What a wonder is a gun What a versatile invention First of all, when you’ve a gun Everybody pays attention When you think what must be done When you think what it can do: Remove a scoundrel, Unite a party, Preserve the union, Promote the sales of my book, Insure my future, My niche in history, And then the world will see That I am not a man to overlook — Stephen Sondheim, Assassins (1990) No, these words weren’t written for Kyle Rittenhouse. Or the Proud Boys. Or the Oath Keepers. They were written thirty years ago, to be sung onstage by an actor playing Charles Guiteau, the guy who shot and killed President James Garfield in 1881. Stephen Sondheim has left us, and it doesn’t seem fair. Given all the public figures we can happily do without, we might have been spared losing someone so irreplaceable. In a year filled with bad news, this is in a special category, leaving as it does a gaping hole in the culture.