Thursday, June 2, 2016

"They Break Easy"

Yesterday I heard someone lament that it was only a murder/suicide at UCLA [a gun-free campus], rather than a mass shooting that could be laid at the feet of the NRA on this gun violence awareness day.  And people think I'm cynical.

Our bishops and some clergy are going to be wearing the color orange today to express support for "common sense gun laws".  I feel about this the same way I feel about NFL players wearing pink in hopes that a fashion choice will somehow cure breast cancer.

I have different associations with the color orange and plan on keeping it that way.  Orange and black are the colors of one of my happier alma maters, my Scottish grandfather would wear orange on July 12th to celebrate Orangemen's Day, it is the color that represents new beginnings in the Shawnee tradition, as featured in one of the tribal flags:

So, I won't politicize the color beyond these applications, especially not to appease a collection of secular election-year ideologues and an artificial grass roots organization whose spokesperson  also worked for Monsanto, makers of genetically-modified junk, and British Petroleum when they were busy polluting the Gulf of Mexico.

Please don't prang on about Connecticut's recent "common sense" gun laws, either.  Not one of them, not one, would have prevented the Sandy Hook atrocity.  I was present at the scene that day dealing with the parents of the dead and helping to clean blood and matter.  The experience made me impatient with dreamy gestures and vapid desires and much harder and more pragmatic about what could have prevented it.

For example, a workable approach would be to have an effective state-funded mental health initiative.  However, Connecticut has cut their budget for mental health care and treatment by more than 75% over the last twenty years, and especially so in the upcoming state budget, so never mind.  Another might be to discourage the fragmentation of the family, especially in urban areas where most of the gun violence is committed.  If only our leaders would attack these issues with the same passion that they currently display about toilet usage.  Is there a color we could wear that would reverse this?

Instead, I'm going to try prayer.  I still believe that to be more powerful than secular ideology and empty, if well-meaning, gestures.

Oh, look.  From the city in the United States with the most strident gun control laws:
Memorial Day weekend shootings leave 4 dead, at least 49 wounded

As an inmate at the Brooklyn House of Detention once said to me, "Laws ain't a problem, man.  They break easy."