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Damn it. Another Shooting

If you look over at my categories, I have one that says mass shooting. I used to have one that said Virginia Tech Shooting but there were so many shooting that I rolled them all into the mass shooting label. I posted my thoughts here on Virginia Tech. That shooting was a decade ago!! Most Americans have forgotten. Do you remember the Northern Illinois campus shooting only a few months later?? Yep, we forgot that one also.

Of course, those were college shootings. This. This is the same awfulness that we saw at Columbine and Sandy Hook.  In 2013, I wrote “One of these days, we are going to have to decide whether it is okay to have Americans dying because of gun violence. Since Friday, December 14, 2012, the date of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, over 480 Americans have died secondary to gun violence.” (Also, I spoke with a physician from Newtown shortly after the tragedy. You can listen to the podcast here.)

I know we have been told that this is NOT the time to discuss gun violence and gun control. All I know is that we never really seem to get around to discussing it. We ignore it. We shout the same old tired arguments at each other. All I know is if we truly love life and believe in the love of Jesus then we are compelled to stop this violence.

From CNN:

At least 17 people were killed Wednesday in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.

The suspect, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, is in custody, the sheriff said. Cruz was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons, and police are investigating his digital profile, Israel said. So far, what they’ve found is “very, very disturbing,” he said.

“It’s a horrific, horrific day,” Israel said. “Just pray for this city. Pray for this school, the parents, the folks that lost their lives.”

Law enforcement responded to reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shortly before 3 p.m. and encountered a chaotic scene. Investigators believe the suspect pulled the fire alarm to draw people out of classrooms, a law enforcement source told CNN. Students said a fire drill earlier in the day added to the confusion, causing some to think it was a false alarm.

By | 2018-02-14T21:46:56+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Mass Shooting|0 Comments

Violence in America

tamir rice

Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old boy who was playing in a Cleveland, Ohio park with a toy gun. Someone called 911 and reported that a “juvenile” was pointing a gun at passersby and that the gun was probably a toy. Two city police officers named Loehmann and Garmback arrived on the scene in separate cars. Critical information had NOT been related to them: they were not told that Tamir was a child, nor that Tamir appeared to be playing with a toy gun. It appears, however, that within two minutes of arriving on the scene Officer Loehmann had taken out his real gun, aimed, opened fire, and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

It is unclear to me how anyone, including a trained police officer, can assess a scene in under two minutes. It is unclear how a grown man can not recognize the difference between a child with a toy gun and a threatening adult. It is equally unclear to me how anyone with a conscience can ever again sleep at night after shooting a child to death. Yet two “independent experts” in police shootings stated that this police shooting was justified and/or reasonable.

In South Carolina, a female high-school student refused to leave the classroom, and security was called. The so-called “school resource officer,” Ben Fields, confronted the girl, grabbed her, and then turned over her desk with her in it, throwing her on the floor in the process. He then dragged her out of the classroom while choking her. Of course, everything was caught on a cell-phone video. Another student, who complained about her classmate’s treatment by calling out “Stop! What are you doing to her?” (or something along those lines), was then arrested for interfering. The security guard has since been fired – but was this the best way to handle a teenager?

America is simply too violent. It seems the only way we try to resolve a dispute is with a gun. Shoot first and asked questions later. It’s as if we live in the Wild, Wild West with Wyatt Earp and John Wesley Hardin, who once shot a man for snoring. Where is Wild Bill Hickok? We have to have a better way of resolving our differences.


By | 2016-04-10T22:57:56+00:00 April 10th, 2016|Newsletter, Party Politics|Comments Off on Violence in America

Lessons of Martin Luther King have been lost (Updated)

Sigh. The violence in Baltimore saddens me. It is all so damn sad. It doesn’t help Freddie Gray. It doesn’t help the protesters. It doesn’t help the City of Baltimore. 

Martin Luther King, after studying Ghandi’s methods and teachings, decided that nonviolence was the way to make a statement and continue to keep the moral high ground. Today, the people of Baltimor; the poor people of Baltimore, the youth of Baltimore, have lost the moral high ground. They can talk about poverty. They can talk about police brutality. All America will see is pictures of burning cars and innocent store owners crying about their looted stores. 

Baltimore could and should have been different. It is a city that has a black mayor. It is a city that has tons of black officers on its police force. It is a city that has a black police chief. Therefore, this wasn’t a black-white thing. This was an us-vs-them thing… or maybe it was a rich-vs-poor thing. I don’t know, but without the race thing in the way I thought that there was a chance for quick and thoughtful discussion leading to some real change. Fire, rocks and injured police officers have ended any thoughts of rapid anything. Progress is now going to be slow. Very slow. 

We must remember the lessons from those who have come before us, like Dr. Martin Luther King. The problems in the inner city aren’t new. We have tackled them before. The violence in the inner city isn’t new. We have tackled it before. The problems in our police force are not NEW!! We can fix these problems if we have the will.

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, wrote this today – 

But now — in this moment — the anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease. There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray’s name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today. But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man’s memory and a dimunition of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.

By | 2015-04-28T21:18:53+00:00 April 27th, 2015|Domestic Issues|6 Comments