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Literally within hours of the Sandy Hook massacre on 14 December 2012, some of my pro-gun Facebook connections started moaning about how libruls would use the tragedy to swoop in and take away their guns.

Really???? Really??? I told them: please, have some decency... can we wait at least a week before hearing you all crying about your guns. Twenty little kids... they were just little kids, and six adults have been murdered.

I didn't see it at the time, but perceived later that most of us seemed to make the story about people killed by guns, gun deaths, statistics, and the guns don't kill people, people do litany. But just maybe there was something deeper to understand... twenty little kids gunned down in an elementary school... what really happened to bring us to that sad and mournful December day?

Now another child, a baby boy, has been shot and murdered in his stroller in Brunswick GA. I still can't grasp it: why the kids alleged to have committed this horrific act shot the baby in the stroller after shooting the woman in the leg... why didn't they take her purse... and without witnesses, it seems to me to have more questions than answers.

And yet, with all of the strangeness of the story, those damned guns steal the spotlight. See, I think there are far more important elements in either story than the use of guns...

However, perhaps many people see it as this poster does:

for me, this case (8+ / 0-)
is about the baby killed by a gun.
Certainly, guns and gun culture are part of the story. But its beating heart seems, to me, to be the crumbling facade of our ordinary lives... that little league-marking-a-return-of-spring part of our lives being buried by acts of seemingly random madness, where babies are shot in the head by teenagers, or little kids are murdered in what was once a safe solidly middle class town. It would be easy if it were just the guns.... but something more is unraveling here... a dangerous uncertainty, a destabilizing of what was, before 11 September 2001 "normal".

Now it's normal to have our lives arranged around and controlled by the threat of terrorists, or lack of health insurance, and most assuredly, guns being wielded by madmen and aimed at our children. More and more, we allow those in charge to, in some way, weaponize everything around us in order to keep us "safe:" now we're being told we need armed guards in schools. They've made us so afraid of cancer that we are willing to pay mortgage-sized premiums to weaponize us against what exactly??? We've weaponized our ordinary hand soap, mucked up much of the food and water supply to weaponize it against disease, pests, and then there's fluoride in water to fight tooth decay.

No, this story isn't about the guns. It is one of fear; it is trading freedom for safety and having neither. Those of your neighbors who want to keep hold of their guns are as afraid... of you taking their guns as you are that they or someone else will snap, grab hold of the gun and shoot kill you or your kids.

Our ordinary everyday life, where kids go to college and we retire to warm climates, seems further and further beyond our reach. We flail about trying to identify something solid, something tangible to blame it on... something we can easily understand so we can STOP whatever it is. I'm afraid it's way more complicated than guns.

In fact, I think "it" is the gang of completely incompetent masters of the universe running the western world and they are too big to stop. There is no "truth to power" because they don't care, they can't compute the consequences, and besides which they won't be affected (they think). We can't fight them or change them. Voting Democrat won't stop this landslide.

As far as I can tell, we can only walk away and start over again. Go back our school boards and town boards... think secular, find sane people who think differently than each other and are not threatened but intrigued and interested in different visions and ideas in solving problems. Start our own credit unions, get to know our local farmers. Do what we can to reclaim that which we all tried to make glamorous and would love to have back: our simple, not always sane, lovely ordinary pre 9/11 lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bravo! (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the voice of sanity.

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

    by jlynne on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:26:26 PM PDT

  •  Can you imagine if marijuana killed 30,000 people (8+ / 0-)

    a year. Boy they'd make that stuff illegal in a hurry, wouldn't they? Oh wait...

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:31:41 PM PDT

  •  We are a people almost devoid of compassion (8+ / 0-)

    The old civic virtues of solidarity, equality, justice, compassion, loyalty and determination are fraying and blowing away.  

    Republicans have finally been called out lately after Sen. Portman's self-interested embrace of marriage equality, as a group devoid of any compassion for anyone not close to them.  As if that's news.  But the rest of the country is becoming more like them: selfish, hard, callous, mistrustful and even hateful of out-groups.  That's the reason Republicans still have the support they do.  Our national soul is rotting.

    How else to explain some kids with free access to a gun shooting a baby in the head?  What kind of country does it take for something like that to happen?

    Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:40:02 PM PDT

  •  Maybe I can offer a way for you to get your head (7+ / 0-)

    around it a little.

    Our world is actually getting safer all the time. Safer from airplanes crashing into buildings safer from young guys shooting babies in the head or shooting up the classroom. There is still random terrible acts of violence, but there are less of them all the time. That is factual.

    Ignore the headlines and horror stories.

