Do You Hear What I Hear?

I realize that today everyone will probably be talking about the same thing.  I’ve tried to avoid it, play with stuffed Snowmen, etc, but it doesn’t go away.  Considering I try hard NOT to watch the highly sensationalized news, it is amazing the kind of stuff you can get from Facebook News.  Oh sure, we hear about the Godless peanut butter Christmas trees with their poop shapes.  The whole world hears it.  It’s on “trending news.” on Facebook.  Guess what else is on there?  Almost every. single. day.  A shooting.

It is so common, it’s on “trending news.”  Trending news.

I sent a text to a friend.

Me: There’s been another shooting.

My friend: Where this time?

Isn’t this sad?  Listen to our words – actually speak them out loud and listen.  “Another shooting.”  “Where this time?”  That’s how desensitized we are, because this happens as often as political candidates say stupid stuff.  And once again, they are being super helpful- offering thoughts and prayers.  God has heard our prayers.  But here’s the thing – God helps those who help themselves.  As this Sandy Hook senator says:

It's about time.

It’s about time.

If you’ll recall, in 2012, there were 20 children, five and six-year-olds, and six staffers, who never returned home from Sandy Hook Elementary that day.  Because Adam Lanza had access to guns.  So what’s the solution?  Well, take them away from mentally ill people naturally!  But here’s the thing – we send young men and women in the military overseas to war.  We have them kill.  And that’s okay.  We certainly don’t assume they are mentally ill.  But, you might say, these “crazed shooters” are shooting innocent people.  Yes, they are.  So are our military.  Sometimes, on accident, they even shoot each other.

This isn’t a diatribe against the military.  I feel for our soldiers who are over there acting as chess pieces for our government officials who sit behind desks and make decisions.  These are people who think all terrorism is from brown people, or Muslims, and it’s almost all Over There, and the best way to take care of it is to send in more guns, more tanks, more bombs, more violence.  These are the people who are worried that letting in Syrian refugees will fill our country with terror.  Guess what?  It’s already here.

I feel for our people in this country, people who depend upon politicians to help make laws to prevent this sort of thing.  Because Isis was not behind Sandy Hook.  They weren’t behind the Oklahoma City bombings where babies in a daycare center died.  They weren’t behind the attacks on Planned Parenthood.  They didn’t put guns in the hands of children only to have them shoot themselves or their siblings.  They weren’t behind the 161 school shootings in America since 2013.  Here’s a list for you.  Keep in mind that I have only including shootings at schools, and only shootings that happened this year, 2015, not including the most recent events.

11/29/2015 Columbus, OH Ohio State University College or University Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
11/11/2015 Sulphur Rock, AR Sulphur Rock Magnet School Middle School Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
11/10/2015 Lecanto, FL Lecanto High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
11/5/2015 Moultrie, GA Vereen School Middle School Gun fired but no one injured
11/1/2015 Winston-Salem, NC Winston-Salem State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/25/2015 Durham, NC North Carolina Central University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/24/2015 San Antonio, TX Ed White Middle School Middle School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/15/2015 San Antonio, TX Wagner High School High School Gun fired but no one injured
10/15/2015 Langston, OK Langston University College or University Gun fired but no one injured
10/11/2015 Tampa, FL University of South Florida College or University Gun fired but no one injured
10/9/2015 Flagstaff, AZ Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/9/2015 Houston, TX Texas Southern University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/6/2015 Houston, TX Texas Southern University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/2/2015 University City, MO University City High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
10/1/2015 Roseburg, OR Umpqua Community College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/30/2015 Harrisburg, SD Harrisburg High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/28/2015 Butte, MT Montana Tech of the University of Montana College or University Gun fired but no one injured
9/22/2015 Statesville, NC Central Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/14/2015 Cleveland, MS Delta State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/11/2015 Lafayette, LA Northside High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/3/2015 Sacramento, CA Sacramento City College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/27/2015 Savannah, GA Savannah State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/26/2015 Houston, TX Texas Southern University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/25/2015 Augusta, GA Hornsby Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
8/23/2015 Richmond, TX William Velasquez Elementary Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
8/8/2015 Wichita, KS Wichita State College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
8/8/2015 Paradise, TX Paradise High School High School Gun fired but no one injured
7/27/2015 Gainesville, FL University of Florida College or University Gun fired but no one injured
7/24/2015 Converse, TX Elolf Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
7/5/2015 Dallas, TX Coppell Middle School East Middle School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
6/23/2015 Fort Calhoun, NE Fort Calhoun Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
6/4/2015 Franklin, NC South Macon Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
5/27/2015 Everglades City, FL Everglades City School Preschool Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
5/24/2015 Flint, MI Southwestern Classical Academy High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
5/20/2015 Robinson, TX Robinson High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
5/12/2015 Tempe, AZ Corona del Sol High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
5/5/2015 Conyers, GA Conyers Middle School Middle School Gun fired but no one injured
5/4/2015 Cleveland, OH Willow Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
5/4/2015 Orem, UT Utah Valley Univeristy College or University Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
4/27/2015 Lacey, WA North Thurston High School High School Gun fired but no one injured
4/22/2015 Las Vegas, NV Ruthe Deskin Elementary School Elementary School Gun fired but no one injured
4/19/2015 Dover, DE Delaware State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/19/2015 Charlotte, NC Johnson C. Smith University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/18/2015 Dover, DE Delaware State University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/17/2015 Seguin, TX Seguin High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
4/13/2015 Goldsboro, NC Wayne Community College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/4/2015 Everett, WA Everett Community College College or University Gun fired but no one injured
4/2/2015 Jackson, TN Lane College College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
4/2/2015 Monaca, PA Community College of Beaver County College or University Gun fired unintentionally resulting in injury or death
3/9/2015 Coon Rapids, MN Northwest Passage High School High School Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
2/23/2015 Daytona Beach, FL Bethune-Cookman University College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/15/2015 Merced, CA Tenaya Middle School Middle School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/15/2015 Little Rock, AR Lawson Elementary School Elementary School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/15/2015 Athens, GA University of Georgia College or University Gun fired but no one injured
2/5/2015 Columbia, SC University of South Carolina College or University Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/4/2015 Frederick, MD Frederick High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
2/2/2015 Mankato, MN Minnesota State University College or University Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
1/26/2015 Roseville, MN Hand and Hand Montessori Preschool Attempted or completed suicide, with no intent to injure other person
1/23/2015 Hardeeville, SC Royal Live Oaks Academy High School Gun fired but no one injured
1/20/2015 Mobile, AL Williamson High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
1/16/2015 Ocala, FL Vanguard High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
1/15/2015 Milwaukee, WI Wisconson Lutheran High School High School Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death

