Saturday, July 21, 2012

It's up to the angels

      "For those who were wounded - physically, emotionally and spiritually - our hope is in their recovery and renewal. To them we offer our prayers, ours ears to listen, and our hearts to love."
       Pastor Brady Boyd, senior pastor of New Life Church, tweeted: "Sad day in my state. Pray with me for the family and friends affected by this senseless and evil act."
       Desperation Band tweeted: "Tragedies like this leave us speechless. Please pray with us for all affected by the shooting in Aurora last night."   (source)

Twelve people were shot dead in a Denver suburb the other night and dozens more were injured.  By some “very bright” guy who obviously went off his rocker and decided slaughtering people would be a peachy keen idea.

We are told we should get down on our knees and pray for the victims and their families.

I’m sorry, but that suggestion makes my blood boil.

Get down on my knees?  No, you get up off your knees, you sweet misguided fools.

Pray to a merciful Lord for understanding?

How about recognizing that your imaginary friend in the sky doesn’t give a shit one way or the other whether we slaughter each other down here on Planet Earth.  Even if he is the Clockmaker some of you on your knees say he is – I’m not so keen on that interpretation, either, by the way, but that’s beside the point – he clearly wound us up and left us on our own.

·       Charles Whitman, a former marine who climbs up the clock tower at the University of Texas campus in Austin, kills 15 people and wounds another 32 before being shot dead by police – August 1966
·       14 people are shot and killed in Seattle's Chinatown – February 1983
·       A man opens fire at a McDonald's restaurant in San Diego and kills twenty-one people before he himself is shot by the police – July 1984
·       A former employee enters a post office in Oklahoma and shoots 14 workers dead before killing himself – August 1986.
·       George Hennard drives his pickup truck to Luby's cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, and shoots 23 people dead before killing himself – October 1991
·       Two students take guns into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and kill 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves – April 1999
·       A gunman dresses up as Santa Claus and kills nine people at a Christmas Eve party before taking his own life in Covina, a suburb of Los Angeles – December 2008
·       A gunman kills eight people and wounds five more at a shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska, before killing himself – December 2007
·       Jeff Weise kills his grandfather and another person, then goes to school at Red Lake High School in Minnesota and kills five students, a teacher, a security guard and then himself – March 2005
·       32 people are killed at Virginia Tech by a man named Cho Seung-hui – April 2007
·       A shooter kills six, including a 9-year old girl and critically wounds U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. – January 2011.

These are eleven public incidents of people off their meds (or never on them in the first place) striking out at total strangers in a public space, people who, for the most part, we have no way of stopping in advance, because we don’t know how. 

Didn’t think there were quite so many American massacres, maybe?  Well, how about this.  While we are being told to pray for the twelve people just killed in Colorado (and counting), remember that we are not being told to pray for the all the other people being killed on the very same day – on any given day in America.  12,632 gun killings a year in America, that’s 34.6 dead people a day, to use the 2007 figures

Not because they don’t count, but because we live by what the media tell us and we don’t get daily reports on killing.  We simply wouldn’t put up with it.  Besides, if we added the young kids we send off to kill other people in other countries, we’d be praying all the damn time.

Among the world’s richest twenty-three countries, 80% of the people killed with guns are killed in America.   87% of all the kids killed.  But Obama and Romney are not going to bring it up at one of their $50,000 a plate dinners.  Not the way we do things.

We know what we can’t do.  We can’t lock people up who are crazy.  Or who look like they might go crazy in the immediate future.  We have wired most public buildings, airports and schools in America with metal detectors, so that we don’t have to deal with gun control, but business would grind to a halt if we put one in front of every store and movie theater, as well.  That’s not an option.

Although some people have more than their fair share, we have a gun for every man, woman and child in America.  Bullets cost fifty cents a piece.  The Colorado killer filled his AR-15 with the 100 rounds he used for the same amount of money it would take to fill a tank of gas.

We can’t get either Obama or Romney to address gun control, so totally are we in the clutches of the National Rifle Association.   The Republicans, we can understand.  The rich can afford bullet-proof windows.  But the Democrats?  What’s wrong with the Democrats?   Gore lost to Bush, we are told, over the gun control issue.  Oh, OK. 

So we pray.  We pray that it doesn’t happen, and then when God shows he’s not going to answer that particular prayer, we pray for understanding.  And we pray that he takes the souls of the victims up to paradise where they will live happily ever after.

We Americans are famous for believing this horseshit.  We believe in angels.  Nobody believes in angels the way Americans believe in angels.  Somewhere between 77 and 81% of us, depending on whose poll you listen to. 

Is it possible to come up with better evidence of brain rot?

We’ve lost our ability to think and act our way out of a dilemma.  But then, what are we to do?  To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you go through life with the brain you have, not the brain you might want or wish to have at a later time.

I guess that means it’s up to the angels.

angel painting credit

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