Thursday, October 1, 2015

Angry and Numb: Another Gun Shooting

Is it possible to be angry AND feel numb at the same time? Is it possible to feel rage AND simultaneously be almost indifferent to it?

10 people are dead after a gunman opened fire Thursday morning on the campus of Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon.

And here we go again.

Make no mistake, I’m still sad for those killed or injured in this attack. But it’s the anger that struggles. The anger we should be we all feel whenever there is a gross injustice that needs to be dealt with, corrected, stopped. It’s there but muted because we’ve been here before. Too damn many times, we’ve been here before. The anger comes, it stands up, throws back its shoulders and then… sags under the weight of memory and history. We’ve been here before, we’ve been angry before. And where has that gotten us?

Another day, another shooting, more numbers added to the tally of the unfortunate dead, victims of gun violence.

The Onion has an interesting piece they post every time there’s mass shooting like this. So they post it a lot. Basically, it’s a reflection on that dichotomy of anger and numbness that exists each time. It’s a terrible, terrible thing when this happens and we should stop it but what can we do about here in the only country on Earth where this sort of things happens with alarming frequency.

As I write this, it’s still early in the unfolding of this story. I don’t know anything about the gunman. Was he on a mission from “god”? Was he on a mission from Fox News? Was he own a mission to answer back for slights and offenses he had experienced? Did he have a mad on at Oregon or community colleges? I really don’t give a damn. All I know is some fucker was using a gun in a place where he shouldn’t and over a dozen people are dead.

And we need to reach past the numbness and stoke the fires of our anger that this status quo cannot stand. Because if we give in the numbness, then those in power, those who have a vested interest in the status quo, they will have us where they want us.

It is a frustration shared by President Barack Obama. Speaking just hours after the rampage, said the mass killing should move Americans to demand greater gun controls from elected officials. "Somehow this has become routine," a visibly angry Obama said. "The reporting is routine. My response here, at this podium, ends up being routine. ...We've become numb to this."

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed today.

Everyone, be especially good to one another.

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