« Our Beloved Boob Tube | Main | Birth Days »

January 11, 2011

Leave the gun; take the cannoli

Leave the gun; take the cannoli

By Kathy Sweeney

I think the time has come for some straight talk about guns.  Sure, we could have an educated, sophisticated legal discussion on the parameters of the 2nd amendment and the various penumbra of the Constitution, but frankly, while worthwhile, those tend to be boring and better left to other blogs.  This is a tragic subject which merits serious consideration.  But not here.  Here, we try to avoid politics and other boring crap and just get to the stuff you can use.

Let's face it, my friends, some people just cannot be trusted with nuance or even the simple application of general guidelines.  Perhaps they have problems with reading comprehension. Perhaps they are confused by words with more than three letters.  Perhaps they are dumb as a box of hammers.  We are not here to judge.  We are here to help.

These people need clear, direct rules.  And who better to provide them  than us?  No one, I say. Here, for anyone who might be puzzled, is a general guide on where not to take your gun(s).  When in doubt, remember these words of wisdom and good taste: take the cannoli instead.

1.  Weddings, Wakes and other places where there will be booze.  The wonderful Lisa Scottoline tells a story of a family rift caused when one person brought a gun to a wedding.  This is a most serious breach of all unwritten family codes. Even a shotgun wedding can be done tastefully with a nice prop and still get the message across. Cannoli, on the other hand, is always welcome on cookie tables everywhere.

2.  Airports.  Unless, of course, you would like to spend the next several weeks explaining to people in suits what the hell is wrong with you.  Instead, carefully wrap the cannoli shells and put the filling in one of those quart bags, which you can happily show the TSA people while they are checking out your junk.  Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and it serves as a handy piping sleeve.

3.  The Ice Capades, Puppet Shows, and various other displays of fine art.  No artist wants to be upstaged by some batshit loon with a weapon.  It's an insult to the performer, the set designer, the composer, the author, and everyone else on the creative team.  I mean, take a look at what many of these artists are wearing; haven't they suffered enough?  Cannoli can be served in any setting, including arctic.  Feel free to add edible sparkles if the performance calls for them.

4.  Churches, bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants and other venues where two or more gather to break bread, make bread, sell bread, buy bread or slather bread with fabulous honey butter.  Large groups and firearms = NO.  Just no.  Don't try to explain this one - some people just need to get the clear-ass message.  NO.  Once again, save room for cannoli.

5.  The beach, the wave pool, the strip club, and other places where people tend to be scantily clad.  This rule is for practical, as well as safety, reasons.  It's tough enough seeing most people's bodies without having to try to play "Name that bulge."  Instead, remember there is room in any cooler for mini-cannolis.

6.  Meetings, rallies, and other gatherings of humans with the intent to use words.  I planned to point out that words are very powerful weapons, but frankly, that's part of the problem.  So I will just make this one a clear rule:  Leave your gun at home.  Period. Amen.

If you think you need to take a gun to a rally to protect yourself, here's a hint: stay the fuck home.  If you think it's a good idea to take a gun with you for any other reason, then your task is a simple one. Accept that there is no longer a place for you in this country.  Or this world. No cannoli for you. Lean into the strike zone and take one for the team.  

I left the door wide open for more guidelines - let's try to make a comprehensive list so no one feels left out, okay?

And in all sincerity, pray for peace.  Work for peace.  There is no way to peace unless we make one.





TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Leave the gun; take the cannoli:


I don't believe I have ever been so disgusted, or revolted, in my life as I was watching news reports this past weekend. For those of us of a certain age, "Tucson" has now taken on the same shadings as "Dallas".

Those of you who know me know what I do for a living, and yes, I sometimes am in situations where it is in my best interests to carry a weapon. I can also display the licenses, training certifications, and renewals over the years (I shudder to think what it's cost over the past 11 years) and have absolutely no issue with anyone who is willing to submit to a thorough background check, and put in the time and work to become properly trained. (Do not kid yourself; doing it right, like so many things, is hard goddamn work). The closest I have ever come to pulling a weapon from the holster is unbuttoning my coat during a confrontation; given the option, I much prefer talking my way out of a potentially bad situation, and I was able to do that with everyone going their separate ways upright and breathing. (Ask a baby tough-guy, and he'll tell you that was pussy; ask a cop, he'll compliment the skills. Guess who we should listen to?)

