Monday, January 10, 2011

A flower grows out of concrete.

Almost every week someone is shot and killed in Louisville. There isn't a single scenario for these deaths. They are couples where one party, usually the man, shoots his wife or girlfriend and then shoots himself. A woman shoots her husband or boyfriend after years of abuse. One young man shoots another over a dispute in a bar. A group of young men drive around and shoot into homes killing the intended or unintended resident. An armed robbery is stopped by a clerk shooting the robber.

Recently I wrote about a home owner shooting at a group of young men running away, killing one.

The common element here is the gun.

Someone said the other day that although it is true that guns don't kill people, people do. How many people would have died Saturday in Tucson if the shooter had not had a gun?

I once worked for a company doing support for the data processing department second shift. It was a small department of five people. I was the only woman and about a decade older than the fellas. One man was a little tightly wound. He was a college educated smart married man with two kids. He was the guy who carried drama with him and when I walked into the office in the afternoon I would have a happier day if he was not at work. I wouldn't have said he was crazy. Evidently he was though, as he was a diagnosed manic depressive but not symptomatic, medicated.

A lot of perfectly "normal" people are mentally ill and medicated.

America is not a perfect place. America is my country and I love my country.

Much has been said about the cable and radio talking heads who lead a slavish audience tuning in to learn what to think. I guess I am somewhat surprised to not hear vitriolic speech this morning from all the usual mind makers. One reason things were strangely quiet however might be that the Leader of the Pack Roger Ailes instructed his minions to "shut up, tone it down and make your argument intellectually. You don't have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that." Although I don't see the same emotional effort to stir up followers of liberal thought, I look forward to the change of tone.

For people who love this country we must use our small influence and not accept those who will say anything for political fame. It is not sport to stir up your neighbor. A good citizen does not take on the demeanor of a two year old by shouting and saying anything to get attention. Little is ever accomplished by shouts. Much is by calm debate and thoughtful words.

In all this chaos I point out the heroes in the story. Just as those people who overtook the terrorists on the plane September 11 2001 and stopping it from crashing in Washington, there were people in Tucson Saturday who saved lives and stopped further victims, how many of us would go toward the danger instead of away from it? I am just so proud of those who did.

Heroes in America are teachers, clerks, students, nurses, retired generals, doctors, neighbors. Heroes are the people who do the right thing without any thought of personal danger. They stand up against evil and the self-serving whether it is popular or not.


  1. Lately I won't blog about politics because I am absolutely so discouraged about everything that goes on in Washington, D.C. It's like a civil war is brewing and I don't want to be a part of that. I hate hearing about these senseless deaths and how bitter everything has become. It is one thing to debate the issues but it is another to go get a gun and kill the enemy.

    Maybe the man who did this killing is just mentally ill and was unhinged by the political debates, however, Palin encouraging a hunter's and killing mentality on her website is way beyond what should be acceptable. She should have been ashamed of that content BEFORE these killings I think, not after when she wants to slink away and pretend it had nothing to do with her or her rhetoric.

  2. It must have been terrifying to run toward the man with the gun, rather than away. You never know until you are in the moment if you are the hero in the story. We all like to think we would be the hero in the story, but we don't know until the event happens. I have always had an enormous amount of respect for firefighters. I cannot imagine being the person who runs into the burning building. Every instinct we have is for self preservation. That means running away from the fire. Fire is hot. Fire kills. Yet, there are people who choose that as a career. They choose to run into the fire to save lives. They know the risk and do it anyway. I know that there is dangers with the job of being a police officer, too. But it isn't quite the same. With a firefigher, there is always FIRE. That said, the people in Arizona, didn't sign up to be heroes, and some weren't. Fight or flight kicks in and some people flew. If I had a kid, I think I might have flown and dragged my kid as far from the action as possible. It is about priorities, after all. But those people, whose Fight response kicked in, God Bless Them. They will never ask themselves that "what if" question again. They will know. When push comes to shove, they are genuine, bonafide heroes. Turns out you don't have to wear a Cape With A Big S on the Chest to qualify for the job. Anyone with Heart qualifies. (Although, Superman is still my favorite comic book hero. *sigh*) And if you missed my HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY post from two weeks ago ~ dedicated to Phoenix ~ you totally need to check it out now.

  3. Gun crime in the UK is on the increase but still very rare. Because you need a license to own a gun, hardly anyone has one, so when someone does get shot it is actually front page news here.

    I would say that (luckily) nearly everyone in this country will go through their entire life without seeing a real gun - now that makes me proud of my country.

  4. I have my head under a rock and still do not know anything about what happened in Arizona.

  5. Excellent post Charlene. I think the majority of people in the country want basically the same things. A chance to have a place of your own, meaningful work, and access to affordable healthcare.
    In the last decade, we've moved away from civility. Politicians have forgotten how to reach across the aisle and find common ground.
    I'm not sure what the answers are, but the phrase "united we stand, divided we fall" comes to mind.

  6. excellent post..but there will never be enough killings to change the minds of the NRA crowd..

  7. It's a shame that a civilised society still requires heroes in order for it to survive. It's a shame that people feel the need to arm themselves in order to stay safe.

    Living in the UK, I can't think of anything worse than keeping a gun in a home where a child could potentially gain access to it, and do the unthinkable.

