Blown Away by Kindness and Love, Rather than Fear and Hatred | Military Suicides |

Since the last massacre, while Obama talks of setting up legislation to somehow deal with the gun lobby and the NRA’s strangle hold on the U.S. Government, in the meantime, a massive amount of gun sales have been taking place all over the country. Those people who think that they need to preserve their right to have arms to protect themselves against criminals and the US Govt., are buying up every single weapon that they can get their hands on.

On December 21st, I hitchhiked to New York city to spend the day celebrating the winter solstice with other people in Make Music New York – taking place on each solstice. One of the people who gave me a ride, was a man who had just returned from Iraq the day before. He woke up at 5 in the morning, and decided to come to this massive ‘outdoor retailer’ with the intention of buying a weapon. He talked briefly on his cell phone with a friend, to whom he explained that ‘the shelves were almost empty’, so many people had been doing the same thing as he, going out to buy a weapon before his right to do so would be taken away.

Though I didn’t feel unsafe riding with this person, the fact that he had a weapon in his trunk, didn’t exactly make me feel secure. He wasn’t able to go under the river and through the tunnel into NYC, because of this weapon. He had to drop me off outside of it. The next driver who did take me through the tunnel was a taxi driver, who I explained as I waved that I’m hitching, not wanting to pay a cab fee. He said okay, said he’d drop me off as soon as we got into Manhattan. But before he let me out of the car, he insisted that I participate in a prayer with him. He said that he had previously had someone hold a gun on him and shoot him, and he survived, obviously. He explained that he had been blessed by accepting Jesus Christ into his heart. He wanted to ‘pay it forward’ and made me repeat after him, a prayer to acknowledge my sins and to accept Christ into my life as someone who had died for my sins. His intention was to protect me.

It brought tears to my eyes. This very dark skinned man from somewhere in Africa, truly moved me with his words and gestures of kindness; not only towards me, but towards every other individual with whom he had contact- a friend on the phone, people he paid the toll to, some other stranger who he interacted with. He showed so much kindness and respect. I was really somewhat blown away…fortunately not by bullets coming from fear or hatred, but by his love.

Yesterday a 5 second sound bite on the national news (they may have given the subject 10 seconds) mentioned that more U.S. soldiers have died from suicide in the last year, than combat.

Easy Access to Guns | Violence in Video Gaming | Role Playing of a Disfigured Youth |

Bet you any amount of money that the black trench coat sporting, automatic weapon carrying kid that blew away his mother and 20 children and 6 teachers at her school, regularly played video games…that lovely multi billion dollar industry whose number one participants are 17 to 37 year old males worldwide – involving extreme violence and compulsive playing tactics. [I’ve since learned that he lived in a windowless basement, bunker type atmosphere and played World of Warcraft and Call of Duty.]

Promo_for_Video_Game_Call_of_Duty_re_Norway_massacre
The only reason that i know a little bit about video games, is that my German ex boyfriend (who was physically violent towards me a number of times) was an alcoholic in addition to being a compulsive gamer. He’d prefer to stay in his room smoking cigarettes, in need of incessant stimuli (mediocre to lowbrow TV), instead of engaging in nature, hobbies to develop himself or interacting with real people. I hadn’t known about this until after I’d already been enamored and charmed by the otherwise gregarious & friendly sportsman who played on my team.

Seems that a number of these black trench coat wearing guys with weapons and ammunition tucked in their coats are playing out an imaginary role, because they have ‘no life’ to engage in to otherwise empower themselves and feel happiness, satisfaction and pride.

Instead, the laziness combined with psychological disturbances and feeling lost in an already misguided society (which puts greed, money and superficial accoutrements ahead of honesty, an esteem for learning and education, curiosity, appreciation and love for life). So that distractions, drugs, games, TV, various stimuli and artificial identifications take place of real life, real people, real engagement and active involvement in things in which one can develop feelings of pride, satisfaction, a sense of achievement and feeling a part of a community.

The drugs of choice differ in the different countries. Otherwise, the fantasy and gaming are the same. The only problem is that in the United States, guns are so easily acquired, like buying a six pack, that the sickest individuals can play out their darkest uncontrolled fantasies of power, devastating the lives of innocent people as fast as it takes to pull a trigger. I think that not only are the manufacturers of weapons to blame, but the dominant war happy country that we live in, the Hollywood idealization of violence and the gun lobby of the narrow minded people who think that their rights are wrapped up in their ‘right’ to protect themselves. I bet that this kid’s mother who bought the weapons in her name, thought that she was doing the right thing, that people need to protect themselves in this ‘dangerous’ world.

However, the more this mentality is toted; of locking doors, fearing strangers and being afraid, the more people will keep buying weapons, and arm themselves. I find the huge number of SUVs that blanket America, sport utility death machines to save their own ass in case they’re involved in an automobile accident also alarming. In which the owner who sports this oversized machine will typically inflict massive damage and more than likely death, to whoever is involved in an accident with them and their over-sized vehicle. Yes, I rant about the U.S., yet there are plenty of countries throughout the world with very misguided priorities and more maligned actions; towards people with less power, woman, animals which can’t defend themselves and the environment. Yet there’s something terribly wrong about this opulent country with a preponderance of fat cars, fat guns, fat houses, fat drug use, fat bodies and fat denial. Yes, I’m angry and listened to this information with tears running down my face.

