Though this image is now apropos, the timing of its original publication couldn’t have been worse. On Dec. 7, 1993 a madman named Colin Ferguson boarded a crowded Long Island Railroad commuter train and methodically killed 6 passengers and wounded 19 others. Living in California at the time, I was aware of incident, though my cartoon had previously been conceptualized and the preliminary roughs were done and approved by the esteemed New Yorker magazine. Perhaps as an acknowledgement of the crime, I included the NRA hat as the final deadline approached. I didn’t realize that the volatile trial was scheduled for Feb. 17, 1994—while this Valentine’s Day issue was still on the stands. My cynical gag, intended for those who had ever been wounded by Cupid, was now an inadvertent statement about mass murder.
As my dear mother often said, “Fool’s names and fool’s faces are often seen in public places.”