Letter to the Editor: guns, god, fetuses and personhood

With a title like this, you’d be right to expect either Malcolm Gladwell or Jared Diamond but instead it’s just me, the religious right’s most reliable friend.

Writing this time about what is certain to instantly and dramatically improve our prosperity, our standing in these United States and around the world, and certain to ensure that people of other faiths and philosophical persuasions have as much reason to be just as intolerant as we appear to be, all arising because some zealots happen to think it should here in the land of Patrick Henry.

So now we live in a state on the brink of returning to its former glory when tolerance was on the run, common sense was in short supply, and the separation of church (and televangelists) and state was nowhere to be found.  So now you can go out and buy as many guns as you want each and every month, at least, we think, until the end of 2014 when the world (according to those in the know from their constant, intimate contact with Yahweh) will come to an end.  At that time, those with the most guns get the air-conditioned, view seats in the Happy Hunting Grounds.

Soon maybe biologists will learn how to give humans the same number of limbs as an octopus.  Whereupon, the holster industry will boom, schizophrenic personalities will be able to have firefights with themselves, every day will be the 4th of July, there will be a cable channel devoted to John Philip Souza martial march music, and Charlton Heston will be back in the house.

There’s simply no rational reason to have so many guns.  So what, when buyers or sellers aren’t rational.  But I’ll bet Justice Scalia could channel a Founding Father or two for justification.

Our enlightened legislators have also passed bills on a subject, fetuses, never very far from that part of their minds owned by ALEC.  Next, all women will be required to start photo albums of their families shortly after one of their eggs is fertilized, just in case any of them decide that getting fertilized wasn’t what they planned to do, or their partner told them would happen, or was the consequence of an act they were criminally forced to perform in the first place.  But hey, we have ultrasound so let’s make a woman wanting to exercise her (dare I say god-given? sure, why not, the religious right always does) constitutional right to abortion harassed out of using it.

And while we’re at it, let’s see if we can register that fetus to vote.  Never mind about no sentient function, that’s not a voter requirement in any case, just a photo ID (or ultrasound, I guess).

For those of you awake to the possibility that your culture is being bastardized, take heart, it was your failure to vote for moderates or at all that brought this upon the rest of us.  You thought you could sit this out?  That Potts or Broy had an odor?  Too bad for you.  See any parallel to the Middle Ages?  Or prewar Germany?  Or Bosnia or the Middle East more recently?

If you think this is intemperate, read what the advocates for these positions say.  Their excesses surely don’t excuse intemperate language but does beget such language, and makes it like an arms race imperative, a gun not a knife to a gun fight.  Great pun, bad metaphor.  Civil discourse on tolerance will never start where it must, with talk show hosts and televangelists from whom these behaviors start.  Why, because they cheerfully prey on this very frightened demographic.

So, if that’s the culture you want, every day is about to be Sunday.  And there will be hunting.

Donald Marro

The Plains, Virginia


  1. I normally just shake my head and convince myself to not reply, but I have to in this instance.

    Mr Marro, usually liberals, and independents are championing individual rights and keeping government out of our lives, except for our common welfare.

    Why then do you concern yourself with government controlling how many guns, widgets, books or anything else one might choose to have? It seems a man of your intellect should be consistent on issues across the board, not only when they benefit you, or you do not agree with them.

    Freedom can be a wonderful and terrible thing, I suggest if you truly want and desire freedom, that you grant that some of those freedoms may be contrary to what you desire, but instead of igniting internet warfare, simply keep your mouth shut and go along in your merry way.

    Get out, travel, see the world, you seem to be such a bitter self absorbed man, that getting away seems as though it would do you good.

    Life is too short to be so angry at the world.

  2. FYI, Sunday hunting was tabled until next year by the way, it will not be happening this year.

  3. Another View says:

    If I used the same sort of invectives to characterize those, such as Mr. Morro, who disagree with me, I doubt this forum would permit its posting. So I shall not. But I have to wonder, why is Mr. Morro so angry?

    Why is Mr. Morro angry that law abiding citizens can buy all the guns they wish? By definition, law abiding citizens–the only folks who are permitted to purchase guns in Virginia–are a threat to no one. Whether a law abiding citizen buys one gun, two guns or twenty guns, it is of no moment.