The concept that someone, anyone, can walk into a shop, lay down cash, and walk out with a state of the art high tech pistol that has one function and one function ONLY (supposedly self-defense), and use it to go on a rampage based on something as minor as political disagreements is revolting to me on a physical level.

My heart aches for Gabrielle Giffords and her family, but it shatters when I think of Christina Green, a nine year old girl who wanted to enter politics when she grew up, who wanted to Do Right and Good in the world. I think of her, and I look at the photo of the 'suspect', and I think "I can't wait for you to meet all your new friends wherever they send you. I'm hoping for Marion, but it will probably be too dangerous for a badass like you. You're real hell on wheels in a crowd with a high-capacity pistol and no warning, surrounded by un-armed civilians; bet you'd be a real terror with puppies, or a quadriplegic nun. Cop all the 'tude you want in court, take the Fifth all you want, but you killed a CHILD, and that doesn't fly where you're headed." And I cross my fingers and hope there's a real shortage of KY there.

That's the saddest part of all. There is nothing we can do to even this up. There is no punishment in the world that can make up for what happened. Sending this meatball to the Seventh Circle of Hell won't bring anyone back, won't make little Christina stand up and giggle and say, "Scared ya, didn't I?"

(Sorry, Kathy. This was originally a lot longer, but I realized it was becoming a blog unto itself, so I cut it....)

Great blog, Kath. We need a little levity, because the horse is out of the barn on guns. There are 90 guns in circulation for every 100 people in the US. That's 270 million guns. And just last year, the Roberts court ruled that the right to bear arms is a personal right, on a par with the the right to free speech. I would love to believe it isn't so, but I don't see a way out of the woods on this one.

William - my original blog looked something like that, except it had suggestions for the FBI to expand its indictments in this case.

But we try to stay away from politics here, and although I can discuss the 2nd amendment in a scholarly way, I have found that it ultimately leads to a political bashfest and honestly, I have had enough of those to last a life time.

I hear your rage and frustration and I think we all share it but are helpless in this aftermath.


So sad. Thanks.

Michele - great to see you. I had that discussion over the weekend. Maybe this renewed focus on the Constitution will result in a better discussion on the 2nd amendment than simply: "We have the right to own guns."

"Name That Bulge." I expected to cry over this blog, but I ended up laughing out loud.

Michele said: "I don't see a way out of the woods on this one." Hey, we made Prohibition happen once. We can do it again. I say all handguns and automatic weapons must be banned for the general public.

Only you, Reschini, could make guns and cannoli make sense together. I bow to your expertise, my dear.

I see one major upshot to this tragedy, and that's more people carrying guns than ever, including people who really should not be doing so. My sister wants to carry a Glock, and that would be a disaster for all concerned. She carries a massive handbag, and is constantly on her cell phone. I can so easily visualize the mugging scene: She would hold up one well-manicured finger to her attacker, then start digging around in the Betty Boop suitcase, still chatting away to her daughter. In the meantime, she could be on the ground, trussed up like a turkey on its way to the oven, before she had a chance to grab hold of the right end of the gun and aim.

My first husband was a cop for most of our marriage; we met in a Police Science program as students. I have no illusions about my own reaction time in a situation like this.

By the way, Patricia Maisch, the 61-year old woman who grabbed the magazine from the shooter, is my hero. Yes, other people tackled him (also unarmed people), but she had the presence of mind to get the bullets out of the equation, while other people were scrambling away. I'd like to think I'd have that same level of courage, but we can't really know until we get the opportunity to test it.

Karen - one saving grace here is that there are so many heroes. Regular people who went toward the danger to help strangers. Jon Stewart had a good piece on that last night.

Nancy - I think "Name That Bulge" would make a great game show. I'm seeing either Daniel Tosh or Don Rickles as the host.
Harley - is it really pilot season?

