Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for the ‘mass shootings’ Category

Church Shooting in Texas Leaves Me Stunned, Sick

with 5 comments

Folks, I am so sickened by this story, but as it’s big news in the United States (and perhaps around the world as well), I think I should comment.

A relatively young man, under thirty, who I shall not name as is my policy, opened fire on a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday morning during worship services. There are twenty-six dead, including a number of children, and among the many wounded is an eighteen-month-old baby.

I don’t understand why this even happened. Much less why a person would aim at children. (There is some talk that he deliberately aimed at the kids, though I don’t know how accurate that is.)

Because this did happen at a church, many in Texas and elsewhere are saying that God must have a purpose for this. (That is, the Higher Power.) Even if we don’t see it, there has to be a reason.

The only reason I can see is that we need to somehow stop these mass shooting events, particularly in churches. The United States is the only country in the world that refuses to pass sensible gun control legislation, and has even rolled back the minor protections citizens had to keep people with demonstrable mental illnesses from buying guns.

That this happened in Texas, which is practically the home of concealed-carry, is even more astonishing.

But in this case, even if the little kids who were among the dead had carried guns, there’s no way they could’ve stopped this guy. He stepped into the church and started firing at people’s backs…whether he was legally qualified to buy the gun or not (there are many questions about that right now), the fact is, he had a gun, he shot at people’s backs in a cowardly and distasteful way, and he has become infamous in the ways of many other mass shooters before him.

I don’t know what we have to do in the United States to get the Congress to wake up. I do know that most Americans support protections to keep people from severe mental illnesses, such as this guy must’ve had to do what he did, from getting guns. And while that will not stop every mass shooter, it will stop more of them…and we won’t be waking up to this sort of thing as often. (I would like to say “at all,” but that’s asking way too much.)

I am beyond tired and incredibly frustrated at all these shootings. I’ve written about so many of them in the past seven years of this blog, and every time I feel emotionally wrung out, almost drained of purpose, when I think about what happened to innocent souls just going about their business and not asking for this at all. (Who would?)

Yeah, once in a blue moon, a shooting like this would be inexplicable. But to happen over and over and over again, in movie theatres, in churches, at concerts…at night clubs…the list goes on and on. And the only thing in common is that the United States does not have the same protections under the law as other countries to keep people who shouldn’t have guns from getting them.

I know many responsible gun owners. I do not want to take their guns away. But I do want to make damned sure that shooters like this guy who just killed a bunch of kids and others don’t get guns…and if it’s true that the system failed, well, we need to find out why that happened. (There’s some talk now that even with the lax protections we have, this guy shouldn’t have been able to get a gun.)

Anyway, those among the injured, and those grieving, need your prayers now. I know that’s not much, but it’s better than nothing…and we all need to do some soul-searching to try to figure out what, if anything, we can do to prevent the next mass-casualty event. (Please?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 6, 2017 at 11:53 am

#PrayforOrlando — My Thoughts

with 2 comments

Folks, it has taken me over a day to codify my thoughts, because I’m so enraged by what happened in Orlando, Florida last evening.

For those of you who don’t yet know, there was a horrific mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida during the wee hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. So far, fifty people are confirmed dead, and there are fifty-three known to be wounded…but the death toll could still go up. Because the gunman — someone I shall refuse to name as I believe he forfeited his right to a name the moment he opened fire — was anti-gay and supposedly pledged allegiance to ISIS on a 911 call, and because Pulse was friendly to the LGBT community, this act was not only a hate crime, bad as that is.

No. It was even worse.

It was an act of domestic terrorism.

My heart is aching, as I write these words. I do not understand how anyone could do this, for any reason. I do not appreciate the fact that someone so hateful was an American citizen, and most of all I do not like it that I have no outlet whatsoever for my rage other than to post this flag — a gay pride rainbow flag at half-staff — in this post as a symbol of my solidarity with the LGBT community:

13344799_10154246891765996_4397015779433167025_n

I wish I could do much more than this, because I am enraged.

Enraged that this horrific, senseless act could happen in the United States.

Enraged that someone so twisted had been able to qualify as a security guard, for pity’s sake. Because the shooter was a security guard, he had weapons, and he used them brutally and callously to take life for no reason whatsoever except his own, obnoxious self-aggrandizement.

Enraged that my LGBT friends, gentle souls, all, now have to worry that they could be next, victims of copycats eager to get their repellent names and mugshots on television…because as usual, the media splashed the name and picture of the domestic terrorist in as many nooks and crannies as they could, as this is standard operating procedure.

Enraged that there isn’t more focus on the innocent and tragic victims who died or were wounded at the Pulse nightclub than there is on the excrescence that was the allegedly human being who decided that he knew better than God/dess as to who should live, who should die, and who should be irrevocably wounded, body and soul, for the rest of their days by this abhorrent attack.

Enraged that once again, on American soil, we’ve had a mass shooting.

Enraged that once again, our politicians will do nothing.

Enraged that once again, our hearts are broken, and no one seems to care about mending them.

So, because of that, because of all that, I urge everyone to think good thoughts, send positive energy, and/or pray for the people of Orlando right now. Somehow, some way, help love to win — the love of our fellow men and women of all genders, sexual preferences, colors, creeds, and religions. Somehow, some way, remember those bright souls who died, and help those who survived the massacre to heal as much as they possibly can…

In other words, make love stronger than hate. Please.

And give extra care to your friends and neighbors right now, most particularly to those in the LGBT community. They need to know their friends are with them, and that we will never forget this horrible day for as long as we live…much less that we will work for better days and brighter futures for us all.

That’s all I know how to say right now.

———

Edited to add: One of my Facebook acquaintances just pointed out that when he turned on CNN yesterday afternoon, they said, “We will only name the shooter once this hour.” After they named him, they took down his picture and said something to the effect of, “Now, let’s concentrate on the much more important people — the victims.”

Thank you, CNN! (Now can everyone else in the media get behind this idea? I was once a student journalist, and I know the people I worked with all felt the same way as I did. But standard operating procedure is to name the gunman over and over, it seems…we must change this, and start doing what CNN did yesterday.)