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Yesterday, following yet another gun-related mass murder, this time in Connecticut, President Obama ordered all flags on government properties be flown at half mast. The president was visibly emotional when he announced the order.
Newspaper headlines today include words like horror, trauma, massacre, slaughter and evil. But no words can fully capture the darkness that descended over an elementary school in Connecticut yesterday morning at 9:30 AM. No words.
No words, or sympathies, or.....anything....can comfort parents of murdered children. There will never be any closure....there will never be any 'getting past' the mindless slaughter of kindergarteners. The scars, the pain will never go away.
Worse....we all know that there will be another mass killing involving guns....lots of guns....in our national future. And then another.....and...
Until we can no longer be shocked.
We have become half-mast nation......in a continual state of mourning.
Many ask where was god when Adam Lanza was gunning down 20 little children for no reason. God was in the same place he was during the slaughter of 6 million Jews in the 1940's. God was in the same place he was when over a million Cambodians were slaughtered like cattle in the 1970's. God was in the same place he was on 9-11-01.
Every time one of these massacres happens, we are told by conscienceless opportunists that it wasn't the fault of semi-automatic guns or military-style ammo clips or the ease in which virtually any American can obtain those things....that explains how these horrors happen. No, no....it's because god has been kicked out of our schools. God can no longer protect kindergarteners in public school because god is no longer welcome in our schools.
Quite a god. Touchy. A god who gets offended easily over little things....like being addressed publicly in prayer.....but not too offended to stand back and observe 20 kindergarteners brutally slaughtered, all without lifting a finger.
God doesn't get involved.
Because god doesn't get involved, humans must. But humans are conflicted.
On the one hand, ours is the nation which has fully embraced torture, assassinations, pre-emptive war, offshore gulags, and the full surrender of our 4th amendment rights in the wake of a mass murder on 9-11. We moved heaven and earth.....and a few trillion dollars....in a massive effort to lay down our constitutional rights in response to 9-11.
On the other hand, we will do nothing at all in the wake of the slaughter of 20, five-to-six year old children. Just as we did nothing after a similar slaughter in a movie theater in Colorado. Just as we did nothing after the attempted assassination of a U.S. congresswoman in Arizona. We will do absolutely nothing.
We are told by those who enrich themselves through the manufacture and sale of hand held killing devices that second amendment rights prevent our nation from doing anything about these horrifying slaughters. Freedom....and so forth.
We are told by those elected officials who represent the interests of gun manufacturers and the NRA enforcers who keep those elected officials in line....that freedom prevents us from doing anything about guns. Our hands are tied......gun-related mass slaughters are just the cost of freedom. Guns don't kill people.....you know....people kill people.
Ours is a nation which should keep the flag at half-mast, permanently. A nation that should be in constant mourning.
Today, I can't relate to what some Connecticut parents are experiencing. It's impossible.
Except for the feeling of hopelessness.
Those parents have no hope this morning....their children will never come home again.
The rest of us, also, have no hope this morning. No hope that America can any longer confront and solve it's most pressing and obvious problems.
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