Always bring the cannoli. That might be my new motto. I'd add to your "rules" that guns really don't belong in schools (although I live in a state where a former wack-job governor wanted to require teachers to have guns in the classroom. No problem there, right?). I'd really like to add "No guns around me or people I love" but that might be a little too global.

In all seriousness, what we're really missing (and not talking about) is what we as a society need to be doing to keep the mentally ill from hurting themselves and the rest of us.

Thanks Kathy and William. You said what I want to say more eloquently than I could have said it.

Judy - agreed. Mental illness is a real issue and we don't spend nearly enough resources dealing with it. Every semester, we get reminders about spotting kids at risk for various reasons, and this semester (which started yesterday) the reminder took on a more serious tone. I understand the local community college flagged this kid.

But - I have to say this too - how the hell can we tell the difference between mentally ill and flat out evil? The mug shot of this murderer is chilling.

I grew up with the Southern gun culture. On the one hand, there's not the scary "OMG, that's a loaded gun!" feeling when it's hanging on the wall next to a deer head it took down. Apart from hunters, there are places still in this country with aggressive wildlife (like rattlesnakes!) and the need to put down livestock. So I see that sometimes, in certain professions and areas, a firearm is a necessity.

How-f'ing-ever, I strongly believe that it should be very difficult to purchase a gun. VERY. Background checks of course, plus required classes--we do it before we can drive a car, so don't tell me it's impossible to administrate. Guns should be HARD to get and never, never, never should it take less than three days. You have to wait that long to get married in some places, so buying a deadly weapon deserves at least the same cooling off period.

I'm referring to firearms for hunting and what I describe. I waver on the banning of all handguns, but there is no reason for a private citizen to own an automatic weapon. ZERO.

This one hurt my heart. Thanks for the cannoli.

Speaking of insane, the &*^%-ers known as the Westboro Baptist Church are planning to picket Christina Green's funeral because she was a Catholic. Thankfully, people in the town are responding peacefully.


This guy is going to be found mentally unstable and will go to live where ever Ted Kozinski is now.

Ramona, I vote the same way when it comes to automatic and semi-automatic weapons: WTF does anyone need one of those for? There is only one reason, and one only: to kill other human beings. The lifting of the ban on assault weapons was incredibly ill-advised and foolish.

I had a discussion with someone online once about carrying guns to public events. Their contention was that they would "protect" others in case of an outbreak of violence. This particular person is an angry, abusive man, who does not see that his own sense of entitlement could CAUSE violence in such a situation. Not very self-aware.

People get angry, then become emotional, and every single day we hear about an abused spouse or child. Do you honestly think having a gun near to hand is going to make that type of situation any safer? Ye gods.

Now THERE is a legit target of collective rage - Westboro Baptist scum.

Talk about evil masquerading as a religious group - those people get no quarter. They need to be taken out of the gene pool.

Thanks a million for the link, Ramona - I am off to read it and see what I can to do help.

Great article on how Tuscon plans to respond to the Westboro freaks. Below are a couple of places to check on Facebook:

Republicans, Democrats, independents, right, left and center -- they've all offered their support. Forty-two people have signed up on a Facebook page called "Build Angel Wings for the Westboro Funeral Counter-Protest and Meeting," and more than 4,500 have signed up on another page to "Show Support for the Families of the Tucson Shooting Victims."

My father was a "Golden Eagle" member of the NRA who owned nine guns. Last May he shot himself. On purpose. I now own his "NRA Golden Eagles" black fleece. Which is really weird. I'm glad he didn't shoot anyone else. Bad enough he took himself out.

My ex-husband now owns three shotguns.

Kathy, I love you. I wish they both had (or had had) cannolis instead.

We, as taxpayers, are spending half a million dollars a year, more or less, to keep Ted Kaczynski alive and well in a supermax facility near Florence, CO.

Our tax dollars at work....

There's a special place in Hell reserved for those Westboro folks.