    Mr. Morro claims that there is no “rational” reason to own so many guns; maybe not. But is rationality the test? Maybe a citizen needs no guns, or only one gun, but desires to own several. Why should Mr. Morro or anyone infringe upon the citizen’s desire to own multiple guns? Would Mr. Morro like for his right to free speech be put to a rationality test? Is it rational for Mr. Morro to be able to post his thoughts? If so, how often does rationality permit Mr. Morro to express himself? Once a day? Twice a week? Annually? Never?

    And why is Mr. Morro so hostile to life? A child is a blessing, and certainly entitled to all the legal respect that Mr. Morro no doubts demands for himself. Or are some lives more deserving than others?

    It’s a beautiful day Mr. Morro. Go explore and enjoy it.

  4. i just wanna ask donald, before this comment section turns into a trainwreck, are you a fan of the dearly departed joe bageant?

    the more i read from you, i would expect you’d enjoy his body of work, if you don’t already.

    good stuff.

  5. Donald C. Marro says:

    Another day, another set of anonymous authors.

    First, Valerie. An exception. Many thanks. I know of Deer Hunting With Jesus but didn’t remember the author, and now I do. And I will, thanks to you.

    Now Dreamer. Wherever do you find the imagination and creativity to assign yourselves such great handles. Poignant, nostalgic and fiercely irrelevant at the same time. Just like the CB days; yes, that was a time of true cultural greatness. Anyhow, Monsieur Le Reveur, quelle dommage. Sunday Hunting bills were tabled, praise Jesu/Allah/et alia. Think this was divine intervention or divine intervention via Bill Howell? Hint: the latter.

    And what about the epiphany that caused you to write? More divine intervention? Probably. But after reading your comments, I agree that not writing is the best course for you. However since you did write, the very least I could do is respond. As to which, you must respond, then me, then you, do-si-do. Let me say that contempt for hypocrisy and the money grubbing, holier-than-thou religious right isn’t anger, it’s contempt. But thanks.

    And you think I should travel the world? Again? You see, I have. Friends called me Aldo Cello in Lausanne, CH, my wife started calling me Monsieur Cassis in Monaco, I had a katakana business card for Hon Atsugi, gave my leftovers to “Hund” of others (für die Hund) in Munchen, and was called Don (pronounced Donnn) by building staff at 15 Grosvenor Sq. Another story, not this one. I saw tolerance differently long ago. Did you?

    Now, Another View. First, difficult though it may be to spell for one who waxes so poetical and philosophical about guns and fetuses, it’s M-A-R-R-O, as in Marro For Senate, Marro For Limiting Guns, Marro For Pro Choice, Penso/Voto/Marro, etc. Write that spelling down, please, or we take points off.

    But you make a good point respecting “Invective”. My point. Your heroes on the right are superb at this, Beck and Limbaugh, Falwell and Robertson, West and Cantor. And look at Romney, Gingrich and Santorum if you want instruction in abusive speech. Or Reince Prius, Priebus, or the artist formerly known as Prince, whoever, called politics a bloodsport, yes? Not that the Dems are any better. Wait, they are, with Sharpton now over his Tawana Brawley period. And read the comments about Broy and any others that your esteemed neighbors dislike and disagree with. So it’s invective back atcha. How does it feel? Not so good when it’s incoming?

    Now, then, Another View, to substance. Ahh, I think I get it. Another View means you disdain substance. OK, so this will be wasted, but I’m ever hopeful. AV, why does a law abiding citizen need an infinite supply of guns? Books, I understand. Widgets, even. Dishwashers, not so much. Not that government needs to regulate kitchen appliances but guns kill people, AV. People that point and shoot because “they loony”, AV, with guns. Neither Penn and Teller nor the Army’s Mind Killers ever reached that measure of efficiency, not without weapons. But you say I’m mistaken, that guns don’t kill people? OK, then buy all the guns you want but you can’t have but a few rounds of ammunition is all, you know, enough to bag a Commie, or cap you a terrorist/drug smuggler/bogeyman/etc. But that’s all.

    And AV, a child is a blessing. Well, maybe not a blessing but certainly an imperative for the species, that’s why nature has us and every other species (almost) copulate. A child is to be protected. But not a fetus, until it is viable. The woman comes first, even when the fetus is viable, in the proper circumstances.

    It’s confusing, I know, but try to let science inform, not religion or loudmouths. Given its way, religion (or at least the religious right) will drive out science. Then you can learn Mandarin or Pharsee or Arabic. Science was shunned before and we almost learned firsthand about Sharia law. But for the Poles and Austrians. Think your grandchildren would make good Chinese subjects, AV. Ne how ma?

