Coulda Woulda Shoulda. There are many decisions we make in life. One of these is to kill.
To know death is to know life
Some accept death, as it is inevitable
To fear death is to fear a shadow or the unknown
Many meet death and we wish them well
To ignore death is to dismiss reality
Some search out death from pain and despair
All life will eventually know death
they are one and the same
~ ki ~
GUN CONTROL ? OR SELF-CONTROL ?
PARKLAND, FLORIDA 2018
I hate to say it but we have a bigger problem than most people think. After Parkland, it seems that everyone has found out that we have an issue that needs to be resolved. Unfortunately, it is not what you might call a new issue. It has been going on for a long time.
We really took notice in 1999 with the Columbine shooting. It was a horrendous act. Incomprehensible for most people. They thought we should do something about it. And they did. That something was nothing. In 2007 we had Virginia Tech. Much worse than Columbine. Not a teenage shooter but is that really a fundamental aspect? It was a school 'mass' shooting. A lot of people dead. A lot of people wounded. Again everyone was upset and wanted something to be done. But not by them. Don't ask them for any suggestions. But somebody should do something.
If there were no assault weapons there would be no shootings, right? Wrong. In 2007 we had just come out of a renaissance period of the first United States federal ban of 'assault weapons' that was instituted in 1994 and expired in 2004. The results? There weren't any. No appreciable difference, really, in any of the crime statistics concerning the use of the weapons or in lethal 'mass' school shootings. And Columbine was during the ban. So much for laws 'preventing' these kinds of acts of violence.
This was followed by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012. Not tragic in the fact that people died. That happens every day. Tragic in the sense that these were barely people. They were small children. Who in their right mind would want to kill a small child? But therein lies the proverbial 'rub'. The people doing these shootings are simply not in their right minds. They do not think like us. They do not live in a reality that we can understand. They do not follow laws or standards. And you will never be able to control their actions through the use of legalities and reason. Laws have no meaning to them. The push for gun control has nothing to do with solving this problem. I will leave you with the challenges of trying to determine exactly what it is that we should be doing to resolve this issue.
And the people are again up in arms. We have to do something, anything, to stop this from happening again. A lot of noise. A lot of protests. At least for a short period of time. We certainly do like to protest, don't we? And the bottom line. More of the same. More complaining. More finger-pointing. More hate. Nothing accomplished whatsoever.
Starting to get really tired of the scenario. The parents and the survivors continue with their efforts to bring about change, but everyone else eventually has to go back to taking care of their own lives. And really, it wasn't their families that were impacted. They had lives to get back to. And so they went back to work, somewhere deep inside relieved that it did not happen to them. It is difficult to blame them. Life is tough for everyone. It just gets a lot more difficult when people are trying to kill you.
And then we come to 2018 and our 'massacre du jour' in Parkland, Florida. Another event that inflames our gun control advocates and scares our 2nd amendment purists. Neither will go away. Neither will surrender their beliefs to the other. Neither will ever achieve victory. But this is NOT about winning. Neither side should have to with the political system we live under.
What we should do, and what never seems to end up a reality, is to discuss and debate. The protesters, and it is really immaterial what the substance of the protest actually is, are always talking about 'starting a dialogue'. They want America to have a 'Conversation' that will end in a resolution. Well, here is their chance, and yet there is no offer of any semblance of a discussion. It is so distressing. So uncomfortable. So frustrating.
How can you ever hope to find common ground when you exhibit animal hatred for those that do not share your views? Do they think their opponents wish children to die? Do they really think they do not also want to fix this problem so our educational system can back to what they do best, which is indoctrinate? Well, I am not sure if they recognize the indoctrination part, but I do believe that we would all like to get the killing part taken care of, if for no other reason than to at least give the children a chance at some kind of life. So why don't we talk? Why can we not find common ground and shared goals? Are we coming to a point where those things no longer exist? If so, the school shootings will soon pale in comparison to a much greater challenge. As Rodney King is famous for saying, among other things, 'Can't we all just get along?' Not so sure we can Rodney, not so sure.
The protests are all a little bit bigger this time. A lot louder, and lasting longer as well, although it will take some time to determine if that is a truism or not. Summer is around the corner, and while taking time off from school is ALWAYS a good thing, let's see if the students AND the teachers, as well as the politicians, want to invest their summers in going after their dream of the concept of real gun control. It is called sacrifice, and if history is any guide, it's not going to happen. Or will we all just take a 'Vay-Cay' and resume our idiocy in the fall when it won't be on our own dime? And it doesn't really matter anyway, because the whole movement is about other things besides gun control and the children. It hurts to say it, but it certainly looks to be the case.
