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Year Three, Day 278: Dark Times

Today is a low day.

My heart is aching for the victims of yesterday's shooting in Florida.  My mind is reeling from all the opinions being plastered all over social media. Debates about gun control, more help for the mentally ill, more work done to prevent bullying, more accountability from the community to report those displaying suspicious behavior...

But in Parkland, Florida, there are grieving families and friends of the 17 people gunned down. I cannot imagine their pain.

One positive note is that the shooter was arrested. Alive. 

Most of the shooters in recent history either killed themselves, or were shot by the police.

Perhaps understanding his motives, his mindset, his life, family and friends will shed some light on how to prevent further tragedies.

I know, I know: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Indeed.

But the continued slaughter of innocent life is incomprehensible.

I could go on and on. I have before. As many of you have.

I wish I could just go hide in a cave. And sleep for a very long time. And perhaps when I wake up, it will be to a much more peaceful world.

What a fairy tale.  I had a discussion with my son-in-law earlier today. We were at the post office. He pointed out that their flag was at half mast.  We talked about the need for more security everywhere.  My son-in-law is a bow hunter. And a very responsible gun owner.

I told him I would never own a gun. Because I have a temper. And I am prone to depression.

But the truth is, I have matured since my young self-centered, overly dramatic days. Now I believe in God. I am able to sacrifice my needs for others. I am not very materialistic. I try not to harbor ill will against anyone. Instead, I pray for them. I simply do not want a gun because I do not wish to kill.

I would, however, if I needed to defend myself or a loved one. Especially a child. I am no saint.

I have been considering taking martial arts again. Truth is, if I could afford a gun, I might buy one. Perhaps a small pistol.

But not an AR-15.

Funny thing is, AR does not stand for "assault rifle" as I had thought (and apparently so many others do too).

"The name AR-15 (AR stands for ArmaLite, not assault rifle, which is a common misconception) is trademarked by the firearms manufacturer Colt. But since the patent on the weapon's operating system ran out, a host of other manufacturers began making their own variants of the popular rifle."

Apparently it is the weapon of choice for mass shooters because:

 "the AR-15 has soared in popularity" because it's "customizable, adaptable, reliable and accurate." It is also versatile and can be used for "sport shooting, hunting and self-defense situations," the NRA said, adding the ability to "personalize" so many of the rifle's components "is one of the things that makes it so unique...They’re accurate and they can basically shoot as quickly as you can pull the trigger,” 

Interesting.  My son-in-law and I actually discussed the fact that there is a copy-cat mentality in these shootings:

  "But Dean Hazen, owner of The Gun Experts in Mahomet, Ill., and a master firearms instructor, said the reason mass shooters are turning to the AR-15 is due to a "copy-cat" mentality more than any feature of the rifle."
So very sad on so many levels.

How low our society has sunk that some people want to emulate very violent, disturbed people. Instead of heroes, great athletes, great thinkers, great musicians, etc.

We are indeed living in dark times.  I wonder if in the future, if there is one for humankind, they will call these the "dark times".

I wonder what this future will look like?

I am running out of words. I want to find a dark place and just cry.

But I have students to teach.

And that is the little step I can do. Just like after 9-11. I spoke with a massage client. We were feeling helpless. I asked him if he wanted a massage. I felt like if I could do my work, in a kind way and help one person, and then he in turn helped one person, we could somehow get through the pain.

We did. And there are people who continue to do good.  

But sometimes these acts of evil just stop us in our tracks.

Perhaps as we stand still, it would be a good time to just breathe. To think of good things we can do. To be grateful for what we have. And to pray for those who are suffering.

On that note, I wish you a peaceful Thursday.

I will talk to you again tomorrow.

Much love,


P.S. I managed to do my daily hooping today. Here is the video. Day 238.


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