Thoughts and Prayers….

PESSIMISM WARNING! I hate to pee in your Cheerios, but nothing will change. We are first in mass shootings, first in gun deaths, nearly half in suicides. More than any county of the “civilized” world, not at war. But nothing will change. We make it about anything other than intelligent gun control or an in-depth study of our violent culture and how we perpetuate it. We don’t want to spend money on education to lift up people, we would rather spend it on prisons. We would rather erect a wall than take a serious look at our own culture and its motivations and the dangers from within.

It must be about mental illness, and it is, even though we’ve made it easier for the mentally ill to possess guns. We put the killer under a microscope, scrutinize and debate race, or religion or immigration. If we can’t hang the murderer on one of those excuses we make it about politics or gun free zones or sanctuary cities or Mars ascending into Venus…when it should be about our culture. We offer our thoughts and prayers.

I consider myself a religious man, if not, a spiritual one, but our thoughts and prayers are wearing thin especially when it involves the same kind of kids and schools I taught in for forty-three years. The thinness is because I believe nothing will change. It is too much a part of our culture. We are a violent group, some with Bibles in one hand, AR-15s in the other. “Thou Shalt not Kill” should have an addendum. Thou Shalt not Kill unless it abridges my right to purchase and use an AR-15.

I probably shouldn’t be focused on the AR-15…although there is a good reason. From Aurora to Stoneman Douglas High, it seems to be the weapon of choice, whether due to popularity or ease of use, I don’t know. We’ve weaponized ourselves with all sorts of arms. I have two handguns and a shotgun myself…and a rock, car, butter knife and a fork.

There seems to be something about our manhood that goes hand in hand with a gun or rifle…and the violent tendencies we hold dear. Do they make a perfume “Ode de Gunpowder?” I’ll write about women just as soon as there is a female mass shooter. Why are our males more violent than females? They are not, women just like to inflict pain over a longer period…. Sorry.

Our country was forged on violence…from the very beginning and we glorify it. From an “Eye for an Eye,” to the cult of the warrior in the many wars we have fought, to the dubious history of the Western gunfighter. Our video games, television programs, and movies glorify violence and they have an effect. It is still about the Alpha male with the gun in one hand and the adoring, scantily clad female secured with the other. At least we’ve added movies with scantily clad, female superheroes. Hum…sex, and gunpowder….

So, as pessimistic as it sounds, I don’t think we will ever change. I believe we will continue to lead in categories we say we don’t want to lead in and continue to offer our thoughts and prayers instead of taking a meaningful look at our culture and what our culture breeds. Because we won’t take a meaningful look I expect the violence to increase…but I’m not sending any more thoughts and prayers.

Addendum

It is worse than I even thought it could be. I’m a retired teacher and coach…and a father and a grandfather. The Sandy Hooks, along with the dozens of mass shootings occurring in schools since then, hits me hard. One of the Florida school shooting victims is the son of a former student. That makes it personal. Not that anything will be done. If twenty dead first graders can’t affect change, nothing will. I would say our guns are more important than our children.

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GUN CONTROL?

I must be a dumbass. Please feel free to agree or disagree, BUT ON THE SUBJECT OF GUN CONTROL ONLY! Ex-wives need not reply. I’d love to hear from the rest of you. I am watching the President speak to his executive action to close gun sale loopholes and other measures. I must be a dumbass because it makes sense to me. From what the President said, I am not in the minority. Because I trust no one, especially politicians, I looked the numbers up and despite finding little information after 2013, it seems President Obama is correct to the tune of sixty plus percent. THEN I found a 2016 PEW Research Center poll and according to their site 85% of the population agree with background checks for gun shows and private sales. Over 70% agree with laws to restrict gun ownership by the mentally ill and federal tracking. So where is the disconnect? Is it just my own disconnect from reality and, I MIGHT ADD, the reality of at the very least sixty percent of the population…including a majority of NRA members? Are Pew, Newsweek, US News and the Washington Post all lying. Is this simply an opening salvo “to take our guns” despite assurances to the contrary and a Second Amendment? “This is not a plot to take your guns,” said President Obama.

If I decide to go out and purchase a gun and it takes me a few days or even weeks longer. If I am required to be licensed to buy or sell a gun or if an online dealer is subject to the same laws as a “walk-in.” What’s the big deal? Before you say it, “You are correct.” It might not make the difference in even one death but to me, one would be enough. “Good guys with guns…,” “The bad guys are still going to get guns.” I understand the arguments but I don’t believe they are germane to this argument. Legally and licensed citizens will still be able to buy their guns…as required by the Second Amendment. Am I missing something here? If I am, leave a comment.

Is President Obama overstepping his executive powers? I don’t know… well maybe. Constitutional law scholars seem to be split to. From the USNEWS.com, “Obama’s assertion of unilateral executive authority is just routine stuff. He follows in the footsteps of his predecessors on a path set out by Congress. And well should he. If you want a functioning government — one that protects citizens from criminals, terrorists, the climatic effects of greenhouse gas emissions, poor health, financial manias, and the like — then you want a government led by the president,” wrote University of Chicago Law School Professor Eric Posner. But Michael McConnell, a former federal judge who is now a professor of law and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School disagrees, writing, “While the President does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so. … Of all the stretches of executive power Americans have seen in the past few years, the President’s unilateral suspension of statutes may have the most disturbing long-term effects.”

My counter question is, “If the majority of “WE THE PEOPLE” desire rational and prudent gun control, why didn’t Congress pass rational and prudent gun control?” Again, I may just be a dumbass but as I have said in previous blog posts “there are dark forces at work…” and there may be bigger bulges in our Congressmen’s hip pockets than in the front of their pants because of those forces.

Don Miller is a retired school teacher and coach. While blogging on broad range of subjects, Miller has also written three books which can be purchased or downloaded on Amazon and Kindle.
“FLOPPY PARTS” $.99 on #Kindle http://goo.gl/Ot0KIu
“WINNING WAS NEVER THE ONLY THING….” $1.99 on #Kindle goo.gl/dO1hcX
“PATHWAYS” $3.49 on #Kindle http://goo.gl/v7SdkH