It's time to cry, to weep openly. I did this morning while shopping. Right in public, and I was wearing my Retired cop jacket, too. I cried my way out of the store. As I tried to see my way carefully in the crowds, looking through the tears, I went past a Salvation Army bellringer standing by his kettle. I cried as I fumbled out my billfold and put a $20 bill in the kettle. The bellringer thanked me warmly. I interrupted him and said, "no Sir, thank YOU for your ministry, we really need it now". I drove home in tears and helped put the groceries away. I'm still weeping, not sure why, because I've always told myself that grief was for the wusses, those who couldn't stand up, teared up.
Well, Pilgrims, we can't stand up. We are ALL beaten to our knees right now.
Solace in logic? No logic, no solace.
Disarm ourselves? It won't work, it's a proven failure. It will only guarantee more victims. It's illegal.
Arm up more intensely? Just being armed doesn't protect you from cunning, conniving crazies. If you're armed, you can only do any good if you are there when the shooter starts his mayhem.
Turn the schools into fortresses? We might, but then the malls are bereft of protection, and the transit, and all the other places where lots of people have to gather. The thin blue line is very thin.
So, Rivrdog, what you are telling us is that there is no solution? No, I didn't say that. There IS a solution, somewhere. We didn't have many of these examples of mayhem 60 years ago, so what was different then?
- We had a moral compass then, and we followed it. We have to find it and start using it again.
- If you were crazy then, your family took it on themselves to see you didn't cause harm to the community. I know this, I had a crazy sibling. My father had him locked up when he became a danger to the community. He killed himself eventually, and only God knows why he didn't take anyone with him as these shooters have done.
- If you were crazy, one doctor and one parent or family member could certify that and you got locked up. The insane asylums were hell-holes, but those whackos were inside those walls. Displaying whacko behavior was not tolerated in the communities, and it is now.
- There weren't as many whackos. It was not fashionable then to be whacko. It IS fashionable now, all sorts of craziness is tolerated under the mistaken notion that in this country, we are free to be crazy, it's our right.
- We had some gory wars then as now, but war wasn't glorified much in those days, most moral folks abhorred it, and only tolerated it when huge moral insult was forthcoming and had to be beaten back. War's violence is tolerated now. It's been turned into games. Dollar to a donut says that this CT shooter, just like his crazy counterpart here in my City this week, was a video-game player. We know the story about these games: they inure the participants to violence, make abject violence seem normal to those players. It's but a short step from being a practiced shooter in Call of Duty to being a practiced shooter in a room full of kindergarten kids. How many will take that short step? Can we ever know?
What hasn't changed from 60 years ago?
- Guns haven't changed much. High capacity autoloading pistols were available then, see the Browning Hi-Power. Autoloading rifles were available, see the Garand, the M-1 carbine. An individual could even buy explosives then just with a signature, can't do that now. Col. Thompson sold thousands of submachine guns to ordinary folks before 1934. No, it isn't the tools of the crazies or their violence that has changed, lo these six decades I've been observing life, it's the tolerance for the crazies that has changed.
- The churches haven't changed. Maybe not as many people go to church as used to, but the churches are still there, and still provide a calibration point for one's moral compass.
This horrific behavior, which will get worse before it gets better, shouldn't have taken us by surprise. There have been signs. Presidents who couldn't keep their peckers in their pants, at least two of them in the past 60 years. Did we fire their sorry asses for failing to have the highest-caliber morals to be our chosen leader? No, and in Clinton's case, we idolize the man to this day as if he had never shown his ugly side.
We idolize all manner of morally-deficient celebrities, both male and female. We have "reality" TV shows about stupid, immoral and illegal behaviors. We make movies about stupid people behaving badly; the movies are well-attended, and invariably, some idiot or crazy tries to emulate the behavior seen on-screen. Behavior that belongs in the bedroom now is seen in public, and even encouraged.
I want Jay Leno do do some Special Editions of "Jaywalking". I want him to put a person in priest's garb and do some sidewalk interviews about morals. There will probably be some priests volunteer for this duty. It may not be comedy, but it WILL be instructive.
I want David Letterman to quit having Hollywood bad boys on his show for an entire month, but instead, have some real people, with working moral compasses, talk about their chosen lifestyles.
I want the program, "Moonshiners" to end, now.
I want the program, "16 and pregnant" to go away and never be seen again.
I don't ever want to see another ad for a shooter video game. The sports games are interesting and challenging enough.
I want to stop crying for my beloved, lost country. I don't know when or how I'll stop crying.
I just don't know.
My GOD, I am so sorry, because I know that somehow, I too, have failed my country. I am so sorry..................