Guns and Words
This past weekend, my friend David Ehrlich, a world-class violinist and teacher, came through Philadelphia to rehearse for a string quartet performance outside Boston next week and he stayed with us, as he always does.
David is the Outreach Fellow in Fine Arts at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. When the massacre happened last week, my thoughts were very much with him and his wife, Teresa, a superb pianist. But I decided not to call or e-mail; I figured they had enough going on without one more intrusion.
While he was here, we talked some about the horrific event and the aftermath and then went on to other things.
But during the past two weeks and Ehrlich’s visit, I thought long and hard about my right to keep and bear arms—and about my right to send these words out over the Internet.
I despise guns and love words.
As a citizen—and writer—I am pleased and honored that I have the right to both guns and words.
An Afternoon with Justice Scalia
A number of years ago, I had as clients Richard Rossi and Barbara Harris, brilliant founders of an extraordinary company called Envision. Its mission: to plunge high-achieving high school students directly into the inner workings of their chosen profession—medicine, law, diplomacy.
For example, kids who want to be doctors can pay a fair pinch of change to spend 10 days in one of America’s leading hospitals. They change into scrubs and follow world-renowned physicians and surgeons on their rounds, witness operations, and attend seminars on all facets of modern medicine from health issues to the management of a medical practice.
The experience costs a lot of money, but those kids see the medical profession unvarnished from deep inside. Most find the experience truly inspiring and come away all fired up to spend a lifetime in medicine. Occasionally, a student will decide that this is the wrong career path; these kids will have saved themselves and their parents grief later on, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted tuition and living expenses.