It's about hate and power, as it always is. And in any case, the whole thing is doomed to failure because no one is talking about the real solution, the only solution. You can play with the issue of guns all you want. They are not going away. You can point to the disarming of the United Kingdom but in reality they are just not a world player. America will not disarm without a major confrontation. Maybe that is what they want. A quicker path to the dissolution of the American Dream and the American way of life. But EVEN IF, by some unfathomable chance you were able to pass the laws, they would not be enforceable, and the result would be millions of immediate felons, through no fault or VOTE of their own, without ever committing an act of violence or breaking a law, until fear and emotionalism and hate placed an unworkable and unconstitutional law upon them. And the protesters will rue the day. They have no guns of their own, or will they be looking for them? It will not end well.
Make no mistake about it. Parkland is just another example of an issue we do not wish to confront. Are we talking about anything else BESIDE gun control? Is there any real discussion going on? Is anyone, anyone at all, working on the issue, besides restriction of guns? The answer is no. They talk of more money for the mental health of our children and students. It's not working now. It's not going to work by throwing more money at the problem. Not a chance. Are the teachers creating focus groups to even look at other avenues of treatment and identifying those in greatest need? The parents? The politicians? Don't make me laugh. It would be funny if it were not so tragic and oh so sad. We are already doing nothing. Nothing except making noises. I don't know if it makes any of them feel good about themselves. Don't know if they think they are making a difference. But the sad truth is that they are not. Same old, same old.
Actually we are here today because we have thought about these things and have taken the time to do what we do. We have had a CONVERSATION and looked at a lot of information on what occurred during these four events we all wish never happened. And then four more. The eight worst mass school shootings in the last 20 years. And tangentially, the other 300 or so shootings that took place at our schools in this country during the same time frame.
We then invested a certain amount of time in the CONTEMPLATION of our issue, thinking about the events and the facts we could decipher from the paltry amount of information we could find about the shootings. It is really troubling to find that 99% of what you look at in research is nothing more than fluff, and ideology and simple hatred, with so little of what is necessary to try and make sense out of a tremendously senseless situation. But we did and we have some thoughts on the matter.
I had such higher expectations of the value of the internet when it first became a mainstream reality. The possibilities seemed endless. It looked to be an answer to all of our problems. All the information we could ever use. At our fingertips. I don't know about you, but you can scrape your fingers TO THE BONE trying to find the simplest answers to everyday questions. It is such a shame and such a waste. We may need to reevaluate the whole concept.
The problem is that you will never be able to put the genie back into the bottle again. Never. And we then took the time to assimilate and understand, and take a stab at the COMPREHENSION of all that we were able to consume and try to put down our thoughts on what happened during all of this carnage, some of the reasons why it happened, and some of the alternatives that may actually be a part of a dialogue between the American people to confront and direct ourselves towards a workable solution. It probably won't happen, but you will have to answer for yourselves why that eventuality is more credible than an actual solution. Sad, but true.
It all started out as an idea for a single article. Halfway through the process, it became evident that this would be completely impossible. Because of the reality of the number of words that have been created from the seed of a simple question, 'why is this happening?', we have come to the realization that it will have to be a series of articles, all concerned with the same basic idea. To bring some information, and possibly clarity, to a very complicated and emotional subject. To that end, we have completed 11 articles in the series, all trying to deal with a different aspect of the problem, and all demanding their own time, their own words, their own questions, and their own frustrations. I am confident we have not covered all of the possible issues, but it is a real start. If everyone actually puts some time and effort into the problem, we may all share in the eventual solution. That would be nice, wouldn't it, if we actually fixed something?
The following are the titles of the various articles. While they do not particularly need to follow one another, they do tend to feed off of the information found in previous posts. We set up a page for the articles so they will all be available if you are so inclined. The protesters could do well to become better informed as to the subjects that they protest. You will be better prepared than they if you have the courage and fortitude to wade through this 'mind-field'. We are happy to provide you with the information. We wish we could give out a prize for those who actually read them all but as with most things in life, the reward is not in the destination but in the journey. We hope you gain something from the experience. And by the way, there will be an audio track available for each article. A friend suggested the possibility and since a few of them are quite lengthy, it seemed like a reasonable request. It may be difficult to ENJOY, but perhaps you could appreciate what we have to offer. That would bring us peace.
You can access the page ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE here .
All of the following Essays are available with accompanying images and an audio track.
They will all be posted in my portfolio over the next few weeks.
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - I - Parkland, Florida 2018
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - II - The Devil Made Me Do It
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - III - What Do We Want? Gun Control!
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - IV - Violence Revisited
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - V - Educating The Shooters
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - VI - The Shooters
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - VII - The Culture Of Death
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - VIII - The Easy Alternatives
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - IX - The Nitty-Gritty Alternatives
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - X - The Great Debate - Arming The Teachers
ANATOMY OF A MASSACRE - XI - Just Another Political Football