    Mine wouldn’t.

  6. Donald, Is a two year old viable? A two year old cannot live without his/her mother for long. Do you have absolute right over your body? Please demonstrate your total corporal dominion by announcing that you will be lopping off a limb and see how long it is before the police stop you. In two adjacent hospital rooms medical science can fight to save the life of one unborn child and dismiss the life of another based solely on the emotional state of two different women. There are 70,000 deaths worldwide that are attributed to botched abortions, 5 to10 thousand in the US; The answer to that is to support holocaust in the US at 1.2 million per year since 1970? Your ethics have as much quality as your style of writing. You wish to be seen as William F. Buckley, but come across as Dr. Seuss.

    What you need is a blog so you can express yourself, but the CDN apparently attracts more readers than your blog would.

  7. Donald C. Marro says:

    Dave M. joins us, apparently not having received the memo on “invective”. Or was that vituperation? So many metaphors from you, Dave M., I do hope you’ve got the aspirin handy.

    Dave M., I know you labored long and hard over your response, but could you pretend to objectivity and the pretense of scientific rigor and cite the source of your statistics? Hint to you: Wheaties boxes and Bill Howell don’t count; neither does Dr. Glen Beck (PhGold), unless it relates to the number of angels he’s personally observed on the head of a pin.

    And Dave M., while you’re at it, could you say (or does it work better for you as placard, rant or rap lyric) where these 70,000 deaths from “botched” abortions occurred? And since our statistical reporting is generally among the best in the world, where the 5,000 to 10,000 in the US occurred; why there is such inexactitude; whether there were prosecutions; whether “botched” means the abortion was performed by the local barber (like in the old days of bloodletting), the village idiot, or a licensed medical practitioner? Candidly, Dave M., you terrify me with the intent of your statistics but reassure me that you really haven’t a clue as to the one thing most people require of their data. No, Dave M., not the ability to frighten – I said most people, not you. It is (wait for it)….accuracy….and context.

    And Dave M., since you and another of my esteemed correspondents cited 1.2 million abortions annually in the US, wouldn’t you say that 5,000 deaths is de minimis and not that frightening – inexcusable if preventable, but not that frightening?

    And Dave M., you might want to sell the script you’re apparently shaping in your head to Fox. The drama, the self-righteousness, the fear moving to clog the receptors of the rapt religious zealots in the Fox demographic as you show two adjacent hospital rooms, one with Ben Casey fighting manly to save the life of an unborn child (suffering from what, Dave M., an ultrasound overdose?) while next door, in the adjacent room, is Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi with their horrible accents “dismissing” a pre-human fetus little further along the path to life than an egg all because of an “emotionally unstable”, dirty, female woman “vessel”. Ugh, makes you want to throw the first stone at Drs. Karloff and Lugosi, or get Attorney General (“I’m not running for Governor”, oh aspetto, “yes I am”) Cuccinelli to investigate their funding, licensing and whether they operate with clean hands and fingernails.

    And last, my good Dave M., not for nothing, but could you qualify you’re reasoning respecting your use of the emotionally charged term “holocaust”. Here is some guidance: you can use the term if you’re referring to the extermination of a religious population of various ages and ethnicities (all of whom alive at the time) by a variety of political sociopaths (that does appear to be pretty close to defining your group as the perpetrators, but not the living religious group who were the victims – small point, your guys won’t notice, we move on); or you can use the term if you’re a pandering Congressman or woman; or you can use the term if you’re a talk show host with a pleasing visage but dearth of brain cells; or you could use the term if you don’t know what you’re talking about but don’t much care ’cause it sounds ever so good to say. I choose curtain #4 for you.

    And no, I don’t wish to be seen as William F. Buckley, a well-educated, whitebread elitist from the parts of Connecticut where Sunday dinner is about as somber, quiet and boring as stamp collecting. Bill trained himself to know and use words, which I admire. And he was an iconoclast of sorts. But I’m much fonder of Christopher Hitchens and others of that sort who I regard as truthseekers, and Maurice Sendak in the lighter category (though it would offend Sendak to be characterixzed as lighter, and in fact he’s not)

    Dave M., I just read your last zinger again. Dave M., say it ain’t so. I’d hate to think I wasn’t well on my way to literary immortality. Do you think you, Dreamer and Another View are my entire audience? Maybe if I used more one syllable words? Or grunts?

