“We don’t need gun control, we need Jesus.”
This was a tweet from Bethany Danielle that came out over the twitter waves in regards to the five-year old boy being held hostage in a bunker in Alabama.
A very brief recap as I’m sure most have heard the news by now as this situation started just Tuesday afternoon. 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes in Midland City, Alabama boarded a school bus with a shotgun, told the driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, that he wanted the children. As Poland tried to stop him, Dykes shot him dead. Twenty-one of the twenty-two children got away, but not Ethan.
Now Ethan is being held hostage in a bunker outside of Dykes home. Naturally SWAT teams and other professional are on the scene trying to sort out the situation and get the boy back. Dykes did recently allow the child’s medication to be lowered down via a PVC piping used for air.
So that would indicate Dykes does not want to kill the boy, but his motives are not known at this time.
Naturally with this pro- vs. anti-gun war which has blown sky-high, this news has captured a different type of attention then it would have in years prior. As most people essentially have good will towards others, and it’s human nature to want to help others, there would have been an overall feel of people pulling together in spiritual support for Ethan and his family. Times of extraordinary crisis like this, or Hurricane Sandy, or the Joplin MO tornado, pull people out of their hurried little worlds and give us all a little reality check at just how fragile life really is. Not necessarily life as in life versus death, but our lives, our homes, our families, our pets…. In the blink of an eye, one or all can disappear right in front of us.
This time feels different. A malovence has spread causing one of the most selfish battles I have ever witnessed – and that is the war on gun ownership and gun control.
I can only imagine what little “Ethan” would say if he could understand all that is going on. “Please shut the hell up about whether or not you have a ‘right’ to own an assault rifle with 100 rounds in it, and get me the fuck out of here!!!”
But what’s this have to do with the title and tweet? Bear with me here….
As I work on my computer all day, I listen to internet radio. Talk shows, news, etc. I catch a lot of stories shortly after they occur. For the past several days, especially today, I have heard reports of gun shootings all over the country. An Arizona attorney shot and his client killed on Tuesday. A Texas DA shot and killed in front of the courthouse in Kaufman County.
I have to wonder…. Are shootings becoming more common? Or is the news and internet just making us more aware of something that has already been occuring? Shootings are becoming so commonplace that I barely batted an eye when the news broke about the 15-year-old boy that shot and killed his two parents and three siblings – which happened in a house that is within walking distance from my home.
One thing I can tell you for damn sure, I don’t have an answer, and there is no perfect answer. I sure can watch, listen and learn from what we’re witnessing. A small bit of background about my stance on guns…. I have always believed and supported the 2nd Amendment. I grew up around guns. Mildly. More so hunters and family in military and law enforcement. I carried a .38 handgun (legally) for a while. But the world used to more sane and have more common sense in the past. Not so now.
A father of a slain Newtown child was heckled by gun owners during a recent state legislative hearing on gun violence. Heckled! He just buried his six-year-old son, a bullet in his head, and there were people present who cared more about their precious firearms? And please do not throw that 2nd Amendment argument at me. No one is trying to take that away, but just limit the options to devices meant for civilians, not the military. The 2nd Amendment was not meant to be a free-for-all. But then, muskets were the firearms back then. I seriously doubt any one even had any visions close to our arsenal now. And I’m will to bet if they had visions of what would be, they’d think twice about writing the 2nd Amendment as it is written now.
Most strong pro-gun supporters firmly believe our mental health care system needs changes – and it does. But, folks…. that is not the problem here. If we had a top-notch mental health care that the rest of the world drooled over, I’m willing to bet that none of these people, or less than 10%, would have been put on a “do-not-sell-firearms-to” list.
There are so many mass shooters these days, but let’s take a look here. Currently, Dykes. Sure, the media is writing him up as a crazy kook and he probably is. He definitely has had some “anger control” problems which are basically menacing people that come near his property. Now, I lived in Alabama for two years, and to be perfectly honest, Dykes sounds like half the people I encountered when living there. The man is in his 60’s. A minor marijuana conviction in 2000. Big whoop. There doesn’t appear to be anything to have deemed him unstable enough to not own a firearm.
