America in distress

  1. Aaron Kyle McLeod
  2. Angelique Ramirez
  3. Kimberly Vaughan
  4. Cynthia Tisdale
  5. Sabika Sheikh
  6. Chris Stone
  7. Jared Black
  8. Shana Fisher
  9. Glenda Ann Perkins
  10. Christian Riley Garcia

These are names of the ten victims slain last week in the Santa Fe High School shooting. Ten human beings wiped off the face of this earth by a kid with a shotgun and pistol. Ten souls with families, friends and a future that won’t be realized.

Most of the victims were children 15, 16 and 17 year old’s. Two were adults, both substitute teachers. All should have been in a place that was safe from this type of violence, a place whose only purpose should have been to educate and nurture. Instead, they were murdered by an angry kid with a grudge. A kid who decided it was alright to murder innocent people with his Dad’s guns.

I am in the throes of my own struggles right now searching for a job but it is very difficult for me to feel sorry for myself thinking about these ten families in Santa Fe, Texas. As I search the internet for job postings these families are planning funerals and memorial services. They are reflecting on a life that was, a life that could have been and wondering why.

The experts and the politicians are pointing fingers in every direction imaginable from video games to abortion. They blame the culture. They blame the media. They blame everything and everybody expect organizations like the NRA that sends them a campaign check. They assume if they talk loud enough and long enough we will all just place the blame on ourselves and let them off the hook until the next time and sadly, there will be a next time.

Something has happened to Americans. We have lost “it” whatever “it” was or is. Something has happened to our morals and our values. Love, compassion and empathy have been replaced with hate, anger and self. Community has been overrun by tribalism, pitting us against them. My beliefs, my views, my stance and my causes are disregarded and discounted because they are different from yours. There is no room for diversity, homogeneity and sameness is the new order of the day in this political and religious climate.

We no longer solve problems and disagreements with civil words or compromise but with accusations, conflict and hate filled tirades. An opposing view is a declaration of war and values are now defined as conservative though that definition means different things to different tribes.

Where is God in all of this? Great question. Is it the liberal God or the conservative God? Is it the God of compassion and love or the God of vengeance and wrath? Is it the Old Testament God or the New Testament God? Whose God are we talking about?

This may sound like hyperbole but I think this nation is in the midst of a civil war. The battle lines have already been drawn with Trump, Conservative Republicans, Evangelicals and the NRA on one side and the rest of us on the other. Will blood be shed? Yes, read the list of names above.

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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17 Responses to America in distress

  1. William Tell says:

    On the one hand, I sympathize with your distress. It’s all just become too much. On the other hand, I think you oversimplify the choices of available Gods. In the Old Testament, the god of wrath appears exclusively, that is, only, in the book of Numbers. The god of Deuteronomy is definitely a loving, forgiving god of compassion.

    Like

    • I oversimplify it because it shouldn’t be that damn complicated. We humans complicate God because of pride, selfishness, and exclusivity. We want to believe that our picture, our vision, our belief is the one and only true path. The relationship is simple, Jesus spelled it out with just TWO actions; 1) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind & 2) Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Pretty uncomplicated. If our choice of God does not include those two commands particularly #2 then whats the point of arguing with anyone about it? I am done playing my God is prettier than your God with people.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Nan says:

    On my blog, I suggested a possible/partial solution to the gun situation. I think if every person that owns guns (and especially in a household with children and/or young adults) should be required BY LAW to lock them in a gun safe. If this isn’t an option (gun safes can be very expensive), then unload the gun(s) and put the ammunition under lock and key. Those who feel they need a gun for protection should make sure the trigger action is locked. (If they don’t know how to quickly unlock it in an emergency situation, then they shouldn’t own a gun.)

    If such a law were in place, the owner of the guns used by the Santa Fe killer would be publicly arrested and prosecuted … and this action (hopefully) would motivate other gun-owners to put their guns out of reach.

    Naturally I’m aware this is not the “ultimate” solution, but any action is better than no action — especially since we already know banning certain guns is never going to happen.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Barry says:

      Here in NZ, guns must be stored unloaded in a secure locked cabinet and ammunition must be stored in a separate secure locked cabinet in another part of the premises, and each must have different locks. Guns may be transported only in a secure compartment in the vehicle and be unloaded. Anyone owning a gun must have a firearms licence, and you cannot fire a gun unless you have a firearms licence or under the direct supervision of someone who has. Storage requirements mean the a firearm is totally useless for self defence and in reality, it’s use against another individual is likely to be viewed as premeditation.

      While gun owners must be licensed, guns don’t require registration – even military style semi-automatic rifles, although you need an endorsement on your firearms licence to own one. So no-one is sure how many firearms there are in Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s estimated that for every 100 people, there are approximately 25 guns, which makes it low by US standards, but quite high by world standards.

      Police are responsible for vetting who can obtain a gun, and they must interview the applicant, a member of the family and an acquaintance, as well as inspect the premises where the firearm(s) will be stored. The applicant must provide proof of attending an approved firearms safety course. The most sure fire way of having an application refused is to say that you want to have a gun for self defence or to make yourself feel safe. A firearms licence is valid for 10 years, and then needs to be renewed, which I understand is very much like the initial procedure.

      But I don’t think gun control in any form is going to be the answer in the US. As an outsider, it seems that America is very distrustful of different world views and is even distrustful of internal differences. There seems to be a general belief of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” that pervades much of American society including politics and religion. Trump embodies all that is wrong with such a world view.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Scottie says:

    Your comment that it will happen again is a chilling reminder we must do something. The fact that our children’s safety is not paramount in our society is horrible. I had a discussion today with someone on why we needed instruments of war in a civil society. I feel if we lack a civil society we must fix that , we must work toward a better more fair society for all. Then we won’t need to have weapons of war carried by the civilians in society. Be well all. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • It will happen again because WE AREN’T DOING ANYTHING TO PREVENT OR CHANGE IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN! We’re only 21 weeks into 2018, and there have already been 22 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed.

      And what does the NRA do? Installs Oliver North as President of the association who goes on television and blames the increase in school shootings on the ADHD medication Ritalin.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. The mystics knew that what they were seeking was within, always was, always will be. Jesus knew, Buddha knew, Francis of Assisi knew. Religions, man’s conceptions of God, and holy writings have been fabricated to gain political, social, and financial control. Don’t beat yourself up, my friend. It is difficult shedding all the dung which has been shoveled on us by religious traditions and religionists, but, in the end our inner truth is valid and will prevail. King David suffered as you and I do with the fears, questions and doubts, but he also is attributed with some of the most beautiful literature ever written. Share your heart, write your story.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Don’t know if you know this, but Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt is personally paying for all the funerals. This is the same guy that raised millions of dollars for the victims of Hurricane Harvey last year. Don’t tell me there are no heroes anymore.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Henry Lewis says:

    I agree. The USA is in the midst of a civil war and everyone is a loser because of it. The big question is: How do we change the dynamic and begin to heal before it’s too late?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tony Burgess says:

    I hate guns and what they do to people. The argument that people kill people not guns is stupid. Tools/weapons of mass destruction have one purpose and that is to kill.

    Liked by 2 people

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