And it appears that this is the case, looking at the headline in the British newspaper, the Independent “Adam Lanza: A head full of video games and a house full of guns” “When investigators found his computer at the house, the hard drive had been smashed, presumably by Lanza. He is said to have been a fan of computer games featuring warfare and killing.” Perusing the internet on this subject, I also found this article. “College Killer Crazy for Violent Video Game” “The man who gunned down five people and wounded 16 in an Illinois classroom rampage was a loner who preferred studying to partying and was obsessed with an ultra-violent video game, dormitory mates said yesterday.”

And this one in The Daily, “Video Game Killer”, regarding the Norway massacre. “For years, people have been trying to link video games and violence. Yesterday, Norway’s Muslim-hating mass murderer made the connection.Anders Behring Breivik, on trial for last summer’s bombings in Oslo and shooting massacre on an island summer camp that killed 77 people, testified that he used an edition of the first-person shooting game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to train for his heinous crime.”

In his most recent “Note From Michael Moore“, he states “I’m convinced the majority of Americans will now back strong gun control laws. And a better mental health care system. And perhaps a few are willing to look at the deeper issue of how this country officially sanctions violence as a means to an end…you know all those nuts that fear you’re going to take their guns? You can take their guns now.”

Dr. Drew Pinsky has some thoughtful words to help those people who were immediately involved to heal, and is negotiating and talking with a lot of people to come up with ways to avert these crisis in the future.

I just learned through the Independent News broadcasters, Democracy Now, that there had been another mass shooting in Newtown Australia. “In the wake of the Newtown killings that left 27 people dead on Friday, we go to another New Town — in Australia — the home of a mass shooting that killed 35 people in 1996. Just 12 days after what became known as the Port Arthur massacre, Australia’s government responded by announcing a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. There have been no mass killings since. We’re joined by Rebecca Peters, an international arms control advocate who led the campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre. She also produced the landmark report, “Gun Control in the United States: A Comparative Survey of State Firearm Laws,” with the Open Society Institute in New York.

Gun Violence in America | Sponsored by Hollywood Ills | Sensationalized in News Media

Several days ago there was the case of a bright, witty and caring 17 year guy shot several times and killed by his 72 year old grandmother,with her automatic weapon. In a separate incident, an emotionally sick individual (ironically who had studied the biological origins of neurological and brain disorders) open fired in the packed midnight screening of the Batman sequel “Dark Night Rises”, living out his fantasy, and getting a hell of a lot of media attention for his, in Obama’s words, heinous act. All of this points to the absurd availability of guns, and with their accessibility, how ridiculously simple it is for an individual to, in a matter of seconds, pull a trigger and end someone’s life. Let’s wake up AmeriKa. As written in this New York Times article, “Once again, with a squeeze of a trigger, just 20 miles from Columbine High School, scene of the 1999 student massacre, the nation was plunged into another debate about guns and violence. He had purchased four guns at local gun shops.” Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/us/shooting-at-colorado-theater-showing-batman-movie.html This is not about the right to carry a weapon, we aren’t living in the Wild West. We already slaughtered the Native American Indians with our weapons 200 years ago. This is not about the ‘right’ to bear arms, it is about the absurdity of thinking that one ‘needs’ to bear arms. We need to rethink, educate and really rock the boat in a different direction. Obama’s message of valuing life and acknowledging your blessings, could not have been a better response. This isn’t about the enemy and evil empires (Bush’s response to 911), this is about what this empire has spun and created. Now it’s time to start gracefully taking a dramatically different stance. Respecting life, respecting one another. War is a crime. Battles between gangsters is a crime. Intolerance is a crime. Anything can become a weapon, even something healthy, food, can be used for toxicity rather than nutrition, but that doesn’t imply that it’s okay to mass market extremely unhealthy food, nor mass market extremely dangerous weapons. Eyes wide shut with the gun lobby greed, let’s wake up and get our priorities straight!

Though this report took place soon after the incident, at which time Amy Goodman had not had a lot of information, it nevertheless approaches the subject of the endemic gun violence in the United States. She interviews Mary Kershner, a registered nurse, gun control advocate, and founding member of Nurses Advocating Gun Safety, speaking from Denver, Colorado. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/20/denver_shooting_rampage_leaves_12_dead Ironically, the Gun Show will be taking place in Colorado in the next weeks.

Here’s a more recent interview on Democracy Now with Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting who was shot 4 times, and is now an active participant with the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.

And well, what’s more poignant than this /-)) http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-july-23-2012/aurora—gun-control

Here’s a more recent article in the New York Times, “Military Suicides Rising a Focus on Private Weapons” discussing the rate of suicides among soldiers, and the fact that they are predominantly occurring with the individual’s private fire arm. “According to Defense Department statistics, more than 6 of 10 military suicides are by firearms, with nearly half involving privately owned guns. In the civilian population, guns are also the most common method of suicide among young males, though at a somewhat lower rate. When active-duty troops who live on bases or are deployed are identified as potentially suicidal, commanders typically take away their military firearms. But commanders do not have that authority with private firearms kept off base.”