Once again, I seem to have fouled things up for my self by delaying my Friday post until the evening hours – if I only I didn’t need my day job…
Today there was a several hour situation in Colorado Springs with a heavily armed individual and a Planned Parenthood facility. At this point, the suspect is finally in custody, 11 people have been hospitalized, including 5 police officers, and police are searching the facility to remove whatever the gunman brought into the building – apparently they are concerned there may be explosives.
Now, crazy people do crazy things, and I fully understand the view that if someone wants to commit an act of violence badly enough, they will do it regardless of the strength of gun laws (or restraining orders). However… Colorado is an open carry state, and Colorado Springs is a very Conservative, and very Christian, area. It is home to both the US Air Force Academy and James Dobson’s Focus on Family. Not all that long ago, 3 people died in downtown Colorado Springs after someone carrying a rifle started randomly shooting people – a neighbor of his had called the police before the shooting started and was advised by the dispatcher that under the open carry laws, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Perhaps one or two of his victims could have been spared had the police been able to respond to the neighbor’s concern? Earlier this year, an explosive device was set off outside of an NAACP office. And that particular Planned Parenthood office has been the site of numerous protests after the release of the videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue – doctored videos that actually showed no such thing. So, although the motive is unknown right now, I’m guessing that Planned Parenthood was the target. And that religious fundamentalism, compounded by mental illness, was the reason.
So, with only a couple of days left to finish my floundering Nano work, my spouse’s birthday coming up, and a weekend of catching up to do, I’m trying to try to come to terms with an ugly reality, and am wondering why we, here in the US, seem to be incapable to having a ration al discussion about gun laws, about why we refuse to reinstate the social safety nets that are so desperately needed by the mentally ill, why one groups appalling behavior is ‘justified’ because abortion is wrong, but another’s is ‘terrorism’ because their beliefs are wrong.
It’s all wrong. It is simply never right. No one is living in a bubble – we are all interconnected, we are all human, and we all deserve to be who we are.
“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways”
— Dalai Lama XIV
Have a peaceful weekend.
The photo of the Rock Mountains was taken this past July from the Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs.