“Now, I can browse through my four hundred–plus collection of true crime books, topped off by the twenty-volume Encyclopedia of Crime I purchased slightly reduced. Here’s where I can concentrate on the worst of the human condition. Sometimes I play defense lawyer, and spout off closing arguments saving them from the death penalty. Interested in Mary Bell, the eleven-year-old strangler who received a life sentence before she even had the chance to become a teenage juvenile delinquent? How about the creep who ate undigested cereal out of the throats of his dead victims (The Limits of Sanity)? Or the guy in England who was so lonely he killed his tricks so he could keep their bodies and have somebody to watch TV with (Killing for Company)? I’ve got them all and you’re welcome to borrow as long as you don’t take the dust jacket, leave a $100 deposit, call every night to tell me how far you’ve read, return it within a week, and submit a neatly typed thousand-word book report.” —John Waters, Crackpot, “Puff Piece (101 Things I Love)”
I strongly approve of Mr. Waters’s borrowing policy.
It’s a fact so jaw-dropping it’s unbelievable — people thought it was a crazy Internet rumor until Politifact verified it. But it’s true: More Americans have died just since 1960 from gun incidents — suicides, accidents, and homicides — than died in every war in U.S. history. The deadliest war the U.S. has ever had is the war we waged against ourselves.