Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What can I say?

It doesn't feel right to have a forum on which to say things and NOT say something about this most-recent shooting tragedy. On the other hand, I'm not sure I feel right trying to "think" of something to say when, overall, what can I possibly add? It's a tragedy, it's horrible, and... what else? This is a hideous act of seemingly-random evil that no one saw coming, proof both un-asked-for and un-needed of the cruelty and randomness that too-often "is" life... the very type of horror for which the term "unthinkable" was coined.

And then I watched the news, the very night of the event, during which time we did not yet even know this young monster's name. I knew it was coming. I knew it was just a matter of time. I knew that their arrival was as innevitable as that of vultures to a carcass. I just thought it would take at least a day longer. But no, there they were.

The cynical, opportunistic "anti-gun" advocates of the so-called "left."

The cynical, opportunistic pro-censorship advocates of the so-called "right."

Both vile, both subhuman, both ready-by-reflex to "spin" this tragedy into an argument for their personal agendas. Disgusting. Depraved. Predictable.

NOW I have something to say.

GUNS DID NOT CAUSE THIS. My personal opinions and/or political thoughts on the subject of the 2nd Ammendment are not connected to that, it is merely a simple statement of fact. "Gun-control" laws, weapon-bans, regulation and any of the other "fixes" peddled cynically by the anti-gun guys in these instances are not a practical solution: The sick and the depraved will merely find other implements for destruction - not a single gunshot was fired, after all, in the carrying-out of 9-11. The Unabomber and Tim McVeigh both used explosives. Those who seek to destroy will seek to destroy, limiting their options merely makes them creative.

EXPLICIT MOVIES, TV, MUSIC & VIDEO-GAMES DID NOT CAUSE THIS, EITHER. My feelings on this are no secret. There has never been, nor is there ever likely to be, conclusive proof or even reasonable evidence to suggest that there has ever been a film, television show, song, game or other work of art that "makes" people do horrible things. Censorship ("self" or otherwise), stricter-ratings, the enforcement of the "family hour," or any of the other "fixes" peddled cynically by the pro-censor "conservatives" (and "liberals," too: looking at you Mr. Lieberman, Mrs. Clinton) are an even less practical solution: The sick and the depraved will simply find other sources to claim "inspiration" from: Hitler loved Wagner. Manson loved The Beatles. Ben Franklin had it right: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

You know what caused this? A CRAZY MAN. You know what worsened it? APPARENT MISMANAGEMENT ON THE LAW-ENFORCEMENT SIDE.

I know that that's not especially comforting. Even though most of us know it on one level or another, no one "likes" to confront head-on the idea that life can be - and so often IS - cruel, unjust and random. That sometimes bad things happen without some definable, "removable" cause. That horrific evil can occur without warning and end without justice. It's not "right." It's not "fair." And it's entirely understandable... indeed entirely human... to be tempted to believe that there always MUST be something to "explain" it, something to have "caused" it. Something which we can find, grasp and maybe even "cut-out" like a polyp or an infected hangnail. But when we succumb to that temptation... when we drop to our knees and beg (knowingly or otherwise) for someone - anyone - to come along and give us something - anything - tangible to "blame"... we leave the doors to our very will open - keys still in the ignition - for anyone to come along and take control of.

Our spirit, our will, our very selves... become weak. And the charlatans, false-prophets and demagogues on all sides and of all stripes specialize in preying upon that very weakness. They want to use your fear, your insecurity, your desire for an "answer" in order to bend you to their will and add your voice to their agenda.

Don't let them.

Don't be weak.


Strength is built through resistance to force and pressure. In this case, resistance to the force of sadness, horror and injustice that beat down on us in these kind of dark times. And the the pressure of those political snake-oil salesmen. who'd use any sign of vulnerability to bend you to their agenda. If you support gun-control, censorship, whatever... fine - but support them because YOU honestly do, not because some sleazebag pundit convinced you supporting them would be a "get-meaning-quick" fix.

Be Strong. Stand eye-to-eye with LIFE and let it know you are not afraid. That you are well aware of how cruel and random and unjust it can be... but that you're still here, with a strong will and a free mind... and you can take it.

P.S. Members of the news media: We are now all aware that this is now "officially" the "worst firearm massacre in American history." We get it. It's significant, it's a moment in history, and you got to cover it. Fine. Now can we please stop announcing this little psychopath's body-count like it's some kind of goddamn sports statistic?? Remember, the thing about keeping records is that someone is always looking to break them.