Aurora, Colorado. Oh, boy. The media and the pro-gun people have really twisted this guy in to some psycho. I’ll agree James Holmes was a bit odd, but so are millions of others. Guys like him are a dime-a-dozen especially on college campuses. Highly intelligent. So much they don’t adapt very well to society and never really fit in. But this quality does not cause one to be a mass murderer. That was Holmes’s decision. A cognitive, thought-out decision. Every piece he bought he had every legal right to do so.
Then there is Lanza. Sounds like he was a bit more rocky than Holmes. But apparently not enough of a worry that his mother didn’t lock up her guns. Many people who knew him have described him as scary. But has the media just picked up on this and ran with it distorting the facts so we can perhaps better accept what happened? After all, no one wants to believe that a normal person is capable of doing such a deed. So in order to make it more acceptable in our minds, then he is twisted into some monster that was hidden in the shadows.
Let’s jump back a bit here. Remember the Beltway Sniper Shootings in DC back in 2002? FYI… A Bushmaster was used then, too. Neither of the shooters, Muhammad nor Molva, had given any precursory signs of doing such a horrific thing.
My point is that there is no way to pre-determine who is going to dive off the proverbial deep end and play Rambo. What can be done is using some basic logic and common sense.
Yes, these assault rifles are the common factor in all these cases. Obviously, if any of these killers had been carrying anything that does not fire as rapidly and runs out after 10 shots, they would not have killed near as many people. If any. The purpose of these guns is so the shooter doesn’t have to be a good shot and stop to reload. Mass killing.
Has our media added to the number of shootings causing a very sick phase? Absolutely. No doubt about it. There are people with a type of personality that makes them want to be the center of attention, even if it means taking lives and going to prison. They want to be in history books, in the news, in archives. We must accept the fact that this is one ingredient of this mass-killing stew that will not be changing. End of story.
Predetermining someone’s mental capacity is a major violation of personal rights. This will not happen. Yes, those who have shown to be violent can then be deemed unfit to own or carry a firearm, but that action must occur first – which did not happen with any of these previously mentioned shooters. This is another ingredient which will not change.
So, what can change? Gun control. Simple. Logical. Removed said weapons and high capacity magazines is NOT denying anyone their 2nd Amendment. Limiting the choices, yes. But not denying them.
Then there is Danielle’s tweet. Honestly, it doesn’t have much to do with what I’ve been discussing, but it got me thinking about all this and also gave me a great title. Religious zealots are another ingredient which will not go away, though. Her idea is putting more Jesus into people. There is no guarantee whatsoever this will stop the killings, and this only sidetracks one from the true problem. To the contrary, throughout history more people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other reason. Additionally, Danielle’s way of thinking only means that those who do not have Jesus in their lives will then be killers. I am an atheist who cannot even step on a cockroach let along harm another human being. I do not need a book of stories to tell me what is good and bad; what to do and not to do with my neighbor. Having Jesus does not stop these killings.
And the paradox…. People who fear and hate the government yet are doing whatever they can to protect the 2nd Amendment of our government. It appears as though there is a rather enormous number of people who are convinced that the government will show up at our doors and put us all in FEMA camps. Many are holding and stockpiling these assault rifles for this very reason. Or living in paranoid fear of being attacked by a large mob. Personally, these people sound like the perfect example of who should NOT be allowed to carry a gun.
ABC News: Alabama Hostage Standoff: Alleged Kidnapper Has Stayed in Bunker for 8 Days
Washington Post: Alabama hostage crisis continues; 5-year-old victim still locked in bunker
KNAU: Texas District Attorney Shot, Killed In Front Of Courthouse
Courthouse News: Arizona Lawyer Shooting Suspect Found Dead
Yahoo News: Was father of Newtown victim ‘heckled’ by pro-gun advocates?
CTPost: Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing
Wikipedia: Beltway sniper attacks
Jesus is my unnamed co-conspirator
Wait a minute – remember our car? Two seats. Where’s he gonna go?!?
Another great essay, Michelle.
I wonder how the conversation would go if there weren’t a 2nd ammendment – if gun ownership were a privilege and not a right.
And I think throwing more Jesus in (as he’s interpreted lately) would just make things worse.
Times have changed since the the constitution was written. I’m not so sure guns should still be a right but more so a privilege.
What we need in our lives is a lot less Jesus and a lot more self responsibility, self-reliance and accountability. How little we’ve changed over the millennium. A few thousand years ago it would have been Zeus, now it’s Jesus. In other words, we haven’t changed at all.