I am not a gun person, but there are some realities. Exactly how much of my medical history do I need to give to a merchant to buy something? At the same time the NRA's roaring silence this week and after other mass shootings speaks volumes. This would be the moment for them to say, "This gun owner is not us. Throw two books at him." They do not. They are to busy saying it wasn't us. Well guys, it was.

Perhaps the gun nuts need to review the first part of the 2nd amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," Well regulated. TJ got it right and he probably carried a pistol.

I do get a kick out of the CCW yahoos who think their pistol in the pocket is going to protect them. Sorry, Clint Eastwood wins BECAUSE IT IS IN THE SCRIPT. I am putting my $10 on the guy who already has his gun out.

I have been up close and personal with armed robbery. Trust the man who has had a pistol in his face.

Cornelia - I am so sorry. Come to think of it, my Dad is an NRA Golden Eagle too. Keeps his in a gun safe at the office since he has two sons at home.

I may or may not have an unwritten agreement with the other guy who knows the combination to change it if things start to look jinky.

William - now there is a way to cut the deficit. How many of these criminals can we cut loose?

Judy - could not agree more. Nauseating doesn't even begin to cover those people.

Alan - excellent points. The second amendment was not adopted so that every halfwit in the country could set up their own arsenal. This is something the gun nuts conveniently forget to mention when they start raving.

Another place that is better served by cannoli than with guns: anywhere where there are children, especially including your own house. If you have guns and they're not locked up, I question how well you know your children. And maybe you've taught them not to mess with your guns, but how much control do you have over their friends who come over for playdates?

Harley, my concern is also about how well-locked your house is. A family friend had his gun collection stolen. (54 firearms!) Wonder who's using those weapons now?

Bwahaaha! I LOVE THIS!!

I only wonder how the line, "Is that a cannoli in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" missed this blog.

I am so fricking craving a cannoli right now, I could hop in the car and make the 3 hour trip to Boston's North End, even with a snowstorm on the horizon.

Plus, here's the other upside of cannoli v. guns. Even felons and whack jobs can get their hands on them.

I exercise my 2.0 amendment to bear cannoli!

Ahh, Sarah, I knew someone would come through with that line!

Moios, our local Italian bakery, sells cannoli in kits so you can fill them as you need them. Because no one wants a limp cannoli. We're here all week.

Harley - amen to that - and Nancy is right - these arsenals are just a bad idea for so many reasons! I used to own a gun and got rid of it when I got pregnant. Much like dinosaurs and humans, kids and guns should never be in the same place at the same time.

Now about that game show idea...?

Can we mention the insanity of guns in BARS (or anywhere alcohol is likely to loosen whatever inhibitions remain against striking back against imagined offenses?

Although I don't think cannoli will fare very well in this case, since they're likely to wind up being smashed in the face of one of the participants.

Sign me up as part of the Cannoli for Peace movement. Cannoli would be wonderful at political meetings -- and give politicians sticky fingers they can proudly display.

Yes - No Guns in Bars. And while we're on the subject, if you are stupid enough to try to hide a gun in your sweatpants, you deserve to shoot at least one of your balls off.

Simple Darwinism. Just saying.

The Arizona legislature has been wanting to force universities to let students carry guns. What a good idea, and while we're at it (the lunacy! the lunacy!) let's check at stadium gates to be sure that every fan who attends a sporting event has a pistol. I know that's the reassurance I'd want at the Super Bowl--the comforting knowledge that all around me there are drunken people with guns. Makes you just instantly relax to think about it, doesn't it?

Kathy, no offense, but does it absolutely have to be cannoli? Could it be cupcakes? There are mini ones that fit in pockets now.

I can get behind any movement that involves cannoli. Especially if it has those little chocolate chips in it.

Thanks, Kathy - I'm sure you wanted to write a blog full of the rage we all feel. Thanks for giving us a lighter feel today - it certainly makes the subject no less serious.

I wish I thought that tougher gun laws would keep the assholes of the world from getting guns. But I don't.

Nancy P, I'm with you. Not a cannoli fan (sorry, Kathy!).