  8. “Maybe if I used more one syllable words? Or grunts?”

    Or maybe if you weren’t such a jacka$$

  9. snarky. who wants to reply to a bowl full of snarkies 🙂 hmmm what did i just do ?

    i see two answers to the question , why there is such a small response to this posting?

    1# the author has used words that are beyond the comprehension of those who live in this county.

    2# maybe nobody cares of the authors opinion.

    i choose curtain #2

  10. Donnie, you seem to have the correct mixture of Schadenfreude, pseudo intellectualism and narcissim to get into politics. Have you thought about runnning for office?

    • Just an FYI… If you are bored out of your mind, it is quite comical to go to his website and watch all of his campaign videos, not because they are bad, in fact some are quite good.

      The fun part comes in when you watch the videos, and then read all of his many posts on here and other sources. It is quite the “Point-Counterpoint” Two different individuals appear to occupy Mr MARRO. One that sounds fairly reasoned, the other written quite self absorbed.

      It has been said, “Never argue with a Fool, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience”

      Mr Marrow is an angry little man who has a desperate desire to be liked, and if not, must put everyone down to feel superior. Much like the 5th grade bully in school, only they eventually grow up.

      • What’s even funnier than a split personality is the fact that Mr Marro, when he was running for office, patently refused to lay out his positions on a number of issues to non partisan groups like Project Vote Smart and others.

        But he’s been drawn out on both abortion and guns quite nicely by all us hicks, rednecks and neanderthals.

        Should he decide to run again, it should be fun to point voters to his responses in this and other local papers he’s posted in. 🙂

        • His previous LTTE began with “In my symbolic run against Jill Vogel”.

          So thanks Donnie for running symbolically and symbollically wasting our time with your effort and symbollically pulling out of the race before you symbollically lost.

    • Again, you mean. He tried that 2007, but it didn’t pan out.

  11. To-Marrow! To-Marrow! We love YA To-Marrow! If only you were who you say!


  12. Donald C. Marro says:

    My oh my, the anonymous tribe has maybe formed a gang? And they’ve called themselves hicks, rednecks and neanderthals. You think this is sarcasm or self-awareness? I wonder does the Clarke County chamber know, and will begin promoting this demographic. Property values are sure to go straight through the roof.

    Dreamer, you seem to have ignored my request for substance. That’s not very neighborly, is it. Will you be doing less pontificating now or did you think I wouldn’t notice?

    And Dave M. Bought A Dictionary. Or now feels safe in revealing that he’s a closet “smartest guy in the room”. Or is he getting help from the national hicks, rednecks and neanderthals help desk. Schadenfreude! Bravissimo! Dave M. is also channeling Strouse, Charnin and Meehan. Dave M., you have wit! Is it yours? I know it isn’t particularly sophisticated, and it seems to come in installments, and is no substitute for reason, but the hicks, rednecks and neanderthals probably won’t mind or notice, so carry on!

    And Sarge gets his inspiration in phases as well, it seems. Take a knee, Commendatore. Before you burst with pride on “drawing me out” on guns and abortion, take a deep, cleansing breath. I always supported a woman’s right to choose, and a person’s right to own firearms, not show them off out of penis pride or envy. I do not support restricting a woman’s right unless there is unambiguous public policy or public health reasons for doing so, not religious zealotry, and I do believe that too many guns are unnecessary, dangerous and perfectly suitable for restrictions under police powers. Where on my site did you fall asleep? If you were to read “Entrepreneurs, Not ‘Country’ “, you’d get the details, my son.

    Gentlemen. I can almost feel your pulses racing. I’ll bet this is the most heartbeat you’ve had since the last swimsuit issue, or all you can eat buffet.

    Mrs. Vogel can only be pleased at having won your support. I can’t imagine how much fun it must be for her to have your thoughts on legislative matters.

    Schadenfreude. Yessir, that’s special.

    Any body got substance? Not you, LILGAMO, you’re excused.

  13. Another View says:

    Mr. MArro, rights are not subjected to a “needs” test. I have many guns; how many is none of your or anyone else’s business.

  14. Donnie, Are you familiar with Montainge’s Essays, particularly the one “On Experience”?

  15. Donald C. Marro says:

    It’s getting lonely. Just me, Dave M. and Another View. Sarge mustn’t work or think weekends.


