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Fall, Together & Apart



The leaves, suddenly, are falling. It seems to me that many have barely turned. But there, on the door of the company car this weekend, was a fallen leaf. And it had turned.

It was but one of many signs: The prep football teams are in the playoffs (Carmel, Mahopac and Brewster all made it, Brewster narrowly), Army is having a heck of a season, now 4-2 after beating Rice, 49-12. Columbus Day was rainy, and still occurred despite the malcontents who want to do away with it. What happens, I wonder, when all these facets of identity politics and groupings and sub-groupings compete or, better, collide?

Anyway, it’s fall. I like fall. I met my wife in the fall. It’s a good season.


Most of us, I’m sure, spent last week taking in the horrible and grim massacre in Las Vegas. Some 500 injured, 58 dead, one wacko killer dead of a self-inflicted wound. I think to myself, we are so far away from the years when I grew up, when both the .22 rifle and 12-gauge shotgun were stored in a corner of the back porch in our farmhouse.

An autumn leaf makes its presence known on the Courier car. Photo by Douglas Cunningham

An autumn leaf makes its presence known on the Courier car. Photo by Douglas Cunningham

I don’t want to dive into the entire gun control debate. But, the time is right for specific, tightly focused changes. Ban these “bump stocks” that allowed a rate of fire akin to automatic weapons fire. Do that and stop, and do it now. If one more thing has to be tackled, make it magazine size, and make it 15 rounds.

Pro-gun people, these days, never agree to compromise because they believe that fanatical ban-all-guns types are running the other side, the gun-control side. There’s some truth to that. History shows they attack on every front: Limit and control ammunition purchases. Limit public hunting access to public lands. Limit the types of ammunition. Ban weapons based on cosmetic differences. Make a villain out of the M1 Garand, the standard service rifle in World War II, and refer to it as the first “assault weapon.” Threaten banks and credit providers with sanctions if they lend to or service gun stores.

All that said, I think a deal could be made on one or two things. Do that. And stop. It would be an advance, it would make the public safer and each side would have to give a little bit. All of which sounds so common sense, it is unlikely to happen.


For submissions to Political Notebook – for events and pronouncements from those running for office this fall – send to If you’d like to advertise, my advertising rep Joan Byrnes can rapidly help you. She is at 845-225-4726, or by cell at 914-954-4034. Three issues before Election Day.

Until next week.

Douglas Cunningham is editor and publisher. Reach him at 845-265-2468, or by email at Letters to the editor, on this or other topics, are welcome. Please send by email as plain text or a Word document by 9 am Monday. Campaign letters are welcome, as well; limit to 500 words.

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