Niagara Gazette

December 20, 2012

HAMILTON: Nobody notices the squirrels

By Ken Hamilton
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The massacre of those little kids at Sandy Hook Elementary School is beyond horror; and in an effort to fix what isn’t broken, the politicians are going to be breaking their necks to further encroach upon the Constitutional rights of free and sane citizens.

They will be clamping down harder upon law-abiding gun owners. The reason being is because nobody notices the squirrels.

That’s right, the squirrels. The phenomenon isn’t without precedent, and I didn’t realize it myself, not until Becky Marchetti returned from her trip to Cancun and exclaimed, “Kenny, there were these iguanas every­where! They were like the squirrels up here.”

We have become so accustomed to the proliferation of “... the squirrels up here” that we don’t pay them much attention, not until a few of them get into our attics, or otherwise make pests of themselves. But there are an awful lot of squirrels around here, as there are also a lot of those among us who have mental or criminal issues that go both unnoticed and untreated. Like the iguanas, we only notice those who are unlike what we are used to seeing, and only when they combine the mental and criminal elements of their issues with a weapon, and then inflict damage upon their neighbors — those neighbors who are more like ourselves, like us squirrels.

It is easy for those who don’t own something to attack it and to call it evil, be it a pit bull or pistol, a Rottweiler or a rifle. That is because those things are somebody else’s iguanas, and not the cute little squirrel that we often feed.

Meanwhile, we have actually fed our real squirrels so much, and for so long, that when I pulled into the empty east parking lot on Niagara Falls’ Goat Island, the squirrels were chasing my car, hoping to get a treat when I parked.

And the sad truth is that we treat too many of our mentally troubled people pretty much like we treat our squirrels. We give them a little something when they seek it, and then we return them back to whence they came — that is, until they become an iguana, and then something like Sandy Hook occurs.

Let’s treat the problem, and not just the symptom.

Contact Ken Hamilton at