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the ocean always dreamed blue dreams

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout

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I live in the United States of America, and we had another school shooting today. With horror I listened to the news reports that a gunman had gone into an elementary school and killed 27 people, 20 of them “children between the ages of 5 and 10.” And I listened tiredly and wearily to the usual rhetoric of the newscast without end as they recounted the “worst school shooting in an elementary school.”
I guess they are doing the best they can, but you simply can’t put a qualifier or adjective to a shooting. They are all horrific. They are all wrong. They are all tragic. And all those who die are equal in the needlessness of their deaths. All had the right to their lives, whatever the trajectory of those future lives might have been. And I include the shooters in that statement.
Which brings me to my next concern. I have usually considered myself for gun control. In our modern age it is somewhat laughable to think that, if you live in a town or city of any size, you need a gun. I see nothing wrong with people wanting to own a gun and visiting a shooting range, like Claire on “Modern Family.” It looks like fun, even. I don’t mind hunters. But quite honestly, to think that another law is going to make us or our precious children “safe” is to completely miss the point. For once in my life I agree with the statement that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I don’t know the young man who brought four weapons to that school with the express purpose of killing as many people as he could, but I do believe he was in a great deal of pain, in unimaginable pain. I don’t feel compassion or empathy for him, particularly, nor do I harbor a great hatred for him. But I do know he was in pain or he would not have done this.
As were some others who have done these things. Not all of course. At least one school shooter was a psychopath, I do believe, and another was schizophrenic. But that is not my main concern.
If we revisit the idea of gun control at this point we are taking the easy way out. We will not be asking ourselves the hard questions. What has brought us, as a country, to this point? What is it, in our culture, that brings people to the point of believing they have no other choice but to kill someone to make their feelings known? What is lacking in our communities that they do not provide a sense of community, of inclusion, of warmth, of aid, of understanding, of listening, of empathy? Where is the compassion for the weak, the disabled, the lonely, the elderly, the mentally ill? Anyone who is different is largely shunted to one side. We have laws in place to educate everyone across the board-but what provisions do we make for those who are not the best and the brightest once they are in the workforce? We are a nation of winners, and God help you if you don’t count yourself among that number.
Because if you can’t, guess what? You’re a loser.


  1. Virgil's Avatar
    Like I said on Themis's blog, if there is some reasonable gun law that would prevent this, I'm for it. But I think you under estimate how many of these shootings are by people with mental illness, especially young men with mental illness. Guns have always been readily available in this country going back before its founding, and even more readily than today. Something deeper is going on. Perhaps you're right to focus on community. Other than a few neighbors I hardly know anyone on my block, and I've been living here over twenty years. Church used to be a central part of life for communities. With decline of church attendance and this world of television, electronic games, and internet that prevents interaction, people hardly know people on a personal level any more.

    By the way, your font color on that background is nearly impossible to read. You might want to change your font to black.