We were hiking, my friend and I, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We’d gone on a small adventure to experience more serious winter weather and challenging outdoor activity. The weather, not having fully cooperated, provided an icy surface, so we’d decided to stay on safer trails. The Flume Gorge provided magnificent specactacle. The waterfall was magically frozen in place as it tumbled down the mountainside. Deep thick icicles of blue upon aqua upon frosted white as they reached the frozen surface of the river below. The gorge was closed to passage so we wound our way around and above it with Harry the pup leaps and bounds ahead of us. We called him to us on occasion and he reluctantly returned to our sides for a promised treat before hopping off again into the forest.
Our conversation was sparse. We contemplated the stark stillness of the trees.
The deep appreciation for a silence heard only when miles removed from civilization was in no small way why we came. To stand amoung centuries old trees and year old saplings and bend your ear to listen to pure winter nothingness while it’s buried under two or three feet of snow is enrapturing.
To see the sight of a half frozen trickling stream bubbling and dripping its way through a mountain pass is shockingly exhilarating. On we hiked, pausing occasionally for photos and gratitude.
As we descended, we became more inclined toward conversation, which of course led to philosophical discussion of certain subjects.
Now, C.J. being of different mind than I in things political and religious, we somehow always end up discussing one of the two. We were debating the difference between the meaning of the words “morals” and “good” and “pure”. C.J. being of the opinion that all human beings are born with morals, not having to learn the rules. Me being of the opinion that, “Not so. I believe we are all born good and pure, but must be taught the rules of living in society.” The discussion, as always, became rather heated, breaking the silence the forest held. We recognized this, stopped, breathed, listened, hiked on. We realized we actually agreed with each other, only we each needed to redefine our understanding of “morals” and “pure and good”.
It wasn’t until we returned to the Inn that I read the news.
These are two words that, in my mind never belong together in the same sentence.
No matter which way I say it, I just can’t wrap my head around this phrase.
And it wasn’t until this morning that I realized that at the very moment C.J. and I were defining, redefing morals and pure and good, there was a gunman rapidly firing bullets into the innocent bodies of kids, killing them as they went about thier day learning how to live.
Another school shooting.
Mass murder with an assault weapon.
A weapon of war.
They practice drills for this in school.
Our innocent children practice hiding from a gunman who may enter their classroom and kill them with a weapon of war.
I ask any of you:
Just exactly how can any child effectively prepare for defence against a weapon of war?
They are sitting ducks. Our children are sitting ducks.
And they are OUR children. Every one of them. For there, but for the sake of God, go I.
The young man who murdered the children in the Florida school on Wednesday isn’t old enough to buy himself a beer. Yet, he bought himself an AR-15, a semi automatic rifle, a weapon of war, with the full intent of committing cold blooded mass murder. He, by latest news accounts has a lifelong history of a propensity for uncontrollable violence, struggles with mental health and family issues. We don’t know his full story. We do know that he was adopted but not under what circumstances he was born. He may well have been born addicted. We dont know, and it really shouldn’t matter. He sounds, to me like an extremely tragic human being. There is one word that comes to mind when I think of him and that is pity. He is, however in every way, culpable for his own actions.
One thing should stand out above everything else in this picture. That is his propensity for violence, not his mental health issues; most people with mental health issues will never commit murder.
His lifelong uncontrollable violent outbursts as well as his social media threats and promises were a harbinger for his murdering spree on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
The federal agency that was informed of his intent is at fault for failing to follow through on it.
Anyone who sold him a gun is blameworthy. They’re responsible for taking his money and not finding out who he was, what he was thinking, why he was purchasing it. I don’t care what the law says, the responsible thing to do is to learn about who you’re selling an AR-15 assault weapon to.
The family who took him in after his mother’s death is delinquent. Never, in a million years would I allow anyone into my home with a gun. Much less someone with a violent history. If they didn’t know about him, they should have learned about him. Then, perhaps, they could’ve done something to avert his murdering frenzy.
The NRA and every one of it’s members and supporters are accountable. To all of you; This isn’t the Wild Wild West and YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL COULD BE NEXT.
POTUS, Donald J. Trump is reprehensible. Trump, you are cowardly. Have the courage to do what you know is the right thing for once. Go against your cronies and the NRA. Take a tip from Australia’s P.M. and ban all assault weapons, institute a mandatory countrywide buyback, destroy the war weapons and shut up about mental health issues. You will save lives and if you do you will take the moral high ground for once and you’ll have earned a piece of my respect.
Congress and the House are liable. Do your jobs. You, Every Single One Of You Is A
Serve the public.
Save the lives of our children.
To all of the above:
The blood of those school children is on your hands.
And yes, I am responsible.
I have stayed quiet for far too long. I lied to him, my son. There really is a boogey-man and he hides amoung us. We vote him in, we shop alongside him, we attend peaceful public events in full view of him, we congregate in prayer before him, we watch as he assaults our fellow man with his bullets. We bury our children, our Moms, Dads, cherished family members and dearly held friends because of his fury and his weapons. We cry and grieve because of him. No, I will not sign a facebook petition. I don’t know where they end up. I will write to my congressman. I will write to Donald J. Trump. I will vote and vote again. I will write and I will write again.
I will urge all of you you to do the same. For it is an urgent matter if ever there was one. And indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword. I will march for our children. I will march for fear free education; schools free of death.
I will write and I will vote and I will march for schools where our children can go to learn how to live.
I will write and vote for assault weapon ban and mandatory country wide buyback. Let’s please stop all of the posturing and fighting. Look at the numbers in countries that have successfully done this. Take responsibility. Write and vote.
If we fail to take these two simple steps, all of us, in some measure, share the blame.
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