    Are you feeling suicidal? No? Well then you have just eliminated more than half the chances of "gun violence".

    Live in the middle of a large city with very high unemployment, no police presence? Move if you can.

    I worry about wild people with guns as much as I worry about Osama Bin Laden flying into my house. It's just not that common in every day life.

    You just gotta take a lot of news and a lot of what you read here with so much salt. Yes bad things happen, but not often and less often all the time.

    Spring here, birds chirping, kids are playing on their Ipods.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:21:17 PM PDT

  •  So resonating. (7+ / 0-)
    It would be easy if it were just the guns.... but something more is unraveling here... a dangerous uncertainty, a destabilizing of what was...
    I've been working on it a long time. Puzzling it out. Writing by not publishing because I don't believe my own conclusions.

    This is a case, I believe, where the causes are far too large for people to see -- a meta-cultural crisis and the steep decline of US as a world power.

    And the solutions point to personal contraction in life -- which sounds boring and void of dreams. (To me, at least.)

    This comes, of course, after you realize that there is no political solution to any of the nation's problems anymore. It's a continent with a crumbling infrastructure, a soaring rate of poverty, and a confused and frightened population.

    I am lately contemplating that the problem may be in the English language, itself.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:33:12 PM PDT

    •  funny you should say that... about the language. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, jlynne, Avila

      trying to learn Dutch made me realize that we don't all "think" alike. what is it about American english then? or English english... the ease of it? the opportunity to mix it up, misuse it?

      dutch, i think, is not so easy to misuse or use to mislead. there are definite limits there, as far as i can tell.

      interesting Pluto...

      •  It started when I looked up (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avila, pfiore8

        ...the meaning of "Latin American." But I've long held a quantum view of linguistics as a timed tool for conscious evolution. The theory is that "ideas" are embedded in language, and as languages evolve, as they do, certain profound ideas are released.

        Back to English, which is unique to Anglo Saxons, I started looking at the colonies that the indigenous people of Europe (white invaders) formed throughout the world. I looked at what languages the colonies speak today. In the Americas, any nation that does not speak English (including Quebec) can be considered Latin American (unless they still speak their pre-invasion indigenous language).

        Canada and the US are not considered part of the Americas by the rest of the countries. They seem alien and without soul  to Latin Americans. Dangerous. I looked at nations that speak English throughout the world -- they were mostly genocide nations, I noticed. The other invaders -- the French, Spanish, and Portuguese did not murder all the indigenous inhabitants they found. They tended to mate with them. This is how the languages stuck.

        From there, I began to draw some behavior-based conclusions. About the future.

        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:20:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, the Spanish& Portuguese (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pfiore8, Pluto, Avila, isabelle hayes

          Enslaved, forced converted, and destroyed the knowledge of the indigenous peoples after looting their nations of treasure. There are surving documents that still have never been translated. The descriptions of the Aztecs as blood-thirsty maniacs come courtesy of the Missionaries as a means to suppress their religion and destroy their acquired knowledge. Rome did the same to the Priesthood of Gaul. You know, the Druids.

          Spain, in the new world, created class distinctions. If you were Mestizo, you were better than Indio, but both were less than Spanish. While all speak Spanish, (except Brazil) you are judged by the dialect of Spanish. Puerto Ricans/Boricuas look down on Domincanos, for example. This linguistic bias is no different than the way we mock the American dialects spoken in the South. Or the way we mock the way girls in the "Valley" speak.  France, created the slave nation that became Haiti, and forced them into perpetual debt and poverty in return for their independence.  They too, had a class system in the New World. Creoles were considered as White.  My favorite example is Louis Moreau Gottschalk. His father was German, his mother, Haitian Creole.

          "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

          by theRoaringGirl on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:45:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oh Mary Oh, Glen The Plumber, pfiore8

            thank you.  most people have no idea about how the big empty unknown and casual contempt between nationalities assumed related (but with very little in common).  

            there is a line from Junot Diaz i absolutely love because it's so true:

            your kids never heard of the DR? in time, their kids won't know about Iraq  . . . but in the era of the Trujillato, the DR was Iraq before Iraq was Iraq.
            same with Batista in Cuba.  same with the Duvaliers (as a recognizable example) in Haiti.  (Good Neighbor Policy?  shadow wars?  bad mojo?  i don't know.)

            i once worked for a man who had a degree from Yale, and was kind of intimidated by his intellectual frontin' until he said to me one day: "Why does this (random event) matter to Latinos?  Why would the Latin American community even care?"

            it was literally all i could do not to laugh.  i finally mumbled something about how we had our weekly conference calls on Sundays, and any decision requires final approval from La Raza and La Causa and the surviving Cuban exile community.

            and he actually said "great!  get back with me by next Wednesday!  and can you recommend any . . . authentic Hispanic takeout?  my wife thought you'd know."

            years later, i still i don't even know what "Hispanic takeout" might encompass.   authentic or not. ;)

      •  I've always thought (6+ / 0-)

        that people should be required to be at least bilingual - for exactly this reason.  A different language forces a whole different perspective, a different way of thinking about things.  It opens doors in your mind that otherwise remain closed.

