repeated ad nauseam every time a mass shooting dominates the news cycle. And don’t get me wrong: an armed civilian has, on occasion, had a positive imp

Appearance: Maine Crime Writers Staged Reading, 3/5

Join me Monday, March 5 at Portland Stage for an event unlike any other, in which actors perform readings of local crime fiction authors Brenda Buchanan , Richard Cass , Barbara Ross , Lea Wait , and yours truly. Some of the readings will be excerpts from larger works. Mine will be a short story in its entirety—specifically, my Derringer Award nominated "Pretty Little Things," which first appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine  way back in 2013. (We were such kids back then, foolish and innocent... or was that just me?) I participated in this event last year , and it was an absolute blast. The house was packed, and the readings slayed. (The picture at the top of this post was taken during their performance of my short story "Eight Pounds," which I'm proud to say was the most gruesome of the readings by a damn sight.) The event is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10 in advance and $15 at the door. It kicks off with a reception a