We need to step up to the plate and take responsibilities for our actions. Please don’t load your f*#k up mistakes on the tooth fairy and seek his forgiveness. He doesn’t give a flying f*#k. He, in the form you’ve provided, doesn’t exist. Man was not created in God’s image, it’s the other way around. The Bible is the earliest form of science fiction. Religion, the first form of society controlling politics.
Two things…how about coming out AGAINST the Second Amendment (by the way, I’m a licenced gun owner)? and why do all these nut cases seem to have to go with three names?
“Man was not created in God’s image, it’s the other way around.” OMG I LOVE THAT!!!!!!!! That, right there my internet friend, is a perfect, simplistic description of how god came to be.
You know, one thing our Forefathers wanted to make sure that was carried on through the future of our country is that the constitution is meant to change and adapt. I’m beginning to think it’s time the 2nd Amendment changes… a lot.
Invoking God or Jesus or faith or prayer to fix a real-world situation is an abdication of personal responsibility. Take some responsibility and do something.
I’m reminded of Carrie Underwood’s song a few years ago — “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” The lyrics were ridiculous. A woman is driving, her car goes into a spin on the ice, and the first thing she does is let go of the wheel and implore an invisible man to prevent the impending crash! I know it’s supposed to be a metaphor, but it illustrates how a lot of religious people actually behave.
Our handyman is one of those type of religious nut cases. He’s been waiting for a sign from god to tell him what to do to be successful and make enough money to get him out of a trailer with no water and hooked up to his landlords home for electricity.
It’s been too long and I cannot remember what has happened, but he’s had several nice opportunities come up and for some reason or another turned them down.
I think he’s waiting for a neon sign to drop down from the heavens with one of those hands with a finger pointing, then start bobbing up and down in the air pointing him to something.
Oh, and when he does finally get a good job (he only does side jobs, cutting trees, handy work stuff), he’ll do a fine job as he is a good worker. Get paid…. then give 90% of it to his church.
I’m not kidding. 90%. I so want to go to that church and tell them not to accept his money. But I’m not his babysitter. And I may turn into a pile of ash as soon as step foot on the church threshold.
Great essay and thought provoking posts. I agree, it’a about time people took responibility for their actions. And the news media is just fanning the flames of this craziness. Then there’s Fox News. Yesterday Brett Baier’s so called Special Report did a bit on whether or not President Obama actually went skeet shooting at Camp David. Really, who cares? It’s not even news, much less a “Special Report”.
All FOX is good for is stirring up shit. They should go into janitorial services…
Maybe they could go into business with your handyman.
That’s a thought. Needless to say, they handyman has kinda disappeared. So we’re using a hardworking football-player sized kid to take care of the yard and clean out a bunch of crap. I wouldn’t be surprise if Terry (the handyman) shows up tomorrow to watch the Superbowl, though. Just so he doesn’t start the god-talk, I’m fine.
A very fine essay Michelle.We are a lot of people here in Denmark,who is wondering,what is going on in America these days.Obama,to my big surprise is a muslim. The only way to deal with people killing other people with guns is to give them more guns??1.Several states are planning to close down their last abortion clinics.These are just a few examples of what we learn about America.To be fair,I know that you and the majority of americans are decent people,but what we remember when we go to bed at night ,is that part of America has gone insane!
Oh, I know. This crosses my mind every day… that the majority of civilized countries must be thinking we have gone nuts over here.
By the way, I’m not sure if you were making a statement or a comment that some of the idiots here say, but Obama is not a Muslim. Naturally, I don’t know for sure only because I am not married to the man. Michelle is the one who knows for sure. But I seriously doubt he is. But if he is, so what? As if Christianity is a passive non-violent religion? What country has been in what countries these past several years? America is a bunch of murderers.
Michelle,I was trying to be ironic,when I wrote that Obama is a Muslim.I find it utterly stupid that some believe that.Sorry,but my english is not always that good,so I might have expressed myself in a clumsy way.
Actually, your English is quite good. Better than a lot of Americans. I thought you were being ironic and making fun of the fools here, but just wanted to make sure.
Bush and his idiotic sidekicks did a great job and making so many Americans paranoid of Muslims and their religion. And we are the country going in and killing people in other countries.