Thursday, January 25, 2018

24 Days, 11 Shootings

Yesterday was the twenty-fourth day of the new year, 2018.  Yesterday, the United States of America saw the eleventh shooting take place in a school this year.   Look at the numbers - 24 days, 11 incidents where gunfire was heard in a class room.  Something is not right in our society.  What has gone wrong?
   When white people infiltrated North America, they brought with them a society that was "more advanced" than the Native Americans had.  The main advantage was in weapons, the second was in disease immunity.White people wiped out the native people by killing them diseases the natives had no immunity against, by taking over the natives producing agricultural fields and the settlements near them, and by sheer force.  A bow with arrows and a spear, possibly a hatchet, were no match for a flintlock rifle.
   My own ancestors participated in "taming" America - one of my many-greats-grandfathers was a trader among the Algonquin-speaking tribes in Tidewater Virginia, and he took a native lady as his wife; but he was also a part of Bacon's Rebellion, and was hanged.  In New England, a lot of my ancestors killed natives, and were killed by natives. One ancestor, originally a cabinet-maker, ended up being the coffin-maker at Plymouth Plantation - he was rarely without work.
   And, of course, as the new American civilization moved westward, so, too, did my ancestors... usually with plows, but sometimes with guns.  My Mom was a great fan of "the Wild West," but my Dad, who was born in Oklahoma and raised in Oklahoma and Kansas during the Dust Bowl, knew the realities. 
    So why, today, in the year 2018, and the past year, 2017, did we Americans see so much violence wrought against school children, church-goers, and folks out to have a good time at concerts, clubs, and cinemas?  Why are people, young and old, grabbing a firearm and killing others?  Why?
    My parents did not own a gun while I was alive.  I know that Dad used to hunt for the dinner table as boy, and so did my Mom... They knew how to use a gun, but they did not own one.  I was taught how to use both a handgun and a rifle, and I have killed rattlesnakes - but I've never thought of using a weapon on another human being.  How can people do such things?
   Is it the proliferation of slow-motion bombings and killings that we now see regularly on television and at the theater?  Is it the proliferation of video games, where the object is to kill as many people or things as possible? 
    Why are the only people protesting these continuing horrors people who have been harmed or who have lost loved ones?
    We, as Americans, need to examine our moral fiber and see what is WRONG.
          Gun violence is NOT the answer.

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