Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The agony of losing a child

I had nothing on my mind tonight to post except that I've had a case of the lazies today big time. Did manage to do my yoga, run one errand, and mostly fiddle the morning away until it was time to meet a friend for lunch--the one who forgot our date yesterday. Guess what? I sat in Carshon's half an hour before I came home and ate my own good leftovers. A bit more fiddling, a nap. and then it was time for Jacob. We went to the Grill early tonight, ran into good friends and had a fine time. But that was my day, nothing remarkable.
Until I frittered away an hour tonight on Facebook. I saw more times than I could bear the agony of Richard Martinez, whose son died in the shootings at Santa Barbara. It was palpable agony, on the surface, with no attempt to hide it. And I heard his plea, "Not one more." I can't even begin to think about how this grieving man will move on with his life, and yet he had the courage to air his grief publicly, to make his plea in person and on the air. Much as I hurt for this man, I like and admire him.
And then I saw where Joe the Plumber said callously, "Your dead kid doesn't trump my right to carry a gun." Someone said he's either making a grandstand bid for attention or he's an a-hole. I think it must be both. But how can he? What happened to him to make him so insensitive? I cannot even begin to imagine.
And, finally, I saw where the open-carry folks, with their assault rifles over their shoulders, had invaded another restaurant, trying to intimidate a meeting of a small group of Moms for Gun Control. Once again, I am stymied, amazed by the stupidity of people. To those who argue Second Amendment I want to assure them that although I am no constitutional scholar, I know that is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind. No one seems to recall what to me are some sensible interpretations of the Second Amendment--it calls for an armed, "well-governed" militia--that does not mean crazies walking around with assault rifles. And that amendment was written in the day of muskets--you fired, then you stopped and re-loaded (a complicated and not quick process). No one envisioned today's assault rifles.
What scares me most is that I think (and this is pure prejudice on my part) that those who flaunt these weapons of mass destruction (hey, isn't that what we went to war for in Iraq, even if in error?) are the least stable portion of our population. They're the ones most likely to shoot on mad impulse. A friend, a teacher, wrote that one of her most responsible students posted decrying these open-carry demonstrations and another, much less stable student replied, "Hey, I'm with those guys. I have an assault rifle." Point taken.
Our country has made so much progress in civil rights, we're moving ahead in marriage equality, we're changing with the times as we should. I think gun control is the next big thing on the agenda--but how many people will have to die first? If Sandy Hook didn't move hearts--and the NRA--Santa Barbara isn't going to do it.
I have a friend who decries the fact that people are afraid the government is coming for their guns. They're not, people. Even the president has said so. We just want controls on who has access to guns and maybe what types of guns. If you don't think it's needed, read a bit about the mental history of the Santa Barbara shooter.
PS Dating myself, but open carry to me still means the right to carry a bottle of liquor or a drink. Oh, dear, I'm a hopeless old fogy.
Yeah, this ended up being a rant. But at least now I have some energy. Lazies gone.

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