Sunday, June 12, 2016


The Rev. Chuck Gaines used to write a year’s worth of sermons over the summer.  They were very good ones, but not exactly in the moment by the time he preached them.  We all watched to see how major an event had to be to dislodge his plan.  Would the most recent nightclub shooting qualify?

I’m not able to write anything meaningful in this moment.  I’m thinking this is no more a single issue situation (guns) than grizzly bears are.  But I can’t blame people who are trying to push an agenda they think is vital by using whatever available levers there are.

Some have been pointing out that the people saying this is the worst mass shooting in America are not counting the massacres of Native Americans, as at Wounded Knee.  And then another style of NA is pointing out that such statements are just knee-jerk “Indiner than thou” rhetoric.  Both right, of course.

Is a mass shooting like this one worse than something like the flammable insulation that burned to death so many?  Is it worse if it’s targeted at a certain category of people?  Not everyone who was shot was gay — some people like to hang out with gays.  What about that previous shooter who demanded of each victim whether they were Christian?  Was he worse?

It happens that this shooting coincides with some research that asserts even soldiers find it so hard to shoot at another human being, even in wartime with everyone in uniforms, that statistics counting shots fired versus wounds and deaths reveal that they are incredibly poor marksmen or they just weren’t trying.  One entire battle was very noisy but produced no wounds nor deaths at all.

Coming at this from the point of view of neurology and multi-part evolved brains, one can’t help but think of brain dysfunction in a berzerk zealot like this one.  But is it that something is missing or something has been added?  Is it the connectome among the brain parts that’s short-circuiting?  Drugs?

This particular shooter had been questioned as a possible terrorist, was known to be an abuser of the children where he worked as a guard for an institution meant to hold them safely.  He beat up his ex-wife until her family rescued her.  He was given permission by society (those who hired and supervised him, even the courts) to destroy stigmatized people.  He didn’t need a gun to empower him.  Not having a gun wouldn’t DIS-empower him.  The same as cutting off a rapist’s penis will not keep him from raping kids.  He’d just use a stick or a bottle.  

I hope that the investigation of this shooting will extend into a shake-down of this man’s work place and a demand that such an establishment be forced to justify itself.  I suspect that a lot of boys will mysteriously disappear.

That’s where I am with this right now.  Dreading more.

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