    Another View, of course we do. Here’s some. Can you get an abortion without an ultrasound? Can you have more than one wife? Can you vote more than once, even here in religious republicanland? Can you drive your car at any speed, onto any one’s property, in any condition, without a license, or without inspection or insurance (now calm down, AV, you pay more if you’re not insured, right?…oh, there’s that word again…sorry, not Right but correct) Please do better, AV, or see if Sarge has room in the duck blind and another sixer.

    Dave M., your turn. You got 2 votes from the HRN community for mentioning Montaigne? Could that possibly mean that those who vote for you haven’t the faintest idea why? I know that applied to votes for Mrs. Vogel but we are speaking here (or at least you are) of Michel de Montaige, father of the essay. Surprised that his books or books without pictures circulate to the HRN crowd. No, I’m not familiar with “On Experience”, though it was his last and I’ve read many others in college years ago. My favorite, and the one that stayed with me this long, was, I believe it was, “On Vanity” , where Montaigne contended you should not have your life judged until it becomes evident how gracefully you die. “On Experience”, on the other hand, sticks with many, as I recall, for describing a good bowel movement, which perhaps is your point? Faire un coupe de merde. Well played, sir!

    But perhaps you’ve something else to say that I’d like to hear, and so dismissing your effort out of hand simply because you’ve been less than stimulating before is unfair. Spill. Mais non, pas un coupe de merde, svp.

    And not the piece in that essay about humility. Hope I didn’t spoil your fun, did I?

  16. Another View says:

    There is no right to abortion. There is no right to a state sanctioned marriage. There is no federal right to vote. And you are confused on the rights of property; there is no right to invade another’s property. Rather, there is an absolute right to exclude all others from your own property.

    You are less about liberty than you are about state control. And the biggest threat to state control is an armed citizenry.

  17. Roscoe Evans says:


    Are you reading from the Constitution, federal and state statutes and case law, or some whack-job’s misinterpretation of The 10 Commandments?

    It sounds to me that your tri-cornered hat is fitted a little too tight.

    In our system we have a judiciary. In yours you have vigilantism. And, no matter how many guns you’ve got, they’re not enough to do what you suggest.

    • Another View says:

      The right to bear arms was identified in the Constitution EXPRESSLY for the purpose of the citizenry to defend itself against a despotic government. It has been the right of Englishmen since the Magna Carta.

      I assure you that there are sufficient arms amongst the citizenry, along with many other factors, which could easily bring down a government that exceeds its authority is so gross a fashion; like the current federal administration.

  18. I would differ. There is a federal right to vote, as long as you are not a felon, as the Constitution requires President’s and Congressmen to be elected by a vote. There are no other requirements to vote other than to be of age.

  19. I differ with you only on the issue of the vote. Other than that, thumbs up

  20. Roscoe Evans says:

    I’m so glad that’s settled.

    So, the next time I have a client whose OB-GYN tells her that her baby will be born with a brain stem, but no functioning brain, my advice will be that she has to carry the baby, but, not to worry. A couple of real smart guys in Clarke County, Va. will be happy to step in and take care of her.

    Don– I suggest you simplify your language, and leave out your literary allusions. Construct arguments that any guy with “common sense” can follow. Because nobody is going to look to the courts, to case law, or to lawyers to figure out what is or isn’t constitrutional. If they cannot read a right that was written into the paper by the American Saints of the 18th century, it just does not exist.

    Dave– You do know, don’t you, that a right does not have to be written into the Constitution to exist. Well, it’s true. My guess is that they teach that, even at CCHS. So please, enjoy every one of your rights whenever you want to. The Constitution may not mention them, but they are yours, nonetheless.

    • Another View says:

      There has NEVER been a right to abortion, either at common law or in any statute. The United States Supreme Court INVENTED this federally enforced “right”, abridging the sovereignty of the States and the people. Even those inclined to favor abortion “rights” admit that Roe v. Wade’s legal reasoning and constitutional standing is nil.

      If New York wishes to permit abortions, and Virginia wishes to restrict them, while Louisiana forbids them, that is our constitutional system of government.

  21. Another View says:

    The United States Constitution, Article I, Sec. 4, provides that the States shall decide the time, place and manner of elections for Representatives and Senators. Article II, Sec. 1 provides for electors appointed by the State legislatures to elect the President. Amendment 17 provides for Senators to be elected by the people thereof. Ergo, AT BEST, there is only a federal right to vote for Senators. But there is NO FEDERAL RIGHT TO VOTE.