The nation’s untreated wound

Terrorist_nation_gunsThe nation suffers an open wound that we refuse to treat even after the worst mass shooting in American history.

In Orlando, a semi-automatic assault rifle, in the hands of a soulless assassin, hurled 20 deathly shots every 9 seconds, ripping the flesh and organs of the young and defenseless with the fury and power one could hardly resist.

Innocent young men and women who tried to hide couldn’t.

In the moments before the rain of fire, they were unsuspecting, happy, having fun, dancing at a club about to close in the early morning hours, and, what sounded like fire crackers, as they couldn’t know better, was gunfire; those who were not close to an exit to escape, were stranded, shot at will, as they cowered, and, in the end, 49 would die, and another 53 would be injured or left fighting to live.

Those who ran and escaped were torn, felt guilty, for those they left behind.

This place of unholy devastation was encircled by a community of compassion while the killer continued to hunt those trapped inside.

A Mother traded anxious texts with her son, hiding inside, waiting for the police, hoping to be reunited with his Mom, until the moment he texted, “I’m gonna die.” And he did.

There were long waits to discover if a friend or family member made the list of the injured and had survived. Or was on the death roll.

The urge of this inhumane worthless sociopath was founded in intolerance and hate aimed at the club’s regulars – at Latinos and Gays.

The shooter fancied himself a political terrorist acting on behalf of ISIS – apparently without ISIS knowing he existed.

Afterwards, too many public figures bowed their head in silence. But offered nothing else.

In Orlando, two young girls placed flowers on the cars of the families in waiting, to give comfort in some small respect, for those anxious to know whether a loved one was no more or had survived. These two girls did much more than those who stood in silence.

The Speaker of the House asked for silence.

That was all.

The Senate “may” yet act.

Or not.

We have been here before when, in the end, nothing changed.

What made this disaster more likely was the political rhetoric that this presidential campaign season has promoted making it acceptable to spread hate and urge violence.

As a kid in the South Bronx, we had a rhyme, “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you.”

Life instructs us that’s not even close to true.

Indignity and inhumanity are insufferable to the persons scorned.

Worse, making it acceptable to say such hurtful things, gives license to the worst human tendencies to hate and harm.

In recent days, too many citizens have turned from our nation’s early promise of equal rights and toward intolerance, and become unthinkingly eager to cast out one group or other – Gays, Latinos, Muslims.

Thus may indecent public discourse have made possible this flawed and evil actor in Orlando.

We are so proud of how “exceptional” we are as a nation that we refuse to consider how Australia outlawed all guns after they suffered a mass killing.

We refuse to outlaw assault weapons that have no general use for any acceptable civilian purpose.

We refuse to require gun owners to submit to background checks no matter where or how they get their guns.

We refuse to withhold weapons from those who make our terrorist watch list.

What kind of a nation have we become?

What are we going to do to stop this gun violence?

And when?

Each of us must resolve to act, to insist on protections against gun violence that we should have had all along.

We must brush aside those who make a show, of bowing their heads in silence, but who do nothing else.

2 thoughts on “The nation’s untreated wound

  1. TravisW

    I continue to be puzzled as to why some try to make this into a Muslim issue. While the shooter’s religious beliefs certainly played a role the views he had are not unique to his religion. In the days following the attacks several Christian preachers within the U.S.A agreed with the shooter’s actions and hoped more would die, not just as a result of that shooting but from future ones to come as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see statistics that most attacks within this county on the gay community are carried out by Christians.

    Not to be cliche but I’ve known several Muslims including a few I’ve worked with for years. Some of them are obviously more religious or at least publicly observant than others but not a single one puts me in fear of my life. I’ve met several Christians who have made me fearful for my life and others.

  2. John Ghaffari

    I don’t know where to start with this….I am completely baffled as to how a man that has made it as far as being an attorney can be so clueless regarding a topic and then try to make himself an authority and influence others. You are spreading completely false and misleading information to your “constituents” who may actually believe your assertions and perpetuate them, thus creating the kind of ignorant populace we have in this country today.
    First, “Thus may indecent public discourse have made possible this flawed and evil actor in Orlando.”
    The only indecent public discourse that caused this is the belief among Muslims that gays must be exterminated. Just look at the majority of Middle Eastern Muslim countries….even the so called “moderate” Muslims say that gays should be put to death. Women in these countries are treated as little more than cattle (cattle are usually treated better). Yet you say nothing about this, you try to blame law abiding gun owners, instead of the real culprit: the Islamic intolerance to gays that brought this about, not the political discourse in this country. Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me??? I would rather be called a name than have sticks and stones hurled at me. There is no evidence that being called names ignited this man’s rage, but there is evidence that the gospel he subscribes to encouraged his misguided and dangerous beliefs, beliefs that are completely antithetical to American and Christian beliefs.
    Second, you state “We refuse to outlaw assault weapons that have no general use for any acceptable civilian purpose.”
    There is no such thing as an “assault weapon”. The gun this nut used was little more than a weak hunting rifle. Most deer hunting rifles use upwards of a .30-.30 round. The rifle he used was a .223 whose bullet is hardly larger than a .22. As a matter of fact, it is so weak that it is illegal in most states, Virginia included, to hunt deer with it, as it may only wound the deer. Also, it is not an automatic weapon, it is a SEMI-automatic rifle, one trigger pull=one shot. The term “assault weapon” is a made up term by politicians used to demonize the AR15, to make it appear to be evil and ominous and have a life of its own…And politicians have successfully duped the uninformed into believing that this is the same weapon used by the military and is only intended for the battle field. It is NOT a military weapon. And it does in fact have many civilian uses, from ridding your property of unwanted varmints, to hunting small animals, to the most important use, self-defense (which, last time I looked was still legal and a virtue).
    And third, and worst of all something I see repeated erroneously so much by “progressives” and parroted by gullible voters, “We refuse to require gun owners to submit to background checks no matter where or how they get their guns.”
    Flat out false. Period. You cannot buy a gun in any state that I am aware of, legally and from a licensed dealer, WITHOUT submitting to a background check. Have you tried? It is the law and no gun owner I have ever heard of has any issue with this. And that is, after all, what we are talking about, isn’t it? Legal purchase? Illegal purchases will take place regardless of any laws imposed. By the very nature of a criminal, he flouts and ignores any law you put in place. All the discussion, dialogue and sweet talk will not change that. All the laws apply to those of us that actually have respect for laws and strive to follow them. A person that is intent on committing a crime with a gun will find a way to get a gun, whether by stealing, buying illegally on the street, etc. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you try? If there is any failure here it is on the side of the flawed databases behind the background checks. We already have so many gun laws on the books that DO NOT WORK, yet you insist we need an “honest dialogue” (politician speak for see it my way or no way) and MORE laws that only serve to hamper law abiding citizens’ rights which are supposed to be protected by the US Constitution.
    I feel you owe the people of your county an apology and a correction for at the very least the last point. Your assertion is so egregiously and blatantly wrong (and I hope this was an error in research and not an attempt to purposely deceive to further an agenda). Please do more research on any topic you write about, before you make these assertions. As an attorney, I truly hope you did this before going to court!

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