Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Shock to the System

I cannot fathom the mindset of a couple, who drop off their six month old daughter with her grandmother and then attend the company holiday party. Hubby and wife then depart only to return to the party to slaughter 14 people, and injuring at least seventy more. Now when mom drops off her baby with grandma for the day, grandma will have to ask, "Will you be early, or are you killing your co-workers today?" What could possibly motivate both husband and wife (husband was born in America) to stock up on armaments, strap on bulletproof vests, climb into their black SUV and then proceed to commit one of the most heinous crimes in recent U.S. history?

Terrorism is just a label. Of course, we're all terrorized now. Anybody can buy a gun, order ammunition online, pick up assault rifles at a convention, and it's all legal. The illegal part is what you as the consumer decide to do with your arsenal of deadly weapons. Did someone laugh at you instead of with you at work recently? Maybe you have a firm belief that you can blow yourself into a million meaty bits, taking out dozens with you, and end up in Allahland with 72 virgins. That means another 72 fresh virgins, waiting around for every deadly Tom, Dick and Akbar to show up at their door, reassembled and reanimated after their suicide attack to get their lovin'.

The fourteen victims of the shooting in San Bernardino last week.
The gun argument is a no-brainer to me and unfortunately, it seems that those without brains are winning the argument. The young married couple, who splashed the headlines with the most recent bloodbath on U.S. soil, got all of their weapons and armaments legally. Yet, we have pasty chicken hawks in charge of the deciding gun laws. The insane are now definitely running the asylum.

High profile mass murders like the recent incident in San Bernardino, make people confused and angry. Even I start having thoughts such as, Maybe we should drag the shooters' bodies through the streets, like they do in the Middle East. I don't even have to go deep down to know that more gunfire, and explosions are not the answer unless the answer you're looking for is more death. We've glorified murder and guns for a long time here in Corporate America. From cowboys and Indians to cops and robbers, it's always good guys vs. bad guys until the dust settles and we all wake up with blood on our hands.

I am heartbroken and sick for the shooting victims and their families, but let's also keep in mind that about one hundred people die every day in car accidents. That means nearly twenty-thousand people will lose their lives in vehicular collisions before Santa has a chance to fill their stockings with candy or coal, depending on their behavior throughout the year. Approximately 1500 people die every day from heart disease. The numbers are slightly lower for cancer patients. Suicides account for a just over a hundred deaths nationwide on a daily basis. That's another twenty-thousand human beings that are going to end their lives before being able to open their presents, or take the obligatory phone call from mom and dad. No more holidays. No more weekends. No more breaths, or heartbeats, or thoughts of tomorrow.

I cannot imagine the pain one must be under to be able to slide the cold barrel of a pistol into their mouth and squeeze their thumb one last time, ejecting their brains onto the wall for loved ones to clean up. Pain is contagious and sometimes is used as a weapon against others. Their is no sensible reason for a young couple to enter a building during the middle of a workday and start killing people with cold precision and forethought. Motives mean nothing to the families of the victims. Whatever impetus brought about this bloody massacre is insane and insoluble.

There are not many bright sides on these dark rainy days lately. I am always happy to be the father of my wonderful son, and I yearn for his presence when he's not around. I cherish my intellectual curiosity and overall skepticism.  I greatly value my compassion and empathy for others, even though being more nonchalant would be less emotionally burdensome. Human thought has been so destructive over time, especially when the more harmful thoughts are transformed into action. 

Let's try to dig beneath the veneer of this holiday season and find the love we have for ourselves and others. Let's share our smile today. We are all human beings, frail and fearful. We need to love and support each other, or we're merely bystanders, fiddling about while the world burns down. Religion is not needed to love and cherish our fellow human beings, just empathy and a listening ear.

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