On the issue of guns in bars, this video shows why that is a stupid combination. It's a miracle no one was killed. Also shows how ineffective guns can be, for those who think it's necessary to arm oneself for protection:


Unfortunately for me, I'd be constantly eating my cannoli and then having to get more. :o)
Kathy and William have said it better than I ever could. It amazes me how easily people can reach for a weapon instead of a pen to express their feelings. And don't get me started on those "crosshairs" over the "20 who need to go"...courtesy of the right-wing nuts. Didn't anyone (at least in the wake of the events of the last 20 years or so) stop to think that this graphic could be taken literally by a devoted follower?
We had a self-defense instructor tell us once that a gun is the most dangerous thing to carry as a means of defense. Unlike a quick kick to the groin or an elbow to the stomach, it can be taken away and used against you if you aren't ready to shoot as soon as you pull it out of your pocket or purse. He didn't mention cannoli.
Oh and Sarah? that storm is a-comin'. Cannoli in the car is a great way to keep your blood sugar up if you get stranded :o)
Great post Kathy...thanks for saying what most of us wanted to.

A clip from The West Wing:


Wait....some nimrod thinks guns should be allowed at football games? Holy crap...look at how fans of some losing teams react as it is!

Cannoli's. Cupcakes. Works for me...especially as chocolate makes people happy?

Thanks for this topic, Kathy.

One approach to the interpretation of the 2nd amendment is to define what arms are in terms of the technology available in the late 18th century when the amendment was written. This would restrict its meaning to things like flintlock firearms, pikes, swords, daggers, and knives. These wouldn't be as safe as a cannoli of course. Cannoli are only dangerous if you eat them.

I'm not a fan of cannoli; however, chocolate - particularly DARK chocolate - makes me very happy! IT relaxes me, it helps me to focus, it eases pain. And it's supposed to be good for you, too! Pass out chocolate at all public events! Pass out chocolate at polling places, at the entrances to court houses and other public buildings!

I work in a public building, one that has no security of any kind whatsoever. I try not to read or listen to news accounts of people bringing weapons to public buildings or gatherings. (I might end up having to consume more chocolate than I can afford to buy, just to reassure myself that nothing will happen to me.) We have been in the position of having to give people the bad news that they do not qualify for benefit programs. We are merely the MESSENGERS, but have been threatened by the applicants, who tell us things like "next time I come in here, I'm bringing my gun." I used to shrug off those statements but I do get uneasy now. I've had someone attempt to hit me in the face with my clipboard, or punch me in the face - and these people are elderly. We are jealous of our counterparts around the state who have on-site police officers or security guards.

I don't see why people other than the police or military need weapons. I suppose I can live with the fact that RESPONSIBLE people who want to go hunting can be allowed to have weapons, provided the weapons are properly licensed and those applying for licenses are thoroughly investigated first. I hear too many sad stories, though, of properly licensed weapons being used to harm or kill individuals. My great-grandmother was shot and killed in front of her children, who included my grandfather, by my great-grandfather. Whether or not it was an accident is still unknown. My grandfather never recovered from the incident - which happened on Christmas Day when he was around 12 years old. You can see why I have no desire to have access to weapons.

My heart is filled with sadness for the victims, especially for the little nine year old girl. Having girls myself my heart is broken.
William is so eloquent and comes from a protective stance that resonates with all of us.
Kathy, you wrote a blog that gives us a moment to reflect and put all the puzzle pieces together.
My hope is that we can heal.
Having been a potential victim of violence three times, once with a gun to my back I live each day with the hope that others do not have to think about this.
Thanks for an insightful blog and hoping for a better tomorrow.

This whole event has been so sad. Ditto with what William and Kathy said. I know the gun laws in Canada are more stringent that the states and I actually don't know anyone who owns a gun or admits to owning one. The only time I have seen a gun here is on a police officer.

I hope the shooter gets jail, real jail with real bad guys, not a psychiatry jail.

I have no answers, just sadness. . . and respect for those who can disagree without guns or deadly rhetoric. May we all learn to love each other better -- and share our cannoli . . .


Kathy, yes, thank you.

