Saturday, July 21, 2012


Jessica "Redfield" Ghawi.  Who died yesterday at that movie theater in Colorado; and those who died with her.  Amazingly, Jessica had been witness to another shooting in Toronto, only days before; she wrote about it in this entry in her blog.  I am horrified by the bitter irony of it, and only glad that she found the time to recognize and treasure the value of each moment in her life.  I am appalled by her savage death.

I am sickened by the power of the gun lobby in this country.  As Gail Collins points out in her column today, they have run out of even remotely sane issues and continue to charge ahead with the totally insane.  They have taken the "right to bear arms" to extremes which the writers of that much abused phrase could never have remotely imagined, still less condoned.  Yet it seems that for a politician to oppose them in even the smallest way is to court vengeful response--and the loss of a seat in the US Congress or the Senate.

This morning, in meditation, for no perceptible reason, the phrase from an old song popped up and kept reverberating in my brain: "... use your mentality, wake up to reality..."  I can't remember any of the other words.  But I do wonder when we, as a country, might begin to use our mentality, and wake up to reality.  We have so many lessons to learn from on all fronts, not just the endless outrages caused by (mostly) men with guns.  Think trickle-down economics, to take but one example.  But we choose stubbornly to ignore them.

How many more such tragedies will it take before we are ready to restore some element of sanity when it comes to deadly weapons?

(Oh, PS, of course: It's "I've Got You Under My Skin.")


Richard said...

I too was shocked by those senseless killings. I have to say, as I read more on this, that I can see no earthly reason why a civilian should own the sort of weapons that were used there.

CHI SPHERE said...

Yes Richard, I agree that automatic and semi automatic weapons are meant to remove the odds of failure to kill. The madness that drove the killer to plan and execute innocent people using these weapons and their sale to anyone are heinous results of a law that the NRA lobbies for each day.

The killer was allowed to legally purchase 4 of them within 3 months. He had no prior arrests so he only had to wait a week to clear approval of purchase.

56,000 thousand weapons are purchased each week in the USA. U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies. About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

In 1996, the U.S. entertainment software industry accounted for a modest 74.1 million video game units sold and $2.6 billion in sales revenue. Fifteen years later, video game companies sold 245.6 million units, leading to an astounding $16.6 billion in software revenue and $24.75 billion overall. 23%
of these games portray violent acts using guns. These games are frequently played by active duty persons stationed world wide. They are especially popular in the Afghanistan and Iraq "theaters of war."

Tens of thousands of soldiers who have had more than one deployment in these "theaters" are returning to their homelands right now. The formula for a repeat performance is undeniably lopsided.

The killer is a psychopath who appeared to be "normal" and was a good student who recently lost interest in his graduate studies. His parents told the police that, "you have the right person in custody." What did they know in advance that kept them from coming forth to save their son from acting out his anger or madness? We may find out in the months and years to come while his victims and their families learn to live with the aftermath for the rest of their lives.

I spent 4 hours today working a Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) hot line. The majority of calls I made reached people who did not want to hear from me at all and had a slew of profane responses to share with me before hanging up.

It's "Under My Skin." and it will stay on my mind forever. I know violence very well. I was a hospital corpsman in Vietnam with the SEALS and I can assure you what we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg!

Doctor Noe said...

Roger Ebert had a great piece on this yesterday:

robin andrea said...

Our country is gun crazy. I do not think there is any political will to change it anymore. In fact, it's always getting worse. Like the climate, we have already done so much damage, there's hardly a way back to sanity.