    S x

  8. I support the 2nd Amendment. I do NOT support what that demon did in Arizona. In part, I do blame the political rhetoric that has been blazing from all sides... from all parties...

    If you don't like someone, don't vote for them. If you want to say something about them, discuss what one believes to be wrong with their philosophy... lately, it seems that the population says mean ugly things about everyone...


  9. I agree with all you have said, however I can no longer say I love my country. I used to.
    Now it just scares me.

    No one is accountable. Sarah P. thinks she is being bullied for heaven's sake. Can't this twit ever just say, I was probably wrong to have put it out there in that way and for that I am truly sorry. end of story. But now she just blames others and keep the nasty talk going. She makes me physically ill at the sight and sound of her. And it has nothing to do with the left or the right. It has to do with decency. She is not smart and the fact that a manipulative dumb person gets a forum as loud as hers scares the living crap out of me. there doesn't seem to be a middle for her - and there is always a middle or a compromise. I curse John McCain for picking her out of oblivion!

    I am saddened by the direction of our country and those with the big mouths. I am saddened by the younger people who are appathetic. I am extrememly saddened by the loss of rights, decency, respect, privacy and freedoms. And most of all I am sickened by the fact that the majority of people see nothing wrong with any of this.

  10. what if your founding fathers didn't put the right to bear arms in the constitution?

    is it possible to miss something that you've never had?

  11. Great post! I think America has always had a love affair with guns. Shoot 'em up Westerns were the most popular movies for decades. I don't understand why people need guns. Here in Canada, guns are increasing, and along with it is gun violence.

    The Second Amendment, as I understand it, meant the right of the new country to arm itself against invaders, i.e., form an army and defend itself. It didn't mean the right of private citizens to own guns. But it is always easy to misinterpret something and give it new meaning, and now the Supreme Court has upheld that meaning, unfortunately.

    What happened in Arizon is just one in a long series of incidents that will continue to happen. The randonmess of it is the sad part. Who will be next? A beautiful little nine year-old girl, shot in the back on a Saturday morning. And yet folks still love their guns.

    Go figure...

  12. Another nicely written and thought provoking article Charlene. I've been pondering the roots of all this divisiveness lately and have come to the sobering conclusion that ultimately it is a problem of our own making. As a society of individuals we have become addicted to quick black or white answers to problems. However, most of the larger challenges we face as a nation are in truth very complicated and won't be solved by chanting slogans that demand a "yes or no" answer. How many times have we as a people acted in haste, only to later discover there were unintended consequences? I recently overheard a heated discussion over wether or not we should "build the fence" to keep illegals out. It was a very shallow politically charged argument on both sides. Regardless which side wins the debate, the tragedy is that the complicated problem at hand will remain unsolved.

  13. Liberality: I agree. Words hold power and if your intent is NOT to incite violence, find non-violent words. If you cannot or are unwilling to do that, you do not belong on the national stage.

    JoJo: Yes, simple.

    Robin: Every person has the potential to be great. Some of us are by quietly working toward a goal and some by saving a life.

    Urban Cynic: The statistics quoted for the US is 60 guns for every 100 people; the most in the world.

    Bathwater: A rock is not a bad place to choose!

    Life 101: I agree.

    YELLOWDOG GRANNY: It is a money thing for the NRA.

    Pork Star: Thanks.

    Sarah: I agree. Guns in the home are unbelievable.

    Red Shoes: Reason is something that should be more paramount in the country.

    Margaret: If we can stop giving fame to her that might help.

    Billy pilgrim: People would get guns even if the "right" wasn't there.

    Jo: The second amendment was for us to overthrow the government if necessary. Today to do that you'd need more than a gun.

    Lonnie: A debate should bring consensus, not winners of the fight, but that's just my take on it.

  14. "How many people would have died Saturday in Tucson if the shooter had not had a gun?" Well, of those people who were shot, none. It's a pity we don't do a better job with gun control.

  15. I tire of the violence and wonder what more I can do. Working as a nurse, we see some of the most workplace violence and nothing ever changes ( my industry's dirty little secret). I don't think the general public knows just how much violence nurses are subjected to on a daily basis--cursing, kicking, biting, spitting and screaming are examples of what we tolerate. Just last night, I took more than my fair share of verbal abuse by a patient's visitor and called security when the visitor started talking about snapping the neck of a doctor. It's frightening out there.

  16. thanks for speaking up, the hate, the anger and the fear in our country is so frightening, and still the fingers all point at each other....our governor elect commented yesterday about his only brethren (Christian) I guess for those non living in the state of Alabama our gov has decided they don't in the world did we get to this state of madness????

  17. Great post. But, as you say, the rhetoric without the guns would be just empty talk.

    I just read about a study that says you're much more likely to get killed "protecting" yourself with a gun, then if firearms weren't involved at all.

    Owning guns insinuates there's an undesirable underclass out to get you - I've lived in America for 37 years and there's nobody out to get me - my money, perhaps, but not me.

    Owning guns is a Catch-22 situation - you're mad if you want one.

  18. I think you stated everything remarkably well, so I have nothing to say other than, "thank you."

  19. I guarantee you that if our founding fathers knew what kind of guns were around today and the ease we have at getting them, they would have not made it an amendment.


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