Another terrible shooting occurred yesterday. A 24 year old man riddled a military recruiting station with bullets and then killed four marines and wounded many others at a Chattanooga, Tennessee naval base. Once again we are mourning lives lost and trying to make sense of a murderer’s actions. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed or injured.
A relative sent us an email today. It’s one of those well-traveled internet memes of unconfirmed origin seeking to engage us, albeit briefly, and illicit enough emotional response to prompt forwarding. Compelling at first, the newspaper clipping is supposed to have been saved “in a bible” by someone’s mother for many years. Mom, it said, was a teacher and “believed in prophesy” (sic) so “she always kept up on issues”, evidently by tucking them away in the good book.
“Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
(Ayn Rand, from ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957) Continue reading
I was going to write a post today about the 4th of July holiday. It was going to be cute and flippant, and reference that everywhere I go today, the question is “any plans for the holiday?” I know it’s a day off for many, a long weekend filled with grilling and chilling. And that’s great. But do we really understand why that’s so great? What we are actually celebrating? Most folks don’t try to analyze it because the freedom we have is taken for granted.
Instead, I’m re-posting this. My cousin, who just returned from Kuwait, wrote this poem. I honestly think it speaks for itself. Here is his post in toto:
I jotted this down one year when I was working for the school district back in PA. I am no poet or philosopher. I was trying to express an emotion I had to deal with when individuals flippantly disregard our service to our people and our country. Not sure if I nailed it but I came close. I forgot about this, I was going through old emails and came across it and thought I would put it out there again.
Medals on my chest:
I wore medals today.
Not the full sized ones they handed me,
those will probably never see the light again.
But I wore my medals today
the mini-medals I bought for just such a day.
They added some color to my dull blue uniform and
they offset the shiny badge on my chest.
I wore my medals to school today.
The kids looked and looked again.
Some asked me what are they?
I told them these are what you wear when brothers don’t come home.
I wore my medals to work today.
Some shook my hand some said thanks with a hug.
Those that once passed with noses high now passed with heads down or mouths agape
But I wore my medals today.
One child asked “Why would you? Why should you?”
I told the child: because I could and I would.
We said we would stand against all comers wherever or whenever we were called.
We said we would stand for others who could-not or would-not stand with their brothers.
I wore my medals today.
Vincent Provenzano TSGT USAFR
6 years US Navy (two wars)
7 years Air National Guard
3 years Army National Guard
3 years US Navy Reserves – Seabees (activated)
9 years and still serving US Air force Reserves (two deployments)
Happy Independence Day
Remember who gave up all so we can be who we are now.
The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has cast a pall on our area. We are only about 40 miles from there. Folks working in nearby Ridgefield, CT lost their children. It is a nightmare, only made worse by the time of year.
I’ve said it before. I am a gun owner. I shoot sporting clays. I follow all the rules and jump through every hoop there is so I can own my firearms safely and enjoy my sport. Myself and my fellow shooters have remained quiet in this week following the shooting out of respect for the gravity of the situation. On my Facebook timeline, I have watched as friends have posted memorial messages and photos from the funerals. Most have been so very respectful, as is expected.
But, among my friends, a few have started to publish very harsh posts aimed at gun owners. We’re being equated with the perpetrator or we’re being patronized as they implore us to “turn in your guns” as if we were all gang members waiting to go on a rampage. I stayed quiet for as long as I could, but I finally decided that being quiet simply was not something I could continue to do. I did reply to one friend’s questioning of why the NRA has no fund for victims of gun violence with a short, simple response.
Then came “S”. She is one of my friends from town. Every day she has posted heartfelt posts about the shooting. They have been constant however the tone has now changed substantially. I couldn’t sit by any more and so I added a comment. I’m no expert on any one subject. For better or for worse, here’s the convo. I am C, she is S, her husband is Ste. The others are just some of her friends. I’ve hidden the names to protect the…whatever. Continue reading
Thankfully, the Presidential election is over. Being what is usually defined as a libertarian, and not having a horse in the race (at least not a horse worth a damn), I had truly grown tired of the endless robo-calls, requests for my money, and political phone polls. While Hurricane Sandy dealt a terrible blow to our area, the silver lining was that all forms of electronic communication ceased from the 29th of October until November 6th. And I did not miss any of it.
So, life goes on. I knew it would. Sure, my guy didn’t win. But that’s only because my guy doesn’t seem to exist. I’m not thrilled with some of the direction this country is headed in. And I was all primed to get torqued up about it before the storm hit. For some strange reason, now, I’ve entered a sort of “Zen Zone”. I’m calmer. I’m ready to move on. It may just be that I simply don’t have the strength to bitch and convulse about the state of the union any more.
Just a quick post. Like many Americans today, I am still dealing with the news out of Aurora, Colorado. I am beyond saddened for the innocents who were killed or injured by a very sick, evil individual via a firearm and a lot of ammunition that he, evidently, began stockpiling some time ago.