|Alison Parker at the moment of her death|
We got guns
Dey got guns
All God's chill'en got guns....
The Marx Brothers
from the 1932 film, "Duck Soup"
When was the last time someone was murdered in this country on live TV? November 24, 1963, when Lee Harvey Oswald was gunned down in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters. To the best of my knowledge, it hasn't happened since. Given this nation's perverted obsession with violence, that's surprising. It'll happen again, though. Of that I have no doubt. Petty sad, huh?
As traumatic as Oswald's killing was to the country, he was not a sympathetic figure to be sure. What happened yesterday morning in Roanoke, Virginia was different.
The naiveté of some of the more empty-headed talking heads was something to behold; in fact it stunned the senses. Their hypothetical question went as follows:
Would this latest national trauma, viewed by tens-of-millions of Americans, finally compel the politicians in Washington to do what should have been done decades ago by bringing into being sensible gun-control legislation?
I had my answer for them in the speed of light:
|They smile no more|
Nearly three years ago, twenty innocent little girls and boys were slaughtered - like diseased swine - inside their classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Also murdered that day were six women whose job it was to educate and protect them. If that unbearable tragedy was not enough to influence Congress to do what is morally right, do these silly people seriously believe that the bodies of two dead television journalists will be enough to get them to see the light? Are they kidding me?
Usually tragedies of this magnitude fail to shock me. When the first reports of the Sandy Hook massacre came through the airwaves on the morning of December 14, 2012, so help me I barely batted an eye:
"So, it's happened again, huh?" I said out loud, "And so close to Christmas. Ho, ho, fucking ho."
As I said at the time, I long-ago adjusted myself to living in a nation where this type of unspeakable tragedy is as common as a morning moon. You should adjust to it, too. It makes the coping a helluva lot easier, believe me.
I have to tell you, though that while this latest trauma in the American train-wreck didn't surprise me too much, the images of the murder of reporter Alison Parker, and cameraman Adam Ward were a horrifying thing to be an eyewitness to - and make no mistake about it, we are all eyewitnesses. Most of the news outlets - to their eternal credit - refused to broadcast the carnage. It did, however make its way onto YouTube and Twitter. I did see it. Watching the horror on Alison's beautiful face, hearing her screams of "Oh my God!", was too disturbing and depressing to put into words. I'm sorry, I'm just not that articulate.
|Alison Parker and Adam Ward|
I won't mention the name of the demented asshole who murdered Alison and Adam. He was obviously seeking attention on a national scale but he's not going to get it here. Like the psychopathic little nerd who killed twenty-six innocent human beings in Newtown in December of 2012, he killed himself before he could be bought to justice. That's probably just as well. We want to hear his names - both of them - no more. Let us, instead, remember and honor the names of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. We owe them at least that much.
The person who committed this latest atrocity was able to purchase, with relative ease, the weapon he used to kill these two innocents. If nothing else, that nasty little fact should give the rest of us something to ponder.
A very nice woman who works as a physical therapist in the health care facility where my mother lives, expressed to me her concerns that, as a licensed gun owner, she would think it unfair if she were suddenly denied the right to protect herself. I had to agree with her. But she went through the trouble of going through the process of licensing, registration - not to mention instruction on how to use the firearm now in her possession. She also lives in New York State. The laws here are pretty sensible as far as guns are concerned. And when someone is murdered with an illegal weapon in this part of he country, the gun-in-question is almost always traced to the south, where it was originally purchased and transported up I-95 (or "The Iron Highway" as it is euphemistically referred to by law enforcement).
Don't hold your breath waiting for change to come. That's not going to happen - not now, not ever. Every Republican in Washington (and too many Democrats to count) are in the pocket of the National Rifle Association. The only thing that might change this intolerable situation would be an epidemic of random political assassinations. That would get their attention pretty damn quick. But it would be wrong to hope for such an unspeakable turn-of-events so I'm not even gonna go there (and I would appreciate if you would ignore the fact that I just went there. Thanks a heap).
I am going to now repeat (for the one-hundredth time) a paragraph I wrote on the morning after Newtown. Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but it needs to be said again:
"The NRA types love to jabber away - like diseased little myna birds - about 'freedom'. We need to come to grips with some unpleasant realities. A society that lives in dreaded, mortal terror wondering when and where the next massacre of innocents will take place may indeed be many things - no argument there. 'Free' they are not. Let's just stop kidding ourselves here and now, okay?"
And while you're at it, get used to living in a nation in ruins.
by John Lennon
A really pretty anthem for love and understanding by one of the more celebrated victims of gun violence in America. He's gone and he's not coming back.
WAS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY OR WHAT!