Thursday, 9:00 AM. 4 degrees F, wind W, light with stronger gusts. the cloud cover is a high overcast. The humidity is 76% and the barometer has risen to 30.38 in. The channel waters froze over last night but if the wind picks up the ice will disappear again. It is snowing very lightly at present.
Yesterday afternoon it did become sunny and partly cloudy in the afternoon, and we were treated to a long sunset of billowing banks of pink and mauve clouds, one of the most beautiful skies we have ever seen. The atmosphere was so clear that the distant iron ranges were brought close, and near and far objects seemed to blend almost as if they were on a two dimensional, flat canvas rather than existing in three dimensional reality, and the waters between the mainland and Basswood and Madeline Islands reflected all the colors of the ambient atmosphere, a veritable liquid rainbow.
Having just finished reading the Theodore Roosevelt biography Mornings on Horseback, I couldn’t help wondering how old TR would have handled the current gun control and related issues which have become so central since the Sandy Hook school shootings. For all his idiosyncrasies and his manic personality, he was a very straightforward person, in both his public and private life, and physically and intellectually very brave.
As regards guns, he was given a twelve gage shotgun for his tenth birthday and spent his boyhood days afield with it. He was a hunter all his life, considered himself a cowboy and rode with his six shooter and his Winchester rifle on his Bad Lands ranch, and personally led his Rough Riders into battle in the Spanish American war. He miraculously survived an anarchist assassin’s gunshot to the chest while president, and afterwards carried a pistol for self protection, probably the only president ever known to pack a pistol (there were no further attempts on his life). I am sure he would have vigorously defended the right of Americans to arm and defend themselves, their families and their properties.
T R was a consummate and combative politician, but I cannot envision him using children as stage props or to augment his arguments to the public. He would have thought it beneath his personal dignity and the dignity of the office of the president. And I will bet he would have been fully behind local and state efforts to provide armed protection for school children, even the arming of teachers. He probably would have approved of armed citizen posses to protect schools. One thing is certain, he wouldn’t be putting up signs announcing that schools were “gun free zones,” and thereby inviting every madman to make the most of the opportunity. TR was not a “Gun Free” president.