        "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by jlynne on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:29:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Something stinks in this case. I posted a comment (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8, Avila, NancyWH, cactusgal

    to another diary on this event and I agree, there's something not right about the story the baby's mother has given:

    Susan Smith: Does anyone here remember the case of (0+ / 0-)

    the 2 little boys in their carseats, the car allegedly hijacked by a black guy. The car and the two dead babies (drowned, of course) were found some time later. She had rolled the car into a reservoir herself. Susan Smith is now serving life in prison. This happened in South Carolina.

    Georgia is Deep South. So you accuse black kids and the cops go out and find a couple of black boys. No gun found. Baby was asleep when shot.

        She said he fired four shots, the first into the ground. West didn't see a shell casing ejected, and said she assumed the gun wasn't real.

        Then he fired at her head and the bullet grazed her left ear; she has a small scab and bruising there. He fired again and shot her in the left leg above the knee.

    No witnesses. No weapon. The wound to the mother could have been self-inflicted in the leg, whereas the 2 accused are alleged to have just had to shoot the baby. Dead straight into the head.

    Mom is white, dad is not. Dad told the press just how very-very-very blue the baby's eyes were. Baby looks very white (ok, there's all sorts of genetic stuff to prove me wrong).

    Mom goes before cameras and whines but does not actually weep. No tears in any of the clips I've seen, just "whining". Just like Susan Smith.

    I hope those two boys get very good legal representation. Something about this stinks.

    Lots of jumping to conclusions in the commentary here.

    But, whoever did it, I deeply mourn the murderous loss of that baby boy.

    Link to my original posted comment.
    •  i didn't want to come right out (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, NancyWH, kaliope

      but yes, it struck me the exact same way. and how quickly those two boys were rounded up... and i thought: oh god, i hope they have good lawyers.

      •  To my ears and eyes (5+ / 0-)

        her description of the event is over detailed.

        De'Marquis' sister:

        She said that her brother had been living in Atlanta, and only returned to Brunswick a few months ago. Typically, he would come by her house in the morning and they'd go to breakfast. But yesterday morning, police came to her door.

        Her brother was walking down the sidewalk and saw the officers at her door but came over anyway, Sabrina Elkins said.

        "The police came pointing a Taser at him, telling him to get on the ground," she recalled by phone. "He said, 'What are you getting me for? Can you tell me what I did?'"

        none of this though detracts from the message in your diary. Thank you for writing it.

    •  I spent a lot of last evening beating (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, pfiore8, kaliope

      up on myself for my own doubts and suspicions about the parents' stories & reactions, particularly after they arrested the two teenagers.

      Here's my "measurement" when evaluating other folks' displays of grief after a tragedy :

      Any time a  loved one of mine gets hurt or passes away unexpectedly, I go into shock. I'm basically unable to speak or function. The illness or death of a pet provokes the same reaction. If it was my baby that was murdered, forget any thought of a detailed, coherent description of the assailant --it would be like asking questions of a bowl of jelly that had been sitting in the sun all day.

      I don't know what's wrong here, but something is. What I do know is that an innocent baby was murdered by SOMEONE with a motive that is, as of yet, unknown. By what means the child was killed (gun) is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.

  •  Re: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrankRose, andalusi

    I was almost ready to recommend this diary, but I get stuck on two points.  Ban nock already already addressed part of my first objection; the diarist doesn't acknowledge the true gains in safety and security.  I'd also add technology has made us all more aware of the evil around us; disheartening as it is, I'd rather know what's going on in my community and country than reside in blissful ignorance.

    Second, there isn't a national instinct to shine a light on guns and "gun culture" every time horror strikes.  It is the result of a persistent effort by a group of narrow-minded bigots to shame tens of millions of law abiding Americans.  They accuse their neighbors of aiding and abetting murder because they want to protect their families and homes.  To these people, murderers might as well be little more than victims of some dastardly disease devised by so-called "gun nuts."

    When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

    by Patrick Costighan on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:49:07 AM PDT

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