Do We Hear the Tears in Oregon?

Once again mothers’ tears fall to the ground; fathers feel an unreal pressure behind their eyeballs; family and friends weep and mourn as the blood of a loved one now stains the earth where they once lived. Screams, bellows, and bawls resonate through the air but the reverberation somehow fades to scarcely a whisper as they enter our vicinity.  The bells of sorrow weaken with each toll.

Do we even hear the grief-stricken wails or the ominous tones?

When the blood and tears are not direct to our own, do we even ask for whom anymore?

Tragedy becomes defined as an opportunity to promote an agenda.  Talking points intended to hurt us.  We call such remarks opportunism, liberalism, extremism.  What sadness to wrap such wickedness in a veil of patriotism, a cloak of God-given rights, an acceptable sacrifice as long as we are untouched.

It has become routine.  As Barack Obama remarked, “This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America.”

We have more than one mass shooting a day in the United States of America.

Yes the rate of homicides using firearms has been on the decline, but one must also accept that the rate of suicides using firearms has increased. For nearly every statistic, a counter exists. Differences of opinion and even a cherry picking of statistics are actually acceptable in the abstract arguments, but what is not acceptable is that the numbers, graphs, and charts are not merely anecdotal but human beings who once lived.

Our own fixations upon rights or the myriad of problems attributing to these tragedies should not dismiss that one aspect. We are human beings capable of doing better.

Some people for whatever reason seem determined to bring misery to others, to perpetuate an evil that hopefully most cannot comprehend. Some people have mental illnesses which prohibit rational thought and as a result can be dangers to themselves and to others. Some people will suffer accidents that even with the benefit of hindsight, we would be challenged to prevent. Others are sadly victims of circumstances, and we have yet to either discover or implement solutions.

Too many think they know “how” and “what,” but few are willing to test their “information.”  There are laws on the books which go unenforced, but in some cases another law prevents enforcement.  One example is Tiahrt.  These amendments became attached to appropriations bills back in 2003.

The “good guy or girl” with a gun presents a compelling story, but the unintentional death story does not provide a counterbalance.

It’s one thing on paper, on television, in some video game, or within one’s own mind, but reality does not follow the same script. Law enforcement is an occupation to which I have no firsthand experience, but I believe that no responsible officer relishes the thought of needing to use their service weapons. Military is in itself another setting with its own distinct plots and climaxes when it comes to the usage of weapons.

A while back on social media, a friend of an old buddy took exception to the contention that “Stand Your Ground” laws as written go against the fundamental rules of self-defense. How idealistic to argue that one should do everything possible to avoid the confrontation and if unavoidable to then try to escape the confrontation instead of standing my ground?  He would do this and that and that while those who questioned stand your ground would undoubtedly be a ‘victim.’

In part he was correct because being a ‘victim’ has happened twice. Once during an early morning stop to get gas and run inside to the restroom and another at what had been a pleasant social outing before someone not welcomed appeared and exhibited his steroid induced rage.

The convenience store resulted in disarming one perp and then making a decision to use that handgun against the second perp. The actual time could be measured in seconds. Upon reflection it seems like hours. At the time, it was played like a streamed video with a less than stellar connection as everything jumped from frame to frame instead of progressing in a linear fashion.  The one event that fast forwarded was another patron who entered during those seconds. A “good” guy with a gun to save the day, but fortunately dropped his gun after nearly shooting one of the other “good” guys without a gun. The outing, hidden within the deep recesses of the brain hopefully to never see the light of memory, but the single common thread was the aftermath of feeling sick, vomiting, and the subsequent nightmares. Sadly, been there, did this, did that, know what it’s like, and appreciate that any actions in the future are an unknown as nothing is the same so no clue as to how or what would happen if in another situation.

We cannot solve all problems.  Nothing will prevent every murder or every accident.  By comparison with other states, nobody has, but others are apparently doing some things better.  Again, however, the statistical battle might wrongfully commence.

Oh I know that many will claim that the tragedy earlier today is a result of President Obama. He’s taken every gun or wants to take every gun. It’s because people like me don’t understand the 2nd Amendment although even without a knowledge of the history of the United States, I would still recognize that the NRA still has their abbreviated version of the 2nd Amendment up in their lobby. People like me wonder that if I were to accept these modern versions of US History then why and the heck do the 2nd Amendment supporters always want to cite Heller as a major SCOTUS decision?

Now I’ll agree that we could use some religion back in our society. It can be the following of what would Jesus do or the variations and applications of the Golden Rule found in other faiths. We could use some empathy. We need some basic respect and freakin’ common courtesy.

Can we have that if everybody blames the President and has no respect for the man, office, or our history?  Whether you voted for him or not, he is the elected President.

We cannot call this opportunism.  We cannot bury yet another tragedy.  We cannot fail to ask for whom the bell tolls.

“Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another’s danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.”