Anatomy Of A Massacre – I – Parkland, Florida 2018
Just another day. Pretty much like any other. But not for everyone. Not if you live in Parkland Florida. Not if you are on your way to Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School it isn’t. Today is a day that will impact your life, and a day you will never forget. For seventeen of you, it will be the last day of your life. Not particularly a good day to die. But then again, is there ever a good day?
I wish I could say that what happened there is an aberration and a fluke, a one in a million unfortunate accident. I would love to, but I just can’t. It happens much too often, and it looks like it is escalating. I don’t know about you, but I am a little tired of seeing things like this happen over, and over, and over again. I don’t like it. I want something to be done. If not to eradicate it, then to control it, or try to make something more than a half-hearted attempt. Can we at least agree that we need to do something to change the paradigm, so we don’t just accept it as normal, and move on to the next bit of news? Everyone says that they want to do something, and yet refuse to do anything different than what we have done before, over and over and over again.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
I say no one wants to do anything. Not at all. Because, if they did, it would have already been done. Everybody has something to say, and yet no one wants to listen, or has any intention of even trying. Our illustrious politicians in Washington want us to listen. To what I fail to understand. They neither listen to us or to each other, comfortably wrapped up in their misguided ideologies, with re-election and pure power the only issue of importance on their minds. This time they have come up with a new twist. They want us to listen. But not to them. At first flush it certainly sounds inviting. They abdicate responsibility in their new strategy. Today they want us to listen…….to the students! To children! We should listen to 15 year olds to find a resolution to a problem we have been wrestling with for the last 50 years. Forever, actually. They say the answer is in the hearts and minds of our children. The true future of our country. Our destiny.
I wish our children to be safe. They should be given an environment where they can learn. They should be taught to question and to share their thoughts. But they should NOT be asked to set political policy. They are not equipped to do so now, or for quite some time. But they should NOT be used, and THAT is what’s happening.
I honestly do not want this to devolve into a debate on ideology, but there are certain things that are more factual than opinion that must be stated. Please bear with me. It is the responsibility of Congress to deliberate and come up with direction and resolution. They disappoint time and again. Both liberal and conservative philosophy seem to be unwilling to give an inch. The conservatives are afraid of losing the weak hold on power they now enjoy, and the liberals have no intention of offering cooperation because they want, and expect, to grab back the reigns of power in the midterm elections and return to their rightful position that they had within government virtually most of the last 60 years. The result? Nothing at all. The children in our schools? Irrelevant. They are but pawns in the game of power politics. Much the same as blacks, and gays, and rich, and poor, and women and today…….guns. Ad infinitum. The means to their ends. They use and abuse. But never resolve. Never fix a damn thing.
You would be hard pressed to argue the fact that our public school systems are not controlled by a liberal mindset, with much of what is necessary to become critical thinkers relegated to electives or dismissed outright. It is not surprising that the protests we hear today on the streets from these future leaders are not balanced and they are not thoughtful. They are emotional and they are irrational. Just like all the protests we have had to endure for the last half-century. I hear the same chants, coming through the same bullhorns. “What do we want? …. Gun-control! …. When do we want it? …. Now!” Don’t bother to ask them what they mean by ‘gun-control’. They don’t have an answer. Sound familiar? Same old same old. Please feel free to replace gun-control with any of the catch phrases that we have heard from any protest that has taken place in our lifetimes. There is no difference. And none of them really changed anything. So too from our new youth movement. They are NOT critical thinkers. They are not yet educated. They have virtually no life experiences on which to base their opinions, except for that taught to them by teacher ideologues. Unfortunately, a life experience has been presented to them that they should never have had to endure. No, the children do not have the answer. It is completely irresponsible to think that they could. Our political leaders have let us down, not demanding of themselves to do the job entrusted to them. Our teachers have let us down, caring less for our future citizens than their ideologies and agendas, attempting to tell them what to think, instead of showing them how to think and allowing them to think for themselves. The true meaning of the concept of choice. So too, our parents have let us down allowing both the politicians and teachers to make decisions that are rightly THEIR responsibilities to bear.
The question is NOT whether to try and fix the issue. The only question is what to do and how to do it. And immediately we are back to the issue of ideologies. It seems like no one wants a resolution. We have to do something, or we will continue to wake to the same scenario once again soon, perhaps this time a little closer to home. This is not going away. Politicians will come and go, so too teachers. They will retire or go work somewhere else. But our children will remain and they will continue to die. If that is not what you want then it is time to do something different, something outside of the box. I strongly believe there are things that can be done, some tomorrow, that can begin an evolution to achieve better security and protect lives. But without cooperation and reason, it just won’t happen. I really can’t say I have THE answer, but there are answers. There are alternatives. I am not sure that this country has the will, or the resolve, to win this challenge. This is going to happen again. Without question. Children are going to die. There are things that could fix this, but this country will never come together to do the things necessary to make that happen. But there are things that can mitigate and control the events and the frequency. There are those that chant “never again”. Obviously ignorant and delusional. Our furthest ancestors began by crushing heads with rocks and branches. We have developed to knives and guns. I wish I could say ‘evolved’ but that would give us way too much undue credit. Man kills for an untold number of reasons. Lust, greed, revenge, jealousy, envy. And anger, and frustration. And simple hatred. Hatred of society. Hatred of life. Hatred of self. An infinite list of man’s afflictions. This will not change anytime soon. We cannot live in a world of if or maybe. We have to accept reality, no matter how unfair or evil, and deal with it. You can wish and hope or you can act and fight. Confront it, or die.
These are your only options.