Wednesday, June 14, 2017

While working

Imagine my laptop on that dining table, the trees beyond the window thick with leaves, the sun slanting across my arms as I type. This is where I'm working today.

Behind me, the TV screen says Breaking News. I don't even notice it anymore, because it seems always to be there on the bottom left corner, announcing that our system of government has broken down. But this morning, reporters are talking about a man with a rifle taking aim at a baseball field on which Republican members of Congress were practicing for an upcoming charity game. One congressman and two Capitol police officers were among those shot. The shooter got off fifty or sixty rounds of gunfire, signaling an automatic weapon. The congressmen and their aides ran for cover. They could do that because they could hear where the gunfire was coming from. And yet today, House Republicans are scheduled to consider a bill to lift restrictions on gun silencers, which will make it easier for shooters to kill without being detected, and harder for law enforcement to track an active shooter.

In this case, only the gunman died. If the shooter had been using a silencer, this event might have been more deadly. And now the commentators are saying that the man may have been emotionally disturbed, with a record as a domestic abuser. If so, why was he able to acquire a military grade automatic weapon? He was white, by the way, so this will not be labeled as an act of terrorism, though I don't see that it differs.

A witness on TV just said: "I saw the gentleman shooting with an AK-47 from behind the wooden bleachers." The gentleman. Okay, I'd better stop now and get back to work.


14 comments:

  1. "The gentleman"? Really.
    I sigh and think with great despair, We ain't woke. We're broke."
    You are right. Broken.

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    1. Ms. Moon, sometimes I have to just turn off the news. But burying my head in the sand isn't helpful. I think its time for another round of calls to our reps. Sigh.

      xo

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  2. The desperately sad irony of it all.

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    1. Birdie, the congressman who got shot has repeatedly voted against gun safety initiatives. Not that this meant he deserved to get shot of course, but yes, the desperate irony.

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  3. It makes no sense, and it is futile to try to make sense out of it. It is all politics, and the politics is leading to deaths, and that is just wrong. There is no sense in it.

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    1. jenny_o, i can't make any sense of it, that's for sure. i sometimes feel quite overmatched by all of this, which is not helpful.

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  4. Just another question, if you don't mind pondering one. Why is it so very difficult for the mentally disturbed in this country to get medical care and prevent this kind of thing before it begins?

    You are right, being white should not matter. This was meant to terrorize.

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    1. Lisa, right?? It is so hard for the mentally disturbed to get proper medical care, and yet they can walk into any gun store and purchase a firearm. So who's crazy?

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  5. You would think that this would force our legislators to think differently about gun control as well as mental health care. It won't though. Cheaper to give people access to guns than the medical and other care they actually need. We are seriously circling the bowl...

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    1. e, there was a huge fire in London, and now they are all talking about how to promote greater fire safety. Logical, right? But when gun incidents happen here, there is a fierce avoidance of talk about gun safety. It's pathological.

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  6. I am wondering how this might affect future gun laws. but what I'm really afraid of is that the crazies will come out full force...

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    1. Drita, nothing will change in the short term. Nothing will change until we vote in enough candidates with the courage to stand up to the NRA. I mean, what private citizen needs an assault rifle?

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  7. It is so ironic that this happened to the very people who wanted silencers on guns. It would be funny if it wasn't so horrific.

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  8. As ironic as the gun issue in this situation is that the senator who was shot had voted against gay marriage/equality for the LGBT community -- and was saved by a member of that group. By now, I am beyond tired or irony and hypocrisy.

    Saw a very good article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch yesterday by former Senator John Danforth, who detailed why our survival depends on our interconnection with each other in both foreign and domestic affairs, and how the current administration has destroyed much of that. In effect, he was saying 'a house divided against itself cannot stand.' He's right.

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