Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Unless you were totally unplugged from all forms of information on Monday, you are aware of Monday's shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC.  First, I want to express my deepest sympathy to all the people who lost family and friends in this violent attack.  We have so much that we still do not know.  At this point we know the shooter's name.  Why?  What led to this?  No answers, yet.

What I do know is this.  The victims in these attacks seem to all have one thing in common.  A feeling of helplessness.  They often describe hiding in closets or under desks.  You can literally hear the fear in their voice and rightly so.  I had a friend when I was little.  We were very close friends, but she moved I moved, both many times over.  Our families kept in and out of touch, but I hadn't seen her for years.  I remember finding out that she and 7 other people were killed just before Christmas several years ago by a disgruntled employee.  I remember how I felt when I first heard this.  I remember how angry I was that someone was that cowardly.  I can't imagine what the survivors and their families, as well as the families of the victims are going through.

Sadly, for the victims in these crimes, many of these attacks are in areas where people are not legally allowed to carry weapons for self defense.  I would imagine, in the case of this young man, there would have been many qualified shooters who could have stopped him from his murderous shooting spree.  Major Hasan, the shooter at Ft Hood, chose to fire on defenseless soldiers.  Again, these very qualified soldiers were not allowed to carry weapons for personal defense.  It seems there is always something in common with bullies, cowards, predators and their ilk-  they know where they can do the most harm to people.

What have we learned? Obviously nothing.  Each time one of these horrendous events occurs, our politicians line up and argue both sides of the cause.  What we are left with is a bunch of hot air and that is never helpful.  Simply put, it always reminds me of school and the entire class getting in trouble when one person does something wrong.  Oh, little Johnny wanted to pick a fight at lunch?  The whole class is punished by missing recess.  The whole class suffers.  Little Johnny will probably get hurt tomorrow and we'll go through the whole process again.

The discussion should never start with taking rights away from law abiding people.  They should never be punished for the actions of criminals.  It should also never be assumed that they will commit the heinous crimes these madmen have devised.  We have so many rights in our country.  One of the most important rights in any society is the right to defend oneself.  The right to protect our lives and the lives of those important to us.  We help countries fight for these rights.  Any discussion that begins with taking an inalienable right from law abiding citizens, is moot.

Mental health is an issue that is briefly discussed and then left.  It's the third rail of health care.  Honestly, if it 's bad now, it is not going to get better with the implementation of Obama care.  There are serious issues that need to be discussed within the mental health topic.  We briefly touch them, then quickly begin arguing about guns.  If you can help the troubled mind, you can go a long way to stop this kind of violence.

So, as the discussion heats up again.  Let's be thoughtful about it.  Let's be thoughtful about what the real answers are.  Self defense, conceal carry, these are not bad words.  They are proven to work.  Mental health and the weakness of that system right now.  There is so much that can be fixed there.  Let's start somewhere.  Finally, human life... every human life, is so very important.  Can we start treating them with dignity and respect from day one to the end?  Maybe we can just start with that.

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