Opening with a catch in the throat as the late President Kennedy takes a walk through Arlington Cemetery and sighs ""I could stay here forever""--Bloomgarden gives a brief history of the gun invented in the 19th century by Carcano in Italy which went through various adaptations; through the still shorter history of the Adam Hat Stores which went broke in hats and shifted to guns, mostly surplus or reconditioned imports; makes passing mention of the National Rifle Association and the lack of controls which have equipped 50% of American households with at least one gun (Bloomgarden's figures are vague--he claims there are 50 to 200 million guns at large in the U.S.; Robert Sherrill in his 1973 The Saturday Night Special contended a billion); to finally the purchase of one of those guns from Italy by ""A. Hidell"" in Texas--the gun that fired the shot that. . . . Over and above the implicit rebuke in this trajectory, Bloomgarden's gun is really no more than a peashooter.