Rapprochement or End Game

Egregious actions and the complete lack of human empathy, compassion and ethics is what this week has brought to us in the wake of Aurora. I will not go on a tear about Gun Rights or my position on them, yes, I have one and it might surprise many who know my history. What I will do though is pull some very real actions and words from this past week’s headlines and talk about why we are completely out of control as a nation, that we casually accept this behavior and these words. That many of us think nothing of these ‘Leaders’, elected or otherwise vomiting their vitriolic and noxious thinking into the airwaves without a single person standing up and saying to them;

SHUT THE F’ UP YOU VILE EXCUSE OF A HUMAN BEING

Example One – Rep. John McCaherty (R-High Ridge)Missouri will be raffling off an AR-15 at a fundraiser to be held 27-August-2012. According to him and his office this has been planned since April and it is simply, well too

Rep. John McCaherty

late to change the prize to be awarded for a donation of $25. Never mind, this is the same gun used in the Colorado Mass Murder of 12 people last week, never mind whoever wins will not have had a background check before picking up said Assault Rifle and will be perfectly capable of killing everyone at the raffle if they come prepared. No, never mind any of that, John McCaherty is planning to go ahead with his Raffle (note he has renamed it a Drawing) but he is praying for the families of the dead.

Example Two – Kenneth Roop, 52 of Cape Coral, Florida who on Wednesday the 25thof July for no reason other than he damned wall wanted to shot and killed a door-to-door steak sales man, Nick Rainey 30. He didn’t have to

Nick Rainey shooting victim

shoot him the second time in the back of the head, after he was down, indeed in his statement to the police Kenneth claimed his victim had screamed ‘You shot me’, in an antagonistic manner after he had shot him in the shoulder the first time. Using words, we have heard from another ‘Stand your ground’ defense, Roop claims he was still in fear when he shot Rainey in the back of the head ‘for effect’. It should be noted, this isn’t the first time Roop has been in trouble with the law for brandishing guns at unarmed persons, at the time those involved believed he wasn’t in full control of all his senses.

Dr. Jerry Newcombe

Example Three – Dr. Jerry Newcombe, of Truth in Action Ministries. Could not wait for the victims to be identified or their families to be notified before he was jumping on the Biblical bandwagon and blaming this tragedy on our Secular nation. Yes, this self-serving bottom feeder was already writing his pronouncement of damnation as they were announcing the numbers of dead and wounded. He was already blaming society and secularism, along with the loss of prayer and Christianity from our public institutions, as if the Constitution and our foundation demanded this from its beginning. This pompous jackass didn’t even have the decency to ‘pray’ for the victims of the tragedy.

Azzhats, all of them.

Of course, the list goes on when it comes to gun violence and the responses to the tragedy of Aurora. My question though is simply this, when we take the time to look at just these examples don’t we ask ourselves what is wrong with the world we have created for ourselves? Can’t we do better than this? Are we so entrenched in our views it is impossible for us to take a step forward, to meet halfway across the table, sit down for détente and find a reasonable middle that will show our respect for each other and our future.

The following are some Facebook postings I came across, at the time I was stunned. Now I am simply numb.

In fact this isn’t true. The shooter in Colorado obtained his guns legally. The shooter in Florida was a legal gun owner. This is at best disingenuous.

This is nearly as good as comparing guns to cars. Yes, it is true guns don’t kills people. People with weapons in their hands kill people. People who purchase weapons with the ability to fire 400 rounds per minute. People with guns in their hand, inanimate objects with only one purpose, to kill living things; unlike a rock or a car. I find the arguments those who insist their rights to gun ownership without a single restriction to be fabulously narcissistic. In the face of terrible tragedy this is the best you can do, defend your right to kill and wrap it in God, the Bible and the Constitution.

I say this all the time, I will always land on the side of being a Nation of Laws. I will always land on the side of defending the Constitution no matter how offensive I might at times find it. But this, this complete lack of empathy for the victims of tragedy is offensive because I am a human being with compassion and concern for my fellow humans, those I share this soil with. All I can say, grow up and get over yourselves. Start serving more than your own self-interests.

I apologize for my rage. I will hopefully move on from here.

I am Mute Today

I have been quiet the past few days, in trying to process the horrible news out of Colorado and my own reactions I have been quiet. No, not entirely quite but more quiet than is my norm. Some people who know me well have asked when I was going to jump into my normal forums with both feet and all ten fingers, others have asked why my Facebook page isn’t full of condemnation (there are a few comments). Instead, I have stayed mostly quiet.

Why you might ask, it is a good question. I am not the quiet type; in fact, I am a bit of a firebrand most days. I admit to being quite outspoken on some issues. There are issues in the public domain that chap my ass, cause me great anger and some sleepless nights. Truthfully, there are many such issues these days.

I don’t want to talk about politics though, not today. I don’t want to talk about the public domain at all. I want to tell you why I have been mostly quiet, not even visiting your blogs for the last few days.

I just couldn’t.

I was paralyzed by my own personal sorrow, fear and memories.

All I could think about is how terrified those victims in Aurora must have been. All I could think about was how terrified their families must have felt while waiting for news, was it their mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife or child. All I could think about is my family when I was shot and left for dead by strangers. All I could think about was how I felt laying on the side of a road with three bullets in me, put there by strangers who were not crazy, were not insane and did not have any reason to hate me. 

I was paralyzed and my voice silenced by fear and memories. Each time I tried to write, each time I tried to comment my hands would shake and my eyes would fill with tears the screen would blur, coherency lost to muteness. It has been 7,367 days since I was shot; that is a lot of days. Some days I think it is behind me, some days I don’t even think about it in the sense of bullets flying. Other days I have no choice, the repercussions of that day are with me from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay down to sleep, sometimes beyond that moment.  

Aurora tied my tongue, made me mute in the face of great tragedy. More than this, I could not watch the news without my tears pooling in my eyes and streaming down my cheeks, their salt leaving a trail of bitterness in their wake. This morning I realized part of my sorrow is rooted in the great tragedy that is our national personality. That we are unable to come together even now and talk to each other without rancor, ideology and the drums of political animosity getting in the way of human decency. I saw this in my few forays on social media since Friday, each side standing their ground firmly refusing to step down from their positions even briefly to mourn the great loss of life. I backed down from the fight rather than continue.

I don’t have the heart for it not this day, not now.

Avoidance, Confusion, Consequence of Choice, Manipulation

I am heartbroken, partly because I was rendered mute. I didn’t know my memories were still so close to the surface. I didn’t know they could so easily shake me. I don’t know why this affected me more than other equally horrific acts of terrible violence. What I do know, we are a people that seem to ignore compassion and empathy as valued trait. I know many people on both sides of the argument who individually are wonderful human beings, who have compassion for those they know as individuals and don’t realize their words fall like hammers or fly like bullets, leaving gaping wounds. This is what demanded my silence, that I not stand my own ground even for what I believed was so desperately true, even for what was so personal.

Yes, we come together during times of tragedy, but then we turn our backs returning to our ideology and our rage with equal fervor, thus making certain the next heartbreak will occur and likely with more frequency and greater loss.

I didn’t have the heart for it today, tomorrow I will because I have to!

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