Tragedy Fuels

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I don’t understand why murder happens. I guess I’ll never comprehend the need to take someone else’s life or harm another. There has to be a better way: a solution that doesn’t require violence. It must be hard to be in the military, never questioning orders, carrying out what must be done for safety’s reasons. It has to be even more difficult to be a police officer in this hour of non-stop media always pressing, pressing, pressing for an answer — even if that response is not accurate.

I don’t understand why we need to over-rationalize the assholes. Popularity seems to excuse the jerks while loneliness provides a justification to target villains. Sometimes? An asshole is just an asshole. Period. There is no answer for it other than that. I am tired of folks questioning the accuser saying: “Well, are you sure they were an asshole?” When are we going to start asking the assholes of world to change and tell the victims it wasn’t their fault. Do we really have to wait until violence happens to act? Is death the only way we can show that something is wrong?

I don’t understand why some find it necessary to bully their way through life, either. I especially don’t understand why anyone would dare to harm a child — any child — nor do I “get” the whole idea of exerting your life’s ways on another. Provided you are not harming anyone else, who cares if your hair is pink? Or your pants too short? Or your stripes too plaid? Oh, I’m not holier than thou. I joke about “bad fashion” because I love art so, so, so much. But clothing is the absolute least on my radar of “very important” things. Trust me.

I look at what happened on Friday, what happened all last week, and I have to seriously wonder why it’s even a question that we should arm civilians with more elaborate weaponry (and no training) than the police. Where did this come from? This need to find newer, easier ways to kill? To arm Joe Citizen and not require a background check? Even if Joe Citizen has a history of violence? Mental illness? Perhaps the questions we should be asking ourselves should be related to preventative diffusion: affordable health services, safer methods of restraint, and conflict resolution.

I take no issue with responsible gun control or ownership. I take zero issue with responsible hunting, with responsible protection, and with responsible living. But, as a humanist, I have no patience for the over-justification of abuse (domestic, animal, or not), the devaluation of life, and the easy access of tools that allow people to harm another.

I am appalled at the way the media handled this particular incident. I wanted to be a reporter when I grew up. (Also Indiana Jones, Amelia Earhart, Mozart, Marie Curie, and Shakespeare, but that’s another story for a more appropriate time.) The thrill of daily news, the investigation required — all that pissed away. The facts in this story have been so twisted and so ridiculously mishandled some of these people should either be fired or sued for libel. The wrong names were shared. The wrong pictures were offered. Worse, once again we are glorifying the murderer and not talking about the heroes — the everyday teachers — who risked their lives for their students. What happened to the need for truth? Ethical reporting? Who protects an eight year old who just watched/heard their classmates die from a nosy reporter? Who watches the press?

I could go on and on, but there is nothing I can do. My words will not get through to anyone because these are the same questions others have said and they are now added to a chamber of echoes. I hope that this time, this time, is the last shooting. I hope that this tragedy will set a fire under people to push for basic common sense, human decency, and living responsibly.

For myself? Since I wasn’t directly affected by this tragedy, there are only two things I can do. First, I can ask my state senators to strongly consider repealing concealed carry or reinforcing what’s required to carry a gun. (A “lovely” policy that was installed by our guv’nor.)

And second? Deal with my mixed emotions the only way I know how — through Art, in all its mixed forms.

    Mood: somber
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: sigh
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Too much frakking sitting in a car.
    In My Ears: “Luke and Leia” from Return of the Jedi Soundtrack.
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Awakenings
    Movie Last Viewed: The Hobbit
    Latest Artistic Project: Holiday gifts
    Latest Release: “The Dig” The Lovecraft eZine Issue No. 19

Your Writer’s Manifesto, Ethics and Your Future

So from time to time every writer runs across something in our world where we have to make a decision that we know involves doing something “questionable,” to either further our work or our careers. These choices range from trashing another writer’s work to taking shortcuts that border on plagiarism. A lot of these shortcuts that we know are “cheap” may, on the surface, appear like the fastest shortcut to a great future.

Are they?
Read More…

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