I'm very much anti gun, but I don't know if this is an issue we will ever come to terms with. The events of last week point me even more solidly in the direction of mental health reform. (Obviously, this is already a cause for me since I keep writing about it). Until the stigma of mental illness is gone, people who really need help probably won't seek it. I'm more determined than ever to dedicate time to this cause.

We aren't laughing yet in Tucson, but I took this great blog of yours very seriously... Somewhat taken aback by a few of the humorous comments. We are devastated. We are so hurt, so angry. The Westboro group... Unspeakable. We are doing our best. Tucson is a good place.

Brunonia, so important, yes.

Thank you so much for this post. Sane and calm and humorous, which I could not have pulled off this week.

Ramona, your post sums up my feelings pretty well. I live in Colorado, and believe me, I would not want to live in the mountains without a rifle. (Not that I own one in the city, but I would in the mountains.) My father was a state patrolman and had a gun in my childhood, so we were well educated to the dangers. (Rule number one: all guns are always loaded. Rule number 2: if you have a gun, it better be made of chocolate, because you might have to eat it.) I'm not a hunter, but I respect and honor people who hunt and eat their kills, and who do it humanely.

But I cannot for the life of me understand why any ordinary citizen needs a automatic weapon.

My heart is with you Reine, and some of the laughter is there to stop the tears . . . and we need all the help with that we wan get.
Someone posted this quote from Mother Teresa:
"People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway. Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway."

Thank you, Mary. That was very beautiful.

Everyone, I didn't mean to imply there should be no humor, only that I am unable to join in. I love TLC, all the Tarts and commenters.

Reine - I cannot imagine the grief that engulfs your city.

I am glad you were able to read this today with no offense, and hope that laughter returns to your daily life soon.

I rarely watch Oprah, but today she had on a survivor from the Virginia Tech shootings. This young man has made his life's work all about exposing the problems with gun 'control' in this country. Video after video of him walking into gun stores and gun shows and getting all kinds of guns for cash - no waiting periods, no background checks - in some cases no ID!!! It's appalling! We need to talk about changing the laws on the books - but how about starting with enforcing the ones we have!

Kathy, thank you.

I wonder if it might not be time for our country to become unified in some of it's laws, as well.

I'll be reading TLC. XXX

Pass the cannoli, and educate all parents to LOCK guns up securely or not have them in the house at all. I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I found my grandmother's pistol in her lingerie drawer. It was very pretty.
Fortunately for everyone, I was a kid in Texas. So, I knew about guns. I looked at it, but did not pick it up to see if it really had the hair-trigger response I'd heard about.
Unfortunately for everyone, my dad died when a mob guy shot him. So, I knew about guns more than any 3-year-old should ever have to know.
The gorgeous young man that I had a big crush on in 7th grade died when his brother was handing him the rifle they'd been using on a hunting trip earlier in the day. They knew gun safety. It was a simple error: botched handing of the gun from the bottom bunk to the top bunk, a fatal grab to keep the weapon from falling. Poof, my remarkable friend gone forever.
A well-regulated militia?? Really??

Ms. Sweeney, totally with you on peace. Gotta have it.
Also: laws to ensure the humane but secure care for mentally ill, off the streets, out of harm's way, ASAP.

Re: the Westboro Church: I live in Kansas, and am horrified & embarrassed every time I read something new this "church" is doing. They do not speak for any of the Kansans, or Christians, that I know. They are just evil & crazy nuts using God as their excuse for hatred & cruelty!

Great post, Kathy. "Make cannoli, not guns" could be a terrific anti-violence slogan. Item 6 also highlights well the difficulty and dangers of violent rhetoric (words as weapons) that Sarah Palin and her camp may need to read to encourage her to delete her "Don't retreat -- reload" Twitter message and the "crosshairs" map from her Facebook page.

This is a scary and disturbing time. Thanks for helping to lighten the load, Kathy.

I was very impressed by this blog. Though I am qualified to use a hand gun, I will never use one. Cannolis are a completely different issue for me. With dieting perhaps I can get qualified to use a cannoli, and then I will carry them and use them when needed. Also, Kathy, I don't think I have read one of your books... I'm going straight to Amazon now--you have a new fan.

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Breast Cancer Site