For some, John Lennon is one of the greatest musicians who ever lived. They think the man walked on water and that his music was something akin to angels playing the harp or something.
No, I’m not one of them, but I know quite a few.
Regardless, he was a star who was murdered by a deranged fan. It’s unsurprising that his widow would take issue with firearms, and as such it’s unsurprising she’d bring it up on the anniversary of that murder.
It was 41 years ago that a gunman took John Lennon away from millions of fans and admirers — and from Yoko Ono in particular.
The ex-Beatle’s widow commemorated that murder on Twitter Wednesday with a message that decries gun violence.
“Over 1.5 million people have been killed by guns in the U.S.A. since John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980,” reads that tweet.
It includes a photo of the bloodstained pair of glasses worn by the “Imagine” singer when he was shot dead outside his Upper West Side home at the age of 40. His and Ono’s “Double Fantasy” album had just been released.
Of course, the implication of this seems pretty clear. After all, if you’re going to talk about the total number of people killed with a weapon, you’re probably expecting someone to do something about it.
However, there’s a fact that Ono and anyone else who thinks this makes a point about guns should keep in mind. By the time that John Lennon was killed, the Sullivan Act–the toughest gun control laws in the nation–in New York City had been on the books for almost 70 years, having been passed in 1911. The only people old enough to remember the city before it was a handful of very elderly people.
Yet what did that law actually accomplish?
It may well have kept any other of Lennon’s fans from being armed that day and in a position to potentially have saved the artist’s life. I don’t think Lennon would have carried, but someone who liked his music might have. Others who might have helped could have just been law-abiding citizens with no opinions on Lennon one way or another but who would have reacted to seeing an act of violence carried out.
None of them were able to because of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Now, John Lennon might still well have died. I won’t say definitively that he would have been saved.
But he could have, yet New York City’s gun control laws made it impossible.
That didn’t make it into Yoko Ono’s tweet, kind of like how musical talent hasn’t made it into any of her “music.” (Don’t look at me like that. I’m just saying what everyone who’s tried to listen to her stuff is thinking.)
While I’m not a Lennon fan, I hate that anyone lost their life to violence of any kind. But let’s not pretend that it’s the weapon that’s at fault and not the psychotic turdnugget who pulled the trigger. We all need to know better.