A short time ago, my daughter’s high school made news because a kid brought a gun to school.  The police got right on it, and the kid was quickly apprehended.   Whether this kid was planning on shooting someone, or whether he was just showing off was not clear.  But it makes you think.  These shootings are happening every day.  I can promise you no one in San  San Bernardino was expecting there to be shooting at a center for the disabled yesterday.  No one in Sandy Hook that day thought they’d be dropping off their children for the last time.  Yet somehow, we think we are separate from this – that it happens to other people.

We have drills, but no one takes them seriously.  My daughter was angry at how many kids were completely unconcerned about the weapon on their school campus.  But it’s not just high school.  I work at a university, where we had a lockdown because there was a possible armed shooter who had robbed a fast food store across from the school.  Everyone went about their business.  As it turned out, there was no danger.  But they didn’t know that.  And now, they can feel more secure because we allow students and staff to carry concealed hand guns on campus.  Because that is the answer.  Arm the teachers, arm the students, arm the little two-year-old who was shot by her five-year-old brother, who will live with that death for the rest of his life.

Don’t blame guns.  Blame the mentally ill.  Because you have to be crazy to shoot a bunch of people, right?  I think that most people who kill someone either have something wrong with them, or they soon will, even if it is because they were ordered to do it, or because it was in self-defense.  Because it’s not right, and you don’t have to be a Christian – too many of whom support the NRA and are against any, ANY kind of gun control – to know this.  Mentally ill people are much more likely to aim the gun at themselves as they are to aim it at other people.  We’ve lived with our illnesses all our lives.  But in today’s society, when our lives are in such stress, when so many people who work their butts off don’t have enough money to pay rent, or medical bills, or buy groceries; yeah it doesn’t take much for someone to snap.  The majority of Americans are one layoff or one major medical condition away from financial disaster.  Students are under so much pressure – from parents, from teachers, from their peers to keep their grades up, to stay out of trouble but still stay cool, to hurry up and get into the work force that fries so many everyday adults.  You don’t have to have a diagnosed illness for this to affect you.

Back in 1962, we were faced with a little something known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Russians had their nukes aimed at us from Cuba and our president was having to carefully negotiate a game of international chicken.  During that time, a man wrote a song I once joked about, because it is kind of a weird song.  “Do you hear what I hear?”, I just discovered on the History Channel, was written during this time of fear, and it called for peace for the people everywhere.  The song was made a hit by Bing Crosby a year later, just a month before our president’s funeral – a young man also killed by a gun.

Do you hear what I hear?  I hope it is finally protests – demands that we have better gun control – which does not mean go take away guns.  It means control their use, with such bizarre ideas as waiting periods, more gun training, no more “cop-killer” weapons, keeping weapons out of the hands of at least our own children.  It means get help for everyone, mentally ill or no, police officer or no, who feels they need to shoot a gun for some release.  We are the ones who elect our politicians to make laws for us.  It’s up to us.  Because it is way past time for merely thoughts and prayers.

 

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13 responses

  1. The problem with making it a “mental health” issue is that we’re all one bad day away from being mentally ill

  2. So messed up. Yes, our military people are chess pieces for the ones who sit in cushy chairs. I have aa solution for that. Stop the fn nonsense and remove the bigwigs from their cushy chairs and lock them in a room while naked..they can figjt it out. We have drills but no one takes them seriously. Blame the mentally ill for all the shootings. So messed up.

    1. I think if the guys in the cushy chairs had to pick up guns and go to war, they’d find some way around that war thing.

  3. I couldn’t have said this better! I think I’ll share a link to this on my blog.

  4. “The problem is mental illness, not gun control” argument is a load

    1. (wrong button)…a load of crap, and here’s why: if the goal is to prevent mentally ill people from buying guns, you either have to permanently institutionalize every mentally ill person, or block them from buying guns. The first option is plainly unrealistic. The second means universal background check, and a mandatory mental health evaluation for every prospective gun buyer, because without both obstacles, mentally ill people are still able to legally buy guns. So “the problem is mental illness” still means that the problem is lax gun control, not mental illness – but we know that the people who make the mental health argument will fight tooth and nail against any gun control restrictions – and, in other words, FOR the right of mentally ill people to keep buying gun.
      And I didn’t even get to the point that mental illness isn’t a static condition.

      1. Exactly. Also it isn’t one condition. Depression and anxiety, for instance, are a far cry from full blown psychosis. And all of these conditions can be treated well with medication – saying the person is able to afford insurance to pay for it. Oh but wait, we don’t want to cover medical bills! Better just get them guns . . .

  5. That is a scary long list. Alice, move to the UK. We can’t guarantee you work, or food, and even the NHS is under threat just now, but we don’t have the gun problem.

    1. I think more about that every day, faith. Say a prayer for the US.

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