Loose ends: Of comic strips and stray legal bullets

Loose ends: Of comic strips and stray legal bullets

Record-Journal

Mea culpa, mea culpa. I made a mistake, not the first, as some of my more ardent fans will point out. In deciding to take on a new nationally syndicated cartoon, Breaking Cat News, produced by Charlestown resident Georgia Dunn, something had to go. I picked Alley Oop, a cartoon first published in 1932. Its latest character was introduced in 1939. The strip, for those who don’t follow it, follows Alley Oop, the title character in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo. Despite its setting, the strip has been described as a satire of American suburban life. I found it slow moving from day to day and not particularly funny.

Followers called to register their displeasure with the decision. In retrospect, I should have given fair warning at least. A poll of readers would be unscientific and unfair to those who missed the poll.

I found Breaking Cat News to be funny and, as YouTube and most other social media sites have proved, anything pet-related, but especially cats, seems popular. Granted, I’m mixing audiences here, print and digital, but in 2017 the number of households without a computer and access to cat videos has to be pretty tiny.

Dunn, a 2000 graduate of Chariho High and a 2004 URI grad — I should at least get points for supporting local — started posting her strips online and they eventually got the attention of those at Universal Uclick, a syndication service, in 2014. The strip, as we described in an April 24 feature on Dunn, is based on a news team of cats chronicling the daily goings on around the house from a cat’s perspective. It’s funny. Give it a chance.

One that got away

On to a more serious subject. On Wednesday we reported that a Westerly man was charged with firing in a compact area and firing a weapon across a highway after workers at the McDonald’s in Wyoming found a bullet hole in a window. The man, 26, was licensed to own the gun and was firing at a target on a property with the owner’s permission. He even had a backstop, or so he thought, that would prevent stray bullets going far. He made a mistake.

The bullet traveled an estimated 1,950 feet, which would be a little over a third of a mile. The bullet went across a roadway and entered the restaurant at 7 feet off the floor. It traveled to the opposite wall and landed at 5 feet off the floor. It happened just before 5 p.m. on a Thursday. He was lucky the restaurant wasn’t crowded. Police said the young man was cooperative and apologetic and offered to pay for any damage.

So here we have a licensed gun owner taking what he thought were proper precautions and still creating the potential for a serious if not fatal shooting of an innocent person. And he sounds like a decent guy to boot. The gun was an AR-15, a weapon with more firepower than our Founding Fathers probably imagined; I say probably in deference to gun advocates who will challenge that assumption.

So, why do we still debate gun laws?


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