Friday, July 20, 2012
There are events forever cast in our memories as freakish abominations of a cruel humanity, and almost unimaginable sadness for its victims, their families and their friends. Last night in Aurora, Colorado now joins Jonesboro Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Columbine (the high school very close to the theatre in Aurora), The North Hollywood Bank Robbery, the events of 9/11 and others as not only mere “tragedies,” but examples of terrorism.
Reading my tweetstream early today, July 20th, I saw many in a public and private capacity express condolence, sadness, fear, outrage – pure emotion as only something like Twitter can convey in real time. Many were from friends of mine – good friends. Perhaps unfortunately, as a result of some snarky tweets I saw to the NRA, I defended the 2nd Amendment. I did this because I believe in it. If it's "too soon" for me to write this ... then too bad. It was too soon for me to see some familiar, hateful and hysterical diatribes.
Later today, I read (while researching friends' tweets) ~ a girl's name, a reporter, whose name I'll let YOU research but won't give here out of respect to her family. She was a victim last night. Her last tweet: “Movie starts in 20 minutes.”
She is gone. Forever silenced. As are the other victims, a total count yet uncertain since MANY of the injured were injured critically. Along with all of you I'm sure, my prayers are with them for a speedy & full recovery. I cried reading her tweets; I'm still very upset writing this RIGHT NOW.
I know we all can't agree on everything all the time; how boring would that be? I imagine a GREAT many of you including my friend Carmen feel VERY strongly about quickly “going after” guns or gun “groups” and she and all of you are perfectly entitled to that view. Perhaps you've never liked guns. That's your right and I respect it.
However … and please read this carefully and hear me out ...
“Do not let the calamity of a few affect the rights of the many.” ~ #paulquote
The calamity of “a few” on that plane on 9/11 resulted in knee-jerk reaction … and the subsequent result? The Patriot Act. Rights of Americans were LOST with that. So often, sadly, there erupts a fervor, basic human nature really … that “this should never happen again!” That panic is exactly what a “terrorist” wants. As if anyone thinks it SHOULD happen again. As if pro-gun people are somehow elated. As if, as Ron Reagan just said ... we had an "obsession" and "fetish" for firearms. As if supporting the NRA and gun rights is evil. It's not evil. It's part of America … and as someone English, LET ME TELL YOU: gun control doesn't work. Murder by GUNS is up over last 30 years in England. REALLY up in major, congested cities like Liverpool. And "citizens," ~ the many ~ are powerless. As a side note, my cousin Stephen served in Bosnia as part of the British contingent aiding American troops there. He could have and would have died for Britain on that soil. When he returned home, he could not defend his OWN home with a rifle. A police officer in Liverpool who IS allowed to carry a sidearm … must check it in at the station at 5PM when off duty. Great. So the guy he busted last week for armed robbery is already out on bail, and standing there waiting for him. A POLICE officer. A sad state of affairs. You and I may disagree, but “slippery slope” applies to ALL rights. Womens' rights more than anything lately. Look at the Republican voting record there. Here I fear it's Democrats who will once again (it's already starting) clamor for “What are we going to do?” ~ as espoused by Mr. Bloomberg today when he said
"You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time ..."
I have watched the “coverage” today, and the “gun control” phrase didn't come up til about 3PM CST. But it did and I knew it would. So I'm torn between being emotional over that girl's last tweet which really affected me deeply – the social media documentation of her last minutes on this Earth .. and my undying love of this country & its freedoms. I was proud of both the President (who I love & support, BTW, and he hasn't imposed any new gun control laws as “right wing loons” feared) AND Mitt Romney, who did not politicize this event. However, since I'm sure they'll be “back to business tomorrow,” I thought, “I wish the President would shock everyone, and say my words - Do not let the calamity of a few affect the rights of the many.' - and then proclaim that this great country would NOT let this event take away a basic American right.” It would, I think, since this is BOUND to get political so we might as well get ahead of it ~ enforce Mr. Obama's love of this Constitution, unbowed & unswayed by the horrific actions of a single individual.
Don't EVER let single event, knee-jerk reactions affect a Constitution and a free peoples' rights. If we are to properly honor the victims of last evening, let us do it with their spirits knowing we are still unbowed. We are still free. We will punish the wrongdoers. We will memorialize those victims so as to NEVER forget them. And we will honor our freedom by not relinquishing it to a terroristic action of a few, in this case a sole individual.
Thank you for reading this, no matter how you feel about the “gun” issue. I decided to “stay off Twitter” today and instead write this blog, because the emotion behind this, my sadness, YOUR sadness, my and your love of America, and my love of my friends who don't agree with me … can't be pressed into “140.”
I'll end with the same words I saw repeated often today, just perhaps a little different from what seemed copied and pasted. Mine are indeed heartfelt: God Rest the victims of this tragedy, and my prayers to the wounded for a quick & speedy recovery, if “recovery” from something like this is even possible.
Posted by Paul at 3:06 PM