Hi Vickee. This was suspenseful, rich in well-drawn details, and acutely alarming. It was also very honest about your teenage self and teenage choices. Thank you for your candor and your story-telling ability.

The piece was also thought provoking. Why is it that assault rifles have had and continue to have such a primordial hold on boys and young men in this country? I know there is no single cause. But I imagine these weapons gives socially struggling and desperately resentful young men a purchase on the power that has so sharply eluded them, no matter how terribly misplaced and destructive that power might be. Perhaps, too, America’s mythologized frontier culture, with heroic Wyatt Earp types, plays into fantasies not only of power but of individual freedom to carve out and defend one’s own way of life and one’s own sense of manhood. And then there is the ridiculously unregulated gun market. (Let’s repeal the Second Amendment!). Anyway, it’s so incredibly fortunate that you and your friends escaped unharmed. It’s just such an unshakeable shame that so many thousands of innocent victims have not. Best wishes to you, Glen

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Jesus. Terrifying. I’ve never had this experience but when I lived in East Harlem in 2020 during Covid I saw some shit, and two men broke into my building and held